An Overview Of The Migrate API In Drupal 8

Content Migration is the process of moving information stored from one content management system (CMS), Digital asset management (DAM), Document management system (DMS), or flat HTML based system to a new system. While it is not a very complicated task, migration process has to effectively take care that all content is fully moved and retains the original essence and information. There are many ways to extract the content stored in a CMS. Different CMS vendors offer different choices including Application Programming Interface (API), Web services, rebuilding a record by writing SQL queries, XML exports, or through the web interface. The API is one of the most preferred and standard solutions for content migration.

The API requires a skilled developer with the know-how to interact with the source CMS’s API layer then develop an application that extracts the content and stores it in a database, XML file, or Excel. Once this content has been sourced, the developer will need to create an application to transfer this to the new CMS. As far as CMS go, Drupal is one of the most popular open source CMS used widely across the world. Whether you are migrating from your old CMS to Drupal or upgrading from older versions to Drupal 8, you might need the help of professional Drupal CMS development services to ensure a smooth transition.

API Migration - Drupal

Migration API is the best and most efficient way to import data into Drupal. One of the most popular tools in the developer toolkit, Migrate API is now a part of Drupal core. A few reasons why you should opt for it:

  • Migrate will be supported and maintained for as long as Drupal 8 exists because it allows an upgrade from older Drupal versions
  • You can use Migrate to build regular, repeatable migrations in Drupal 8 that can pull in data from a range of sources
  • It is sponsored by Acquia and supported by Mike Ryan, a Drupal veteran
  • The module provides a flexible framework for migrating content into Drupal from other sources (e.g., when converting a website from another CMS to Drupal)
  • It also provides out of the box support for all important Drupal objects such as nodes, users, taxonomy terms, files, entities and comments
  • Content is imported and rolled back using a bundled web interface (Migrate UI module) or integrated Drush commands
  • Migrate also preserves a mapping-table, provides rollback functionality and even supports a high-water field that allows to import only new or changed datasets
  • Migrate is well documented and there is an example module

Before you migrate

Since Migrate module in Drupal core is only an API and doesn’t have an interface some developers might find it a little difficult. You will need some of the following extension modules and resources to leverage the full potential of Migrate.

  1. Migrate Plus 
  • Extends the core migration framework with additional functionality
  • Delivers a well-documented example module
  1. Migrate Tools 
  • Lists Drush commands for running and managing migrations in Drupal 8
  • Provides tools for running and managing Drupal 8 migration
  1. Migration Source Plugins

In summary

The Drupal community and drupal.org has wide resources for learning and resolving issues. As such, migration using the Migrate module is pretty straightforward and it is only a matter of time before you can go live with your new site. Do you have any tips or advice for using Migration APIs and modules? Please share with us in the comments below.

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