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migrationmigrategoldminedynamicsData Servicesdatacustom migration services 15 Apr 2010 11:24 am
Mining for gold... or Migrating from Goldmine to Dynamics by voconnor

Last week, one of our customers asked us to migrate their Goldmine data to MS Dynamics. While implementing this solution, we were reminded of some of the best practices we've come to count on when designing and implementing a custom data migration.

We're going to share those lessons with you in just a minute, but first, let's summarize the details about this custom migration.

During the Goldmine-to-Dynamics migration we completed last week, we:

  • created approximately 7,000 Contacts and Notes
  • created approximately 5,000 Accounts from the Contact data
  • mapped approximately 50 fields with about 8 transformations and lookups

We built and executed XAware components to parse and load the data received from the customer (over 60,000 records!) into a staging database. From there, we outlined the mappings, identified options for the client, and highlighted potential issues. Once the client approved the mappings, we updated the components, applied data rules and transformations, and hit 'Go'.

Some of the lessons we learned that may help you design your migration solutions, include:

  1. Get the data in the right format from the start. In this project, the client originally provided .dbf files for analysis, but later provided .xls files with different column orders which caused some re-work on our end. Luckily, XAware can work with flat-files, databases, and all manner of data sources, so it was a minor bump in the road.
  2. Get the cleanest data possible from the start. Once we started reviewing the data, we found duplicate contacts, parsed fields, misspellings, and non standard characters. These types of problems are common in legacy data held in silos across the globe. The client performed some data cleansing on their end and exported the data with the supported character sets and there was no problem loading the correct characters along the .csv staging database XML in XAware MS Dynamics migration path.
  3. Get the client to review and approve mappings. When reviewing the initial mappings, lookups, and entity relationships with the client, the client identified some additional changes they hadn't thought about before hand. We also implemented a test load of a partial data set for the client to confirm that the execution would meet their requirements.

The really awesome result was that our client's employees now have easy cloud-based access to their previously hard-to-reach data and we learned a few reminder lessons that we can share with those of you who are also trying to implement data migration solutions for your clients.

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