As a Sr. Systems Engineer at ImageSource, I am currently engaged on a project where the customer had a need to migrate all content out of their Stellent IBPM 22.214.171.124 software platform. (This is the same product stack as Optika Acorde and Oracle IPM; the product has gone through a few name changes over the years with the different acquisitions.) In my experience, I have found there are several steps that need to be taken when considering migrating content from your current ECM repository.
The first steps in any migration are to analyze existing content and ensure that the majority has been discovered, identified and prioritized.
- Categorize content into categories (document types, applications, folders, etc.)
- Prioritize content based on:
- A business value rating to the content
- A difficulty level associated with the migration effort
All discovered content should be cataloged by the indexes or field data that exists for it and the file formats used. All systems that may be migrated need to be investigated for existing export tools that can export data into various formats, such as CSV or directly to custom databases. If the system is lacking any direct export capability built into the product it is necessary to either develop a migration tool or purchase one. In my current project we are using a tool developed by ImageSource called ILINX Export. ILINX Export supports migrations out of Oracle IPM (along with Stellent IBPM and Optika Acorde), WebCenter Content 11g, EMC AppXtender, IBM FileNet P8, and IBM FileNet ImageServices.
Since the content is coming from a Stellent IBPM, the data is already structured. The upfront time of categorizing content is already done making migration that much easier.
Determining Business Value:
Next you have to determine the business value of the content to determine migration order or whether or not you want to migrate it at all. Things to consider are:
- Content ownership and responsibility
- Operational content
- Frequency of access
- Legal or statutory retention requirements
- Cost of ownership of old system
Determine Migration Effort:
Since the migration I am working on is coming from a structured Stellent IBPM system, there are less factors to consider than other migrations. Some migrations can become quite complex and you can run into things like:
- Mismatched data
- One-to-many content
- Many-to-many content
- Missing content
- Incomplete Metadata
- Orphaned Records
- Duplicate Records
- Unsupported document formats
- Many other factors
After the rest of the upfront work is completed, decisions must be made as to what order to migrate the documents. You can use your own weighting system but I like to use variations of the below matrix to determine the migration order.
It’s very likely that some old content may not be important enough to migrate to the new ECM system. There may also be portions of data that do not need to be migrated. These should be identified up front during the business value evaluation.
Finally it is time to execute the migration. I’d like to highlight some of the key features that make ILINX Export so flexible and why it is our preferred tool for migration. (You can contact ImageSource for a demo of ILINX Export).
- Works seamlessly with many different sources (as mentioned in the beginning)
- Configurable file format output (native file, TIFF options, PDF options)
- Configurable index output (text options, XML, database)
- Variety of folder output structures
- Flexible file naming conventions
- Detailed auditing
- Both a COM and Database method to extract content from the Acorde/IBPM/IPM product stack
- The Database method is much faster and what I prefer to use for migrations
Finally, as with any migration there is a lot of management overhead. Checking the logs, resolving errors, making determinations regarding corrupt and missing content, comparing content between the old and new systems, managing performance and cut-off dates, etc. ECM migrations are one of the core competencies at ImageSource and almost every project we engage in has a migration of some kind. Over the years I have performed dozens and the approach identified is just a brief overview of our standard practices.
Sr. Systems Engineer