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Drupal Migration

Univ. of Illinois Dolcos Lab

They said it couldn’t be done…

The Dolcos Lab had a particular issue. They liked their current website. It was serving their needs and they weren’t looking for a change. However, they were using Drupal 5 and they wanted to be using the more stable Drupal 7. Remember Drupal 5? The good ol’ days of the Wild West. Drupal core was being hacked left and right, up and down, backwards and forwards. Well, the “good ol’ days” of Drupal 5 gave rise to the mantra, “Never hack core.” With all the hacking going on, Drupal 5 was an unstable platform (not to mention, inefficient). Especially with the latest iteration, Drupal 7 has become a VERY stable and VERY efficient platform. Drupal 7 was where they wanted to go. The question was, “How do we get there?” The answer they received from other developers was, “A 5 to 7 migration can’t be done. Don’t even attempt it. The site needs to be rebuilt from scratch.” We thought otherwise.

The lab was dealing with a very limited budget and if the expense of rebuilding the entire website from scratch could be foregone then so much the better. In all fairness, a Drupal 5 to 7 migration is not a task to be undertaken by the faint of heart. The road may be wrought with many perils. Who knows what hacks may have been done to accomplish the intended goals at one time or another? Only those who truly know Drupal should undertake such a journey. Fortunately, the lab found Atlas. As is the case, Atlas knows Drupal. We strongly suspected a 5 to 7 migration could be done properly under the right circumstances. What they needed was an experienced eye to have a look over the site and make a determination as to what the likelihood of a successful migration might be.

Well, we had a look over the site. We looked at the number of installed and active modules. We evaluated the stability of the transition and we began our process. In short, we…

  • cloned the environment so as not to disrupt the live site activity.

  • updated core to the latest version of Drupal 5

  • cleaned up the corrupt data sets

  • updated core to Drupal 6

  • re-structured the necessary content types

  • updated core to Drupal 7

  • completely rebuilt views

  • made some small adjustments to the theme

  • transitioned the site to our own servers

  • re-launched the site

Now, it’s not a majestic site. True enough. Although, that wasn’t the goal. The goal was to perform a cost-effective migration rather than a complete rebuild. Atlas achieved that goal. How can we help you achieve yours?

  • Drupal v5 to v7 update
  • Database corruption fix
  • Media module integration
  • Complete views rebuild
  • Hosting