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In our company we have to dismiss a software and introduce a new one. I have received the task to follow and take care of the whole data migration.
We use 3 different data sources (each containing different kind of information), whose records have to be merged into a unique target DB. Since the new DB has a different schema also some mapping steps are required to coincile data from the two environments.

Technically it is everything clear, but I have to describe in a "proof of concept" the migration process. About data migration is there a general pattern that could be used to describe it?

I will describe the involved systems, which data will be moved, the mapping tables used and the planned tests to ensure data quality. However can anyone suggest a different approach? Maybe in this way I can realize that I am missing something in my documentation.

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    Take a look at BizTalk and its toolset. I wouldn't necessarily suggest it as a piece of software to perform the migration (too expensive for a 1-off use) but the schema mapping etc. might prove useful. – Steven Evers Oct 14 '11 at 11:16
  • Thanks SnOrfus I will have a look at it, surely will help. However I am more interested at the documentation part, something like UML Use Cases and Class Diagram are almost a "must" for the description of the code. I was wondering whether there is something similar also for what concers data migration that is crucial to be included in its documentation. – Francesco Oct 14 '11 at 11:41
  • Well, IIRC, you can export the schema mapper and orchestration to xps or you can screenshot them at the very least. – Steven Evers Oct 14 '11 at 14:39
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Data migration as you describe it is similar to the Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) process; which is mostly used to load operational data into data warehouses, but can be generalized to tackle any data migrations. A number of strategies related to ETL can be found here.

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  • Yes, indeed in the specific case it will be more like an ETL process. I was interested on the "documentation" perspective, if possible in a general way. However +1 for the links! – Francesco Oct 24 '11 at 10:07

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