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Drupal Migration Case Study


In 2013, Adobe announced that it would discontinue the Adobe Publish CMS product. This affected two of Web Master Designs clients the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) and The Phillips Collection. We immediately started looking for alternative CMS products that would provide similar functionality at a reasonable price. Although each client had different requirements, technical capabilities, and financial resources, after an extensive review of various products, they both decided to use Drupal.


Each client sought to complete a straight migration, with limited functional or graphical changes. (Since its current CMS product was being discontinued, this wasn't part of a site redesign project, so the scope was limited to just migrating its current website to a new CMS backend.)

At the time of the migrations, Web Master Designs did not have much experience with Drupal, so each client contracted with an experienced firm to assist with the migration. Web Master Designs provided project management support and assisted with both migration projects. We also learned Drupal in time for knowledge transfer, then took on support, maintenance, and further site enhancements after the initial migration project was completed. We also played a key role in data migration from Adobe Publish and the integration of third-party feeds for both projects.


Working in conjunction with Acquia and Appnovation on the BART project, the BART website was migrated from Adobe Publish ASP.NET website into Drupal 7 during the fall of 2013. This included thousands of content pages, an integration with the BART API for trip planning, schedule, and real-time information; Google Maps for directions, Points of Interest, and other wayfinding; and migration from Adobe Search to Apache SOLR. The project also entailed migration from Rackspace Windows servers to Acquia Linux servers hosted in AWS.

The Phillips Collection (TPC) migration was completed in coordination with NavigationArts (since bought by EPAM), a D.C.-based design firm. Like the BART migration, The Phillips Collection project included migration from Windows-based servers at Rackspace onto Linux servers (hosted by Blackmesh, now Contegix). This project also involved migrating TPC's Adobe Search & Promote solution for search and a custom "Browse the Collection" solution which involves a nightly export of data from its collection database into a MySQL database used by the website. The migration was completed in early 2014, before Adobe Publish was discontinued.

For both projects Web Master Designs provided training to key client personnel (train the trainers), launch support, and continued maintenance ever since.


Both projects were successful, completed on time and within budget. The clients were very happy with the new Drupal sites, and both have since implemented additional Drupal websites.


"Web Master Designs is the perfect partner. They bring professionalism, attention to detail, and vast technical knowledge to every challenge. Working with them is a collaborative, flexible process that delivers impressive results. Web Master Designs plays a critical role in BART’s award winning web services."

- Timothy Moore, Web Services Manager, Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART)


Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) connects the San Francisco peninsula with Oakland, Berkeley, Fremont, Walnut Creek, Dublin/Pleasanton, and other cities in the East Bay. For more than 35 years BART has provided fast, reliable transportation to downtown offices, shopping centers, tourist attractions, entertainment venues, universities, and other destinations for Bay Area residents and visitors alike.

The Phillips Collection opened to the public in 1921 and is America's first museum of modern art. It is a private institution that is not a part of the federal government. It relies for support on admission and program fees, endowment income, and generous assistance from individual donors, corporations, foundations, and others.