Migrating from Stellent UCM & IBPM – A little foresight can alleviate a lot of trouble

Migrations from systems like IBPM to ILINX can be fraught with issues that can bite the unwary in very bad places. However, if you are aware of such problems, you can plan ways to mitigate them and have a successful migration in the end.

One issue we run into is documents that have a page or two with corrupt images. Perhaps when the page was first contributed to IBPM, a system or other type of issue caused the image to be corrupt or cease to exist. Either physical hardware or a software bug can be the culprit. The product we use for migration, ILINX Export, will flag this document as an error, skip it and move on to the next document in RECID order. Once the export is completed, these flagged documents have to be re-visited. Once a determination is made that an image is indeed corrupt, and the chance to recover it from backups is extremely remote, the document can be deleted or manually exported from IBPM without the corrupt image.

Another matter we’ve dealt with is related to non-tiff images. This category is “universal” type images, and includes PDF, DOC, XLS, MSG and a host of other file types that IBPM supports. There are options within the ILINX Export tool that will allow the export of these files types in their native format through the IBPM SDK. Or the export can be done through database manipulation that can directly access the image file and then “unzip” the universal file into its native format.

The issue that can be encountered here is twofold, and manifests itself when migrating to another repository. One, IBPM stores the native file zipped up with another file that contains metadata and has no file extension. When the document is unzipped there are two files, one with a valid file type and one without. Typically, backend repositories require file extensions, which are useful for performance, like displaying file type icon on the user interface, and a variety of other reasons. During the migration, importing to the backend may be impeded due to a lack of extensions on the metadata files. Secondly, if the extension of the universal file has been altered or damaged in storage, the file type may not be a standard that the new repository will accept. In any case, having your migration come to a screeching halt is something to avoid.

Awareness is the key. By proactively incorporating a response into your migration plan, you can eliminate much heartburn and anxiety. That is where the expertise and knowledge of a seasoned Optika / Stellent / Oracle integrator, like ImageSource, comes into play. We have helped many customers build migration plans that take these and other items into account, so the migrations are as smooth and worry-free as possible.

Oracle IPM 10g and Imaging 11g Migration: Part 2

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about ECM migrations, with a focus specifically on moving content from Oracle IPM/Imaging to other destination systems—projects we’ve been performing a lot of lately. Our tools of choice for migrations are ILINX Export and ILINX Import, but if the destination ECM system isn’t supported by ILINX Import, there are other options. Almost every ECM system has mechanisms to do bulk or mass imports. ILINX Export provides many options to format the data so sometimes it is a matter of configuring the output to be in a format supported by the third party import application. Other times, utilizing these third party import applications may require a little development. Regardless of what’s necessary, we’ve never run into a destination system that we couldn’t work with.

There are multiple reasons we split the migration operations into two parts—export and import—flexibility being the biggest one. There are a lot more options when splitting the migration into two separate operations. Since we don’t modify the data on export from the source system, a snapshot can be taken for long term archival. Then on import, or pre-import, we can massage the data, perform file conversions, or augment the data by pulling additional data from an external source. Even though we split the migration up into two operations, they can be run in tandem so there is little effect on the overall duration of the migration.

One of the biggest concerns surrounding these migrations is the amount of time it will take. Performing tests in the actual environment is required because of how many variables go into the throughput of a migration. If the migration is estimated to take too long after initial testing, there are options to address that scenario, including:

  • Create a migration environment with instances of the source ECM system software on newer, more powerful servers, and restore the production data to these new servers in order to execute the migration from there. This has the additional benefit of removing any potential performance impact to the legacy production system for the duration of the migration.
  • Spin up additional instances of ILINX Export and/or ILNX Import to increase throughput. There will be a point when additional instances of the export or import process will not increase throughput—generally when a bottleneck restricts the maximum throughput that the source or destination system can achieve.

Recently, I had a customer that had set a hard go-live date that was just 60 days after project initiation for their new system. We had no problem meeting this requirement from a technology deployment standpoint, but our migration testing indicated that we wouldn’t be able to move all of their 25+ million documents in that time frame. In order to make the new system go-live date, we migrated the three previous years’ content first, then resumed with the older, remaining content. Since the vast majority of content to be retrieved would be from the previous year, the fact that the migration wasn’t 100% complete at go-live was a non-issue. This is an approach we’ve followed numerous times.

Once a migration is in full swing, auditing can be the most time consuming part of the process. ILINX Export and ILINX Import have very complete auditing capabilities, so while the migration is occurring, issues are immediately identified and can be addressed. We generally audit a couple different ways to confirm success. If only using ILINX Export, what is exported can be compared with what is in the source system to ensure all content was pulled out. When performing a complete migration, what is imported into the destination system is compared with the source system. Any migration can only be considered a success when it is proven that all the content was migrated, which is why we practice multi-step auditing during the migration.

By following our standard methodology for migrations and utilizing the technology we’ve developed over the years, we consistently perform reliably successful migrations. To read more about migrations, review my previous blog posts Oracle IPM 10g and Imaging 11g Migration and Steps for a successful ECM migration using ILINX Export.

If you have any questions about my blogs, or would like to discuss the possibilities for migration within your organization, please reach out to me or your contact at ImageSource to start the conversation.

John Linehan
Sr. Systems Engineer
ImageSource, Inc.

ADF 11g: Passing Information to Bind Variables

For the past year, I’ve been working with a customer on a large Oracle BPM project.  As part of the project there are a couple forms written using Oracle’s Application Development Framework (ADF.) I’d like to do a small series on this blog of useful techniques that have helped me with a successful implementation in a large scale production environment. Today, we’ll be talking about how to pass information from the ADF binding layer to a named parameter that is setup on a view object in the model layer.  This comes up pretty often and there are some neat things you can do using the technique.

Let’s take a look at our view object first.

The query for the GetEmployeesInDepartment view object.

The query for the GetEmployeesInDepartment view object.

For this discussion we are using the HR sample schema that comes with an Oracle database. As you can see this view object uses a query that has a single bind variable that represents a department id. Its result set will be all the employees which belong to the supplied department. Our use case is going to be a table that will display employee information based on the department selected in a drop down list. There are many ways to do this type of thing in ADF and this isn’t necessarily the best use case for it but it has the advantage of being simple to follow and explain. We will talk a bit about some other uses for this technique later on. Continue reading

Converting Image Files

At some point there is going to be a need to convert an Imaging Systems image files from one format to another format when moving to a new Imaging system.  ILINX® Import can be used to handle the conversion.

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Getting Started With Oracle BPM 11g

In a previous blog post I wrote a step by step guide on how to install Oracle BPM 11g. That was all good and well, but now what?

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Fusion Middleware Patchset 5 in the Wild

Oracle slipped out the fifth patchset release for the Fusion Middleware products during the middle of the night on the 22nd of February.  For the most part things will be very familiar to longtime users.  One of the most visible changes is that the branding has caught up with the software.  Oracle Content Server is now Webcenter Content,  Imaging and Process Management is now Webcenter Imaging.  It feels like an end of an era!

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IPM 10g is Going Away, Now What?

Earlier this month ImageSource hosted our annual ECM conference Nexus.  I had the chance to meet with many of our customers and have some really great conversations.  Many of these folks are running IPM 10g as a core component of their enterprise and since that product is being end of life’d they are taking a long hard look at their installations.  Everyone wanted to know what options they had and to talk about the best way for them to move forward.  The 11g version of IPM was frequently a core topic of conversation and everybody wanted to hear how to get from here to there.

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