Migration To Drupal 8: Main Aspects

Hi there!

Recently we have got a couple of requests for Drupal migration. One of our clients applied module Migrate for his multilingual website and it appeared that translations were created as new nodes, not connected to the original text. We started to investigate his approach and we found out that migration requires special approach in case if your Drupal website has a lot of custom code applied.

This D7 to D8 migration issue was discussed on Drupal Con in New Orlean, as well as on  DrupalCamp in Kiev this year. Our Drupal team took some time for more detailed research. Here I would like to share our thoughts with you.

As it’s well-known, Drupal website usually consists of the core and some modules installed on top of the core, and the most simple combination covers Views, Panels, Pathauto.  In case if there is no custom specific widgets or some field formatters, when there is no multilingual support or any other custom development applied, Migration module must be a fit for your needs. Please feel free to check the link on how to use it by Drupal.org - here.

But most our clients have their specific requirements applied via custom coding. It means that almost all projects in real life are actively using a large set of custom elements (specific widgets, field formatters etc.). The strength of Drupal 7 comes from its custom structure with entities interconnected via relations between them. And due to the custom portion, the entire migration would require us to apply different approach.

Based on the search results we would offer you to use the following steps for migration to Drupal 8:

  1. Data structure analysis.
  2. Export structure:
    - Taxonomy;
    - Content Types;
    - Menu;
    - Blocks;
    - Views.
  3. Download the exported structure to Drupal 8.
    Here need to pay attention to custom elements.
  4. Import structure.   
  5. Should add manually the custom elements.
  6. Migrate content.

For content migration we would suggest  Feeds module as a good option for data mapping and parsing data and better extensibility.

So we made the following conclusion after this research. Migration module does not allow to migrate project 1 to 1 due to individual approach needed to be applied for every single project. First, we should do the project analysis and decide the plan for future actions. In most cases it would require manual migration of custom elements.

I hope that this information was helpful to you and now you know more about migration from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8.

Stay in touch!