Business Intelligence Challenge – Product Upgrades & Migrations, Moving the Code - 4
Last time we discussed about Impact Assessment , the next logical step after this is to perform the actual upgrade or migration of the code.
Moving the Code: Performing Upgrade or Migration of the Objects
When we talk about product upgrades, always the product vendor provides tools by which the objects in the earlier version can be upgraded to the latest version. Yes we would see some objects failing through while using such tools; these are the ones that would need rework after the upgrade process.
When we talk about product migration like moving from Cognos to Business Objects or Business Objects to Cognos, there is good scope for us to look for some ways to automate the code migration. Earlier discussions have been on how to leverage the metadata for understanding the environment, now we are looking at an option on how to manipulate or transform the metadata so that an object in platform ‘A’ becomes compliant to platform ‘B’.
Steps involved in building an automated product migration process
Perform metadata level object mapping between the two platforms, determine the gaps. This would actually be a ‘by product’ of ‘Step 2’ in Impact Assessment
Build individual components that would
- Read the metadata from the source platform and prepare a repository
- Have the knowledge of the match & gap between the platforms, could be reference tables
- Transform the ‘source’ metadata and write out as understood by the ‘target’ platform by using the reference tables
Benefits of Automated Migration
- Helps avoid creation of objects from scratch
- Ensures availability of time for testing (core task) than code development
- Enables team to have a flexible skillset
- A faster way of delivering things when a ‘one to one’ migration from the source platform is seen as a must
Automated Migration Challenges
Transforming the source metadata to the target platform would be a challenge, especially with data manipulation functions. Having a good understanding of the gaps will help; a reference table mapping the functions between the platforms would be useful. In scenarios where a function cannot be converted to the target platform, a comment can be written into a log file enabling quicker attention.
Have seen good success in writing such automated migration components though not 100%. With almost every products providing good SDK kits for reading and as well writing metadata and as well with the support for XML structures, writing such bridges for object migration are getting easier.
Whether the objects in a product are migrated/upgraded in an automated way or not, the following activity of ‘Validation’ plays a key role in ensuring the final quality, next time let us discuss on some of the means for effective validation ….