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Apr 05, 2016 Global Cents

How many days does it take to migrate your OpenText Content Server data?

There’s a joke that goes “how many software engineers does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: None… it’s a hardware problem.”

Similarly, how many hours does it take a sysadmin to migrate content efficiently and error-free from one Content Suite environment to another? The answer could be anywhere from many to many more, depending on the scope of the migration.

Over my many years working with Content Suite (aka Livelink) I’ve been through this scenario countless times, so I thought it would be interesting to share the challenges and more importantly – how to solve them!

How do you migrate a wide variety of content types between Content Suite environments?

Working with a lot of clients, many of whom are in regulated industries, one of the more common scenarios that I see revolves around the question of transporting or copying content and taxonomy from one Content Suite environment to another. Typically, this situation arises when organizations have a tiered Content Suite configurations with development, quality assurance (QA), and live or production environments. Logically, they use the development environment for creating new or editing existing category and attribute structures, business processes/workflows, and reports, to name but a few. They may also use these systems for testing new version of software, or debugging issues that end-users have encountered.

Being able work within a testbed that doesn’t interrupt the daily operation of your live system is necessary, but problems arise when it comes to taking the content, metadata, or taxonomy developed in that system and moving it to a separate one. From experience, I can tell you that the current method for accommodating these migrations is a very manual, time intensive and prone to human error. Tools such as XML export & import help with part of the job, but you’re going to be spending countless hours reviewing taxonomies, checking attribute data, and manually recreating dependencies within items such as Forms, WebReports and workflow maps. As you may already know, it’s a tedious process. If you’re working in a regulated environment such as life sciences, energy or financial, each of these manual steps will also need to be thoroughly documented and signed-off in order to ensure that you’re compliant with the manual processes procedures. Plus, you need two people to do the migration itself – one to do the work and one to ensure the work was done correctly.

Recently, OpenText released their OpenText Transport solution. This is a step forward, and provides a basic set of tools to help relieve the tedium of the old days of manual transfers. If you’re looking to migrate simple taxonomies containing folders and basic content, then Transport may be able to help. However, if you need a more robust solution that’s been in the field for 10 years and is the gold standard of Content Suite data migration, please read on…

There is a safe, efficient and error-free solution for content migration

We have been asked by many organizations, including regulated companies, how to transfer their complex review and approval workflows with imbedded forms and metadata. Financial institutions including banks ask for help coping with an account validation workflow that they have created which include items such as sets of attribute data, forms, custom views, LiveReports and much more. And government organizations ask us how they can become more efficient and reduce their error rates, all of which we’ve accomplished with a greater than 25% reduction in time and a reduction in error rates to nearly zero.

So at this point I come to the hero of my story – GCI PowerTools for Deployments (PTD). As someone who spent nearly 4 years as a VP for Enterprise Deployments & Delivery at OpenText, PTD is the most complete solution on the market today. Ok, I work for GCI now so I’m bound to say that, but let me tell you why this is true.

Powerful, XML-based object export and import

Using a standard XML format, PTD will extract your taxonomy, content, and metadata in its entirety and allow you to re-import it into the target Content Suite system, either now or at any time in the future, with just a few clicks. During this process it maintains total integrity, so you will never lose things such as the original creation date, or links to referenced objects.

Migrate workflow maps, forms and other objects from one Content Suite environment to another

Using PTD, we’ve helped clients migrate advanced Workflow maps, WebReports, Community objects, Records Management data, Physical Objects, Appearances, Binders, Cases, and more from one environment to another while ensuring that that all workflow step performers, form data attachment links and other references are maintained.

Test and troubleshoot problematic Content Suite objects in the safety of an isolated environment

We’ve also been asked to help with support related queries. “Problematic objects” can be exported and sent to a dedicated support environment where they can be easily imported and safely tested. Once the problem is fixed, simply send it back to the target environment for importing.

And all of this takes just minutes. In the case of the bank that I mentioned earlier, they reduced a manual migration task that took them over an hour each time down to literally 60 seconds.

So the moral of this story is, if you need to move a wide variety of content, metadata and taxonomy between your Content Suite environments in a safe, efficient and error-free manner, then GCI PowerTools for Deployments is the proven solution you have been looking for.

Looking for a proof that this is the right solution for you? Read through our latest case study and find out how a US government agency saw an impressive return on investment after switching to GCI PowerTools for Deployments for their data transfers. 

If you want more information or would like to arrange a personalized demo for your stakeholders, please contact me at I’ll look forward to discussing with you in more detail.

Published by Global Cents April 5, 2016