Planning and executing a data migration project can seem overwhelming. Moving data from one system to another sounds simple, in theory, but the devil’s in the details and a project’s success depends on many factors.

With a legacy spanning more than 18 years since our establishment in 2005, xLM has worked on more than 100 data migration projects for companies of all sizes. We’re also proud to be a trusted partner of Dassault Systemes, Aras and OpenBOM, and have ample experience working with 3DEXPERIENCE, SOLIDWORKS, ENOVIA SmarTeam, AutoDeck Vault and other solutions.

Most recently, we helped a Tier 1 aerospace and defense supplier migrate more than 1 million documents and CAD files. Throughout these projects, we’ve developed a set of proven methodologies that I recently had the pleasure of discussing during our “Best Practices in PLM Data Migration” webinar. In this post, I’ll share 8 takeaways to help you transition data from legacy systems to modern product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions.


Unlocking Success: 8 Key Takeaways for Optimizing PLM Data Migration

  1. Comprehensive Analysis:

    Before embarking on a PLM data migration project, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough analysis of the existing data. This includes understanding the types of data involved, whether they are files, data structures, or hard copies. Additionally, assessing relationships, metadata, and any missing or corrupted data is essential for planning the migration effectively.

  2. Data Mapping and Rules:

    Mapping data from the legacy system to the new PLM system requires careful consideration of various factors such as properties, states, revisions, types/classes, and links between different types of data. Establishing mapping rules ensures a smooth transition and maintains data integrity in the new system.

  3. Data Cleanup:

    Data cleanup is often necessary as there are typically discrepancies or inconsistencies in the existing data. This involves identifying and resolving issues like duplicate files, incorrect attributes, missing associations, nonconforming revisions, and missing mandatory attributes.   

  4. Understanding System Behavior:

    Recognizing that legacy and target PLM systems may behave differently is essential. Understanding how the new system operates, including file access, search capabilities, permissions, and workflow states, helps in planning the migration process effectively.

  5. Process Improvement Opportunity:

    A PLM data migration project offers an excellent opportunity to review and improve existing business processes. Updating user experiences and workflows in alignment with future goals ensures the new system optimally addresses current challenges and requirements.

  6. Data Extraction and Import:

    The migration process typically involves two main phases: data extraction from the legacy system and import into the new system. Familiarity with the legacy system and efficient extraction methods, whether from databases or files, is crucial for successful data migration.

  7. Versatility in Migration:

    Recognizing the diversity of PLM systems, expertise in migrating data to and from various platforms is essential. Whether it’s ENOVIA SmartTeam, 3DEXPERIENCE, Autodesk Vault, or others, having experience with different systems ensures flexibility and competence in migration projects.

  8. Testing the Migration:

    It is critical to test the migration process. Plan for 2-3 cycles to resolve any potential issues. Customers should never be in a scenario where they migrated data and went live in the PLM system, but cannot use the migrated data due to issues with the migration. Having a test plan to cover the various test and user scenarios is key.


Team of professionals successfully completing a data migration project with support from PLM consultant xLM Solutions

xLM, Your Partner in PLM Data Migration Success


In conclusion, navigating the complexities of PLM data migration requires expertise, precision, and a strategic approach. At xLM Solutions, we specialize in providing comprehensive support throughout the entire PLM journey. From initial consultations and discovery workshops to full-scale implementation, integration, and customization, our team is dedicated to ensuring seamless transitions that maximize ROI.

We also offer several custom tools to help streamline the data migration process, including:

If you’re embarking on a PLM data migration journey or seeking support for any aspect of PLM implementation, don’t hesitate to contact xLM Solutions. Our experienced team is here to guide you every step of the way, delivering excellence and efficiency in every project.

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