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This is a summary of the Magnolia Conference 2014 unconference session on Migration from 4.5 to 5.

Hosts: Magnolia InternationalChristoph Meier


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Migrating to Magnolia 5

What changed in 5.x?

Before you migrate to 5.x:

Principles of migration

  • Each module is responsible for migrating its own data and its own configuration.
  • Magnolia migrates its own modules. This means you only need to migrate your own modules.
  • We provide tasks that you need to put in your version handler. We provide a task to migrate dialogs. Another task for replacing DMS with DAM, and so on. See 10. Migrate from 4.5 to 5.

90% of the work is to migrate your customizations. Magnolia doesn't know what you have changed so you need to handle it yourself. You may need to write your own migration tasks. For example, you have created in 4.5 a custom control: a combobox that provides autosuggest. This is not an out-of-the-box Magnolia control so you need to migrate it yourself. Create the same control as a Vaadin control in Magnolia 5.

Q & A

Q: Are the 4.5 APIs deprecated or gone? Can I still use them?
A: Depends on the API. With some APIs you have no choice, e.g. the old UI and control APIs don't exist in 5. However, the content API still exists so you can postpone that task if the workload seems too much.

Q: I have some data in the data workspace. Can I keep it?
A: Yes, especially if you have lots of data there. The data workspace was used to keep your custom data types. It is not removed in 5.  

Q: Can I get help?
A: Yes. We provide migration assistance as a service. We do an audit on your live instance to find out what customizations you have done. Once the audit is done, a Magnolia team member will walk you through the migration process. 

Q: When should I skip migration and start from scratch instead?
A: In general, starting from scratch is more expensive that migrating. If the predicted end result of migrating a custom data type to a custom workspace, for example, is acceptable, then migration is the right way to go.



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  1. Nils Breunese told about a groovy script he created that'll analyze your website and provide some kind of statistics (e.g which templates is used how often). Could be very beneficial to have a better guess about the migration effort to expect.