Sitecore Express Migration Tool 2.0

Previously, upgrading Sitecore to the latest release would be achieved via one of two approaches. One option was to upgrade release by release, following Sitecore upgrade guidelines which would include installing update packages, running SQL scripts and making configurations changes. The second approach would be to install a clean instance of Sitecore’s latest release, and manually move all of your content, including your content tree, your code, files, and custom configurations changes. Even though some would argue that one approach is better than the other, both approaches required a lot of effort and time.

But there is a New Tool!

With Sitecore’s new Express Migration Tool, upgrading and migrating your old Sitecore instance becomes easier and faster, with less chance of issues caused by missing an upgrade step. The upgrade process is more guided and focused on migrating content, rather than figuring out configuration file changes or installing multiple update packages, etc.

What to Expect

The new Sitecore Express Migration lets you migrate to Sitecore 8.2 (Update 1) from any of these old releases:

  • Sitecore 7.2 (All revisions)
  • Sitecore 6.6 (All revisions)

The Express Migration Tool 2.0 also supports migrating the Web Forms for Marketers module, but is limited to migrating it from WFFM 2.4 (Running on Sitecore 7.2) to WFFM 8.2 (Update 1). Older releases are not supported.

The Tool does not automatically migrate any other module. Instead you will need to manually select the content items of any module that you want to migrate. One thing you need to keep in mind is that this tool does not upgrade any content item of any module (except for WFFFM). So, if you have any Marketplace modules that need to be upgraded, I would suggest you install the newer module version on the target instance, then manually migrate any module content items or configurations.

The Tool does not support the old Sitecore analytics (DMS) to xDB migration, which is something to note if you are planning on migrating your analytics data. To do so, you will need to use the Analytics Conversion tool from Sitecore, and gradually convert your analytics databases from 7.2 to 7.5, then to 8.0 then to 8.1, and finally to 8.2. Alternatively, if historical analytics data migration is not crucial to your organization, you can just start with blank analytics on the target instance.

The Process

Once you start the tool, you will need to fill in both source and target instance details, version, website folder path, and core & master database connection strings. The tool gives you the option of what to migrate, an example being what items in Core/Master databases you want to migrate. This is great for those who don’t need all modules or pages migrated.

You also have the option to migrate Security objects (users, roles etc.), and it allows you to choose which files/configuration files to migrate.

Once the tool is done migrating what you have selected, you can view the migration report to check that your migration was successful.

My Thoughts

Overall, this tool will help cut the time and cost needed to migrate your website to the latest Sitecore release. At Americaneagle.com, we have been using this tool to assist our clients, with great results. The migration process was simple compared to older migration methods. You might still need to do manual migration for custom modules, but for the most part it’s an easy process. It is expected that Sitecore will keep improving this tool in the future, and it may eventually support the migration of a wider range of older Sitecore revisions.

Americaneagle.com can help you migrate your website to the latest Sitecore release, so that you can take advantage of all of the xDB features shipped with Sitecore. The process is smooth and quick using the Migration Tool. 

Contact Americaneagle.com today to find out how we can help with all your Sitecore migration needs. 

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About Author

Ahmed Okour is a Senior Sitecore Developer at Americaneagle.com. With his previous years’ experience with Sitecore, and as a Sitecore Certified Developer, Ahmed is one of Americaneagle.com’s Sitecore experts. Ahmed’s duties range from project development to third-party integrations to leading and training Sitecore programmers. Notably, Ahmed has contributed on many Sitecore projects, including Intrawest, Catholic Order of Foresters, USD, CalCPA.org, Townebank, Komatsu America, Littelfuse, Mathematica and the American Dental Association. In January 2016, Ahmed was named a technology “Most Valuable Professional” for the second year in a row by Sitecore, one of only 177 people worldwide to receive the distinction.


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