Whether you are just moving to Drupal or upgrading to a new version of Drupal, if you are starting with an existing website, you are facing the same problem: Your migration timeline.
Drupal.org provides a number of pre-packaged distributions (e.g., Drupal Commons, DKAN, etc.) that allow users get a fully-featured Drupal installation up and running in no time, but maintaining an installed distribution can be tricky. You may need to juggle distribution updates with contrib module updates, core updates, and your own customizations. If you aren't careful, it can be come a maintenance nightmare!
When it comes to building Drupal sites with a team of developers, there's perhaps nothing more important than establishing a productive workflow.
The Migrate module provides services for migrating data from various sources (other CMS frameworks, external web services, or other Drupal installations) into the local Drupal environment. It has been used to migrate sites such as The Economist, Examiner.com, Stanford Law School, and PayPal and eBay's developer forums (x.com) to Drupal.
Migrate 2.6 is now in beta. Today I will cover some of the most significant changes at the framework level, for those who have been developing their data migrations using Migrate 2.5 and earlier. There have also been significant UI changes, and the introduction of a framework for implementing wizard-style UIs for defining migrations, which will be covered in future posts.