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Thank you Ryan Ashbrook #2


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It seems that someone has already beaten me to the "Thank you Ryan Ashbrook" topic, so this will just have to be #2. :)

Early in 2014, I decided our forum software was not up to scratch, and started looking for an alternative. It wasn't an easy decision, because I'd spent a lot of money building a custom solution in Drupal only the year before. Unfortunately, it simply wasn't adequate, and I knew I could easily spend a similar amount again upgrading it, and it would still never be at the level of a pre-built package like IPB. So I approached IPB and asked them if they could migrate our data across, and @Ryan Ashbrook was assigned to make the conversion.

As migrations go, I doubt they come much more complicated than this.

Our forum has been running for 10 years. For the first 8 years, we ran on phpBB. Then we moved over to our custom Drupal solution. Unfortunately, that conversion introduced some errors in the data. Things were missing or not formatted correctly - so this migration to IPB seemed like the opportunity to re-import them from the original phpBB database. But that didn't make Ryan's job easy.

It meant we were not only migrating data from two different platforms - phpBB AND Drupal - and the latter was largely custom-built, so there was no existing converter application. We then needed to combine the two databases, and merge the data without creating duplicates. And of course many topics were started in phpBB, then continued under Drupal... I think you get the picture!


We knew that this wouldn't be an easy job, but I don't think either Ryan or I had any idea just how hideously complicated this process would be. The months ticked over, and Ryan persevered. Finally, he cracked it, and we went live in December - with a near-perfect data conversion.

Ryan, on behalf of my users who'll never know the pain we went through to ensure the survival of their data... thank you very, very much. Your technical skill is only matched by your endurance!


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