Archive for category migration
On February 13th, we ‘closed’ the original Dgroups installation hosted in Canada – switching to the new platform. By February 20th, all the data was fully migrated to Switzerland.
How many made the migration?
Our colleagues at WA research report: “As of today we have 122,187 users registered in 2,227 ‘active’ and 440 ‘archived’ Dgroups (however, some 17,707 of these do not seem to belong to any of the migrated groups, and we know that some email accounts are no longer active).
Every day we receive between 1,800 and 3,200 messages for dgroups.org, and send out between 50 and 90,000 to members.
So, despite a large cleanup of Dgroups late in 2008, the total graphs continue their generaly upward trend – this may change however after we further review and remove inactive email accounts.
Here at Euforic, we have had a chance to participate in the ‘beta’ testing of the new Dgroups platform.
As a heavy and long-time Dgroups user, Dgroups creator, and overall Dgroups coordinator, I have many interests in the new platform.
I was immediately very reassured by the reliable email system in the new ‘D2’ … in the past months, not being sure that messages would pass through ‘D1’was a continual worry, and a source of many many frustrated email messages from around the world. Good job D2!
One change I have noticed is that I seem to use the web much more to manage my D2 groups that I did on D1. Since email is at the heart of Dgroups, I hope this is not something permanent.
Logging on to D2 today, I was immediately struck by the many new arrivals on the new platform. The big migration of groups has begun. It feels a little bit like what it must have felt to be on Ellis Island in New York all those years ago! I look forward to meet up again with groups from the old platform, connecting and re-connecting.
One of my major concerns is to ensure that the new platform helps and encourages us migrant groups to meet up again, and not be lost forever in closed ‘communities.’ The current web interface certainly gives me a full screen of information, we need to ensure that basic information on all groups is open and that we do not encourage people to close themselves off. They can go to Google for that!
So far so good …
The final phase of the migration to the new Dgroups platform (Dgroups 2) from the old platform (Dgroups 1) has begun this week. This post summarises progress and plans.
No new Groups on Dgroups 1
The people who create Dgroups (known helpfully as creators) have been asked not to create any more on the old platform, Dgroups 1. It will also be helpful if activity can be reduced during the next two weeks, although we completely recognise that may not be possible for business reasons. If this causes any difficulties please get back to us in the migration team (by commenting on this blog).
- The testing phase of the new platform is finished. Thanks very much to those of you who participated in that testing phase. The comments you made have been recorded.
- The new software platform is stable. Email is being delivered and group management functions are available on the web interface. Basic administration functions through email are in the final stages of completion
- All active groups will be migrated next week (the week beginning 2nd February). ‘Closed’ groups will be migrated later, as read-only.
- As you would expect, there are differences in the way that the new system operates from Dgroups 1. We are working on simple support documentation which will be available by the end of this week.
- The new supplier, WA Research, is still working on the some areas of functionality, notably the web interface, and there are some changes already in the pipeline. However, the absolute priority is the migration and it will be important to allow both the teams and users to get used to the new environment and review it as a whole before there are major changes.
Technical Support: Users Talk to Your Administrator, and Administrators Talk to Your Dgroups Creator
The first line of support for Dgroups users is the Dgroup’s administrator, while administrators can call on their Dgroups creator for support. This pattern will continue in Dgroups and it is a great way to spread knowledge about how to use the new system effectively.
Patience please !
It is now about four months since DGroups Partner organisations started to prepare their groups for migration to the new platform, and a lot of “house keeping” has been done since then. Thanks to your hard work, most organisations and most groups are now ready. Overall, 67% of all groups on the original DGroups server have been confirmed. It is likely that many of the remainder are inactive. Is your group ready to migrate?
If the person responsible for coordinating DGroups at the Partner organisation which supports your group has not yet contacted you then please ensure that they know you are ready. To find up to date contact details click on “Contacts” above.
On Tuesday 16th December Dgroups Executive Committee accepted our recomendation that the new platform is sufficiently developed for us to begin the migration process. We will be publishing more details this week and next on how the migration will take place. In the meantime, the work of tidying up group ownership is almost complete. The final step before we begin migration is some preparatory technical work with Igloo which we hope to complete by early next week.
(Note: this copy of an Escher print can be found all over the Internet but if there is an objection on copyright grounds to my posting it I will remove it)
A quick end of the week post to record progress on a significant milestone, in two ways.
- The first group from Dgroups 1 was migrated across to the new platform at the end of last week. Hapee de Groot of Hivos, for it is a group that he manages, has been testing it with his colleagues. While there are some issues to be looked at, as you would expect, the important thing is that all the elements of the group came across as planned: discussions, documents, members and their profiles- including passwords – were there when the group was opened. Great work, WA Research, and a necessary step in preparing for migration.
- Saskia Harmsen of IICD had the bright idea of using a training workshop she was running in Burkina Faso as a place to both test and introduce Dgroups 2 in French. The result is at the top of this page. WA responded quickly, both to open the group and then – overnight ! – to amend and improve the French translations, following feedback. Saskia reported that, “the workshop participants and first users of the itrainers-fr group were really enthusiastic about the new platform”. A big thanks to Saskia and the training workshop participants for their very valuable feedback!
We have begun the process of planning migration in more detail, and will be reporting on that early next week.
(NOTE:the Spanish and Portuguese translations are being worked on at the moment. )
Here again is the dgroups interface, larger this time, because at least one reader found the previous screen dump too small. As you can see a number of people have continued to test the platform and make comments on features as they are added. As you would expect, people’s reactions are mixed. There are features which are seen as an improvement on dgroups 1 while others are generating questions. All the comments have been logged – using the system itself – and will be reviewed. Thanks again to all those who are putting in their time and patiently learning how things work.
Today, however, we reached a significant milestone. WA Research has completed the major part of the development they planned to meet the criteria set out in the contract. This means two things:
- The core migration team has started more systematic testing of the platform, confirming what works and identifying issues to be looked at. We’ll keep you posted on progress.
- We need to plan for an increase in the numbers of people – and groups – who are exploring and testing the new system. These preparations need to start with the people who create groups – called coordinators in dgroups 2. We will be arranging briefing and discussion meetings with those people (called creators in dgroups 1) next week.
Feels a bit like Christmas, really: starting to wonder what’s going to be delivered.