One of the things we’ve always done a lot of here at ImageSource is migrations, it’s definitely one of our core competencies. For a little more information on our approach to migrations, you can review my earlier post here. Lately the migrations have been more focused because most of them involve moving content out of the Oracle IPM 10g or Oracle Imaging 11g products. Basically, Oracle IPM 10g has reached end-of-life and Oracle Imaging 11g was the terminal release for the product. So essentially the product line is dead. The IPM 10g product was something we worked with for many years so we have a wealth of knowledge on its ins and outs. IPM was a feature rich but older product stack and it was in need of a bit of an overhaul. However, when Oracle rewrote the product as Imaging 11g there were a lot of key and important features that didn’t make the cut.
Because of everything I’ve mentioned, businesses running on these particular Oracle ECM platforms have had to make decisions for their long term ECM vision or roadmap. I have worked with a number of clients on technology evaluations and the like to help determine their roadmap, but that’s a blog post for another time. One of the key pieces to any ECM roadmap for a company performing these solution changes is the migration of their content from the Oracle IPM 10g or Imaging 11g systems that they are replacing. Luckily we have to the tools and knowledge to make these migrations as straightforward as possible, the tools being ILINX Export and ILINX Import.
There are a number of options with ILINX Export but in short, we use it to export all content and metadata out of a source system for it to be migrated into whatever destination system is necessary. By default, ILINX Export retrieves the content from the source system in exactly the same format it was in when it was added to the original system. By exporting the content out in its native format, a customer can always keep a copy of the original data and any data manipulation or file conversions can be done downstream. ILINX Export does have the ability to convert files to PDF but I generally do image conversion when importing the content into the destination system. Utilizing our knowledge of the Oracle products, we have plenty of options when extracting the content from them. For example:
- Only migrate certain applications.
- Only migrate content created after or before a certain date.
- Only migrate the content that falls within certain criteria: for example a specific business unit, a set of document types, or virtually any criteria that can be identified with the content metadata.
- Split the content up so content that meets certain criteria goes to one destination and content meeting other criteria goes else ware.
- Retain the IPM or Imaging annotations. These can be flattened into the documents, but I only recommend that in certain instances. If the client is migrating to ILINX, we can migrate the annotations as an overlay into the new ILINX system.
- There are many options on the format of the data when it is exported from the source system. ILINX Export can output the metadata to text or XML files with complete control of the format, delimiter, field order, layout, and size of those files. That flexibility allows for the creation of input files in a format that can work for just about any destination system.
- The metadata can also be written directly to SQL to support long term storage or manipulation if necessary.
- Scheduling the export to run during off-hours to keep load off the servers while clients are using the old system.
- Detailed auditing of the entire process to help with reporting, compliance, and troubleshooting.
- Many more.
Once all the requirements surrounding the migration have been defined and execution has started, one of the next steps is importing that content and metadata to the destination ECM system. I’ll go over next steps along with more on the export portion of a migration in a follow on post. If you have any questions about migrating content out of a system or ILINX Export reach out to us for a demo or discussion.