Your needs evolve, technology changes, vendors get acquired...something eventually inspires a change of content management platforms. And when it does, you quickly find yourself staring down the business end of a content migration.

Nobody likes this. And depending on your situation, you will face any number of different challenges...and you'll need to find good ways of dealing with them.

Current migration approaches include manual cut and paste, custom coding, utilizing generic CMS APIs and reverse engineering the content database. All these methods have inherent problems and tend to be time consuming and error prone.

Has Automation Arrived?

Kapow Technologies have bent our ear, claiming that they've got the greatest thing since sliced bread for content migrations. They assert that their tools take a smarter approach, leveraging the web presentation layer of your website. With their point and click application you can create robots that crawl your website and retrieve the content -- both visible and invisible (metadata) -- and then load it directly into the content item fields of your new CMS.

They say their system works for all types of structured and unstructured content, including content such as email, calendars and blog posts.

The New Inventory, Extract, Map and Migrate Process

We admit that during our demos, the tools look impressive. But extensive testing we've not yet done. So before you drink the Kapow Tech Kool-Aid (and fork over the cash) make sure you dig into the details and run real tests. Their Definitive Guide To Automating Content Migration is a start.