Conversion, Migration & Integration
Working with database management experts is a key for proper database conversion, migration, and integration.
You may see the terms data migration and data conversion used interchangeably to refer to the same broad concept. However, it is technically incorrect, as they mean two different things. Let’s begin by clarifying the differences to avoid confusion.
While data conversion refers to transforming data from one format to another, data migration actually means to transfer and integrate data between two systems.
Data conversion refers to the extracting of data from a source, then going ahead to transform such data to be compatible with other formats, akin to translation of text from one language to another. Following a set of requirements, this transformed data could then be loaded to a target system.
Data migration goes a step further by analyzing the generated data, cleansing the errors, and removing unwanted data, and it usually includes some quality assurance method.
One reason to understand the discrepancy between migration and conversion is that although a number of organizations or agencies carry out the process of migration and conversion in one project, situations may arise in which the company merely converts the data without actually migrating it.
As organizations grow, the complexity of data processing required for strategic and successful management of their data increases. While growth is most often a goal, it can also become a jinx of some sort — a cause for anxiety if staff isn’t experienced in this area and confusion about what process and/or software will best serve the purpose.
4 Reasons Why Database Experts are a Must for Conversion, Migration, and Integration
Data migration and integration can be potentially risky. Many problems could arise as a result of improper handling, so working with expert developers for conversions, migrations, and integrations is a must.
If the team involved in the migration fails to make adequate plans with respect to the migration, the results could be disastrous. This planning would include a close estimate of how long it would take to carry out this migration to avoid or at least reduce downtime as well as personnel time.
It is also important to identify the resources needed in the target environment and ensure that these resources are available when needed.
Data could be lost or corrupted in the process of transferring from one system to the other.
Depending on which data and how much data is lost, the effects could be negligible. Plus, it may also be possible to recover most of these data from the backup systems.
However, some losses may be quite consequential. It may be that the loss of specific data affects the overall migration process, sometimes even without the knowledge of the IT personnel. It could take quite some time, perhaps when a part of the system fails because of missing data, before those involved even notice. To avoid this, ensure that all core data are safely backed up before migration — no need to take chances.
Preferably, parallel environments are set up to ensure that mission-related data remains available during the migration process and in the event of data loss.
Remember the hassle that comes with trying to fit square pegs into round holes? The same can be said about attempting certain migration processes.
In theory, one would imagine that it could be a seamless copy and paste process, but that rarely is the case. Even if you “succeed” in doing this, it may not be long before you begin to struggle with processing and optimization issues if certain functions are not in place.
Some files may become inaccessible as a result of changes in operating systems. Even worse, your entire system may crash after migration.
To avoid this, ensure you have properly assessed the operational requirements of the current system and determine the adaptability requirements before migration. Also, closely monitor the entire process and observe new development.
Issues could arise as a result of poor data conversion processes. Failure to consider the alignment of operating systems could cause program exceptions. Your data could become corrupted, and you could experience unwanted downtime in your operations.
It's important to consider how the file was created before deciding on the right conversion method to implement. Basic housekeeping rules such as these could significantly improve the quality of conversion. Data quality is also an important factor to consider during the migration process.
It's equally important to test the system configuration and data mapping by importing the data into a test environment. After confirming that they meet specific criteria, they could then be exported to the new application after applying the normalization script. Of course, it is important to capture all the latest updates in the legacy system.
Have you considered if your destination environment is capable of handling the amount of data and apps that are being migrated?
Although it may seem wise to estimate just the exact capacity needed for the migration so as to avoid waste, it may be an inefficient process. You may discover that hardware deployments utilize resources differently and may require more capacity than the legacy solution.
If you'll be working with new hardware, ensure that the operational requirements of the data and applications being migrated are met.
Ensuring Proper Data Conversion
In order to avoid conversion-related problems, it’s important to endeavor to validate your methods.
It’s not enough to map out a number of assumptions; it’s important to test your entire migration by using volume data from the real world, not just textbook theories.
Real data could be used to test a broader range of possibilities and know what sort of worst-case scenarios could occur. These are some benefits that you wouldn’t get from less comprehensive samples of data. If you skip this step, by the time you discover problems, it may be too late to fix them without suffering the requirement of reworking the migration.
The importance of testing during and upon completion of the data migration process cannot be overemphasized. Testing each function as you go along and then testing each group of functions as they are connected will keep identifying errors and making corrections much simpler than waiting until a complex process has been assembled and fails to function properly.
Going back through days and even weeks of work can be burdensome, error-prone, time-consuming and overwhelming!
Collaborating with Phoenix Consultants Group for Data Integration Requirements
It’s important to find a means to synchronize all the data solutions used by your organization to ensure that they work in harmony. For starters, updates on one system should reflect across other products within the organization automatically.
To make this work effective, consider how frequently you have to update information, what the master data location would be, and the granularity of the relevant information. This helps your organization choose the right fit and enjoy more benefits from the new solution.
The process of migration, conversion, or integration is a serious one and should not be treated lightly. Although your in-house personnel may know a lot about the data, they may not know best techniques about a migration process. If they do not have much experience in this area, it may be wise to collaborate with data migration, conversion, and integration specialists during the migration project.
Most, if not all, of your data migration problems can be overcome by partnering with PCG for your IT solutions. PCG works closely with clients to ensure that migration, conversion, and integration are seamless and that your important data is protected and accurate.
PCG can implement real-time integration, assuming the organization has an API (application programming interface) in place. If an API is not available, the latest changes could be extracted and processed from the source database using a custom script. Additionally, Phoenix Consultants Group may be able to write an API to accommodate the data extraction and translation.
PCG consists of professionals with decades of hands-on experience in data migration, conversion, and integration for organizations of all sizes – from small family businesses and grassroot non-profit organizations to Fortune 500 corporations. They also provide consultation services to help your in-house IT team overcome challenges and achieve the best desired results.
Reach out to PCG for help with your IT service needs. Phoenix ensures that our clients have a competitive advantage by relying on the latest technologies, years of experience, and a few jealously guarded secrets.