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Accurate Data Migration Estimates for Domino Applications

A common afterthought for Domino app migration planning is to determine the level of effort to transition the historic data to the new target repository. This should in no way be taken lightly or treated as a simple process step. Domino applications are NOT relational databases. They have instead more in common with NoSQL database systems. Migration projects that attempt to move Notes documents to simple records in a true RDBMS solution will encounter severe issues caused by the RDBMS’ more intrinsic data integrity rules and storage constraints. Most migration projects totally underestimate the amount of effort needed to successfully transition the schema-less Domino content with full data integrity. Special Notes features like field-level Encryption or Reader Fields cause additional complications. Data in the target system might be scrambled or previously protected data may now be readable by unauthorized end users.

Business Challenge

If you are moving your existing furniture and household items to a new location, there are obvious considerations made depending on the content types and quantity involved. Moving a box of clothes is very different than moving a piano. This may be oversimplifying the message but migrating your Domino data to a new repository requires the same considerations. Moving data records (with different field types such as Dates, Names, Text, etc.) is very different than moving multiple file attachments stored within different records.

Accurately estimating the level of effort to migrate historic data from a Domino application requires in-depth analysis on the .NSF repository. You will need to understand these key items to assess the complexity and map the data items to the correct target repository:

  • Number and Type of File Attachments (plus their file size)
  • Number of Records to Migrate (including their size and creation date for a possible cutoff to exclude older information from the migration)
  • Type of Data Fields to Migrate (dates, text, Rich Text, names, etc.)
  • Security Considerations (encrypted records, Reader Names fields, etc.)
  • Possible Form-Based Letters (official records that should be converted to PDF prior to migration)

iDNA solves this challenge and makes Domino data analysis relatively easy. After scanning all application content and collecting the details within the datastore, the system aggregates the information and provides the analytics using insightful reports. As seen in the separate screenshots below, iDNA will provide a complete overview of the number of all file attachment types and their sizes for an accurate data migration estimate.

With this information the migration planning team can analyze the data stored within each Domino application and understand the complexity, plus the level of effort, involved in the transition of the historic data to a new repository. This provides a much more accurate cost estimate for the level of effort required to fully migrate the Domino application.

Business Value Outcomes

The main benefit for analyzing the content within Domino applications is to provide a more accurate scope of the migration estimate. Most, if not all, migration projects involve moving a large portion of the historic data to the new environment. One of the biggest mistakes that migration rookies make is to forget about all the attachments stored within Rich Text fields. They just count the number of records in the Domino application and don’t bother about the thousands of PDF files, JPEG’s, or Excel Docs that require a separate migration effort to move them into the appropriate target storage format or document management system.

To make accurate, well-informed migration estimates for your Domino application environment it is important to get all the details. Don’t forget about the data! Combining the knowledge about the Domino application design with the details about the content stored within the application will provide you with a complete understanding of what is involved for the successful transition to a new platform.

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understanding-domino-application-dataGrouping Applications by Matching Design Elements