Is it Useful to Validate a Migration Tool?

Oct 24, 2016 | by Markus Schneider

Blogpost | Header | Is it Useful to Validate a Migration Tool?

When introducing new systems or adding new areas to a new system usually data migrations are needed to integrate the data from the old system or other areas into the new system. During such data migrations often a migration tool is used to get the data from the source into the target system. This migration tool transforms the data to be compliant with the new system and imports the data into the system.

In such a scenario generally these questions come up: How to validate the data migration? Do we need to validate the tool itself? Do we need to validate all details of all rules and functionalities that are available in the tool and could be used in theory?

The answer is NO. The reason is the used migration tool is only one part of a migration process. First the data is scanned, then transformed and then imported. Mapping definitions and background processes in the target system are not influenced by the migration tool, but will affect the data quality and have to be validated too.

Source data is never the same but always contains individual information and structures. This unique source data needs to be converted to the individual needs of the target system. This process of transforming is unique to the project and its data. There is no Out of the Box transformation, but the conditions, configurations and rules are set up and adapted to the specific needs of the project. That is the reason why an “Out of the Box” validation is not possible. But validation strategies need to be setup for the individual situation of the project and client.

The best practice approach for validated migration projects is to use a black box test strategy. In this strategy it is most important that the result from source to target is according to the specified rules. The implementation details within the black box are not relevant, but relevant is the result that the data is correct in the target system as expected.

migration-center validation package for simplified verification processes

To support our clients in the validation process of migration projects, we offer the migration-center validation package. The fme migration-center validation package is a new and exclusive approach based on best practices that simplifies the verification process and therefore reduces the time the business is involved in migration projects. This approach will fit into the majority of validation processes but can be adapted to other already existing processes.

fme AG has several years of experience in migration projects in validated environments. In all these projects the business was heavily involved and spent a lot of time in finalizing the mapping sheets and rules and even more in running the migration verification. In general, the time available for migration projects is very limited. The fme migration-center validation package contains two basic components. One component is a collection of needed document templates. The other component is a consulting service to adapt the templates to the individual client validation needs.

It’s client’s choice who takes over the creation/adaptation of these documents and delivers the required migration information. If the client wants fme AG to do this, it significantly reduces costs and time, as the creation of several of these documents normally falls under the responsibility of the business. The expertise of fme migration experts is unique and covers all related aspects.

A migration plan defines the number of documents to be tested but not which documents have to be tested. With the detailed knowledge about migration, fme AG can help build representative sample sets of documents for the tests. This specific knowledge will help Life Science companies to reduce business test efforts without reducing quality.

The verification of a migration can take a lot of time if hundreds or even thousands of documents have to be tested. The use of Property Test Sheets reduces the time the business is involved in testing. The testers only need to compare source and target metadata on the sheets instead of comparing the metadata directly in both environments.

The fme migration-center validation package can be ordered separately or as an integrative part of fme’s Migration Factory solution.