What is the best way to export data from an engineering firm’s document management systems and import that data into the client’s document management system?
I will kick things off with the same statement you get when you ask an SAP person any sort of “how do I…” question: it depends.
What are the systems involved?
As Lorne writes – that depends…
Generally I would use the step guide like this
- Make a list of all the fields/information in the exporting solution that you want included – technical field as well as user available informations.
- Check whether the supplier out-of-the-box support an exporting solution – and whether this fullfills your requirement list made in step 1.
Next whether some others on the marked have some exporting solutions.
And if not – is API’s available so someone could develop an exporting setup.
- Make a mapping list where exported content should be targeted field by field in the new solution – where to import the information
- Agree on a format that the exported metadata and documents should be delievered in.
- Agree on a method to ensure that all documents have been exported – simpliest way is a simple document count but that is not sufficient in all cases
Do the same for the importing – how and who to check that all data have been imported fine – and how many and which types of sample controls is going to be performed and whi is going to perform them when (involved business representatives to check content/metadata to be appropriate)
- If the export and import is not on the same location – agree on a secure delivery method from export location to import location.
- Set up an importing solution for the new solution – that takes the agreed format and mapping information list into consideration.
- Perform an export test + an import test – and check whether you got the information migrated satisfactory (preferable in a testing environment – so rehearsals can be done – again and again until everything is optimized)
- When all seems to be fine
- perform a performance test on the export – how long does export takes per 1.000 or per 1.000.0000 documents
- perform a performance test on import – – how long does import takes per 1.000 or per 1.000.0000 documents
- Make a calendar plan
- Perform – and have frequent follow-up meetings to see if plan is followed incl. that all verification activities are performed and reported successfully done with no issues to report.
Have followed this step plan for lots of migration involving multi-million document migrations. And yes – all migrations should be expected to have some loss of information – the important thing is that you are aware of which informations could be/is lost – and the value they had: Like a userid logged in the old system migth not be of any value in the new system if you haven’t got a full list of all userid’s in the old system – that my experience probably would be too heavy to migrate as well.
And if specific systems are involved in export/import – then there migth exist a (almost) standard tool for this. But then be sure to check that what they supports on migration is compatible with your requirement list – or that the missing informations represent so little value that a standard migration is acceptable to perform.
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