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The Pros & Cons Of Automating Content Migration

by Naresh Sarwan on January 5, 2011

Content migration guru, David Hobbs has written an article weighing the pros and cons of automated migration (i.e. writing scripts or using tools to transfer content/data from one system to another).  He discusses 5 factors to help evaluate whether automation is appropriate or not, including:

  • Commonality (the consistency of the data to be transferred)
  • Structure (how easily data maps from the source to the target system)
  • Editing requirements (the extent of editorial changes you will need to make as part of the migration)
  • Staffing
  • Raw count (the amount of similar content you have and its relationship with the ROI obtainable from automating migration)

Automation is a worthy goal, and I’m always looking for ways to automate migration where possible.  That said, obviously there’s a tradeoff between automation and manual migration.  For instance, if you have a site of ten pages then don’t even waste your time talking about automation and buckle down to copy and paste into the new system (or just create the new content from scratch).  At the same time, if you have a site with 500,000 pages that you want to keep, then you probably want to spend a lot of time talking about automation.  So how do you know whether to pack up the pickup truck and move yourself, and when is it time to try a more sophisticated approach?” [Read More]

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