Migrating to Exchange

Designing a Source Extractor

You need to consider a variety of issues when you design and build a source extractor. This section details some of the issues that you need to think about before you start.

General Design Issues

You should consider the following issues when designing your source extractor:

Decide who should implement extraction.  Does a user-driven source extractor make sense?

Address security issues.  Is administrator or user authentication required to copy data from the source system?

Safeguard your existing system.  If possible, copy (rather than move) the data from your existing system, so that you have a backup copy of the data. Will the existing system continue to be used? If so, you'll need to be careful about modifying addresses.

Organize your migration for speed.  You should be able to carry out significant portions of migration overnight. If your existing system has account information in the directory, select accounts to migrate by department or location.

Organize your migration files for naming changes.  You need to edit the .pri files if you are changing the directory name. It is best to put all the directory entries into one primary file (for example, Directory.pri).

Change mailbox names in files before migration.  You cannot change the common name of a mailbox after you create it. If you have a new naming convention, modify every primary file that contains mailbox creation information, or modify the source extractor to select the new directory names from a file.

Make your extractor easy to localize.  If you have international users, the source extractor should be easy to localize and should include appropriate code pages.

Choosing Information to Extract

When planning your migration, consider which data to extract. For example, you may or may not want to extract schedule and calendar features or personal distribution lists. You may want to limit the extraction to certain ranges of data. For example, you could impose an age limit on mail. Also consider special issues related to extracting the following information:

Personal address books (PABs)

If users can create their own directory entries in PABs on your existing system, you can extract the information. If the administrator cannot access PABs, consider how users will migrate this data. Before their mailboxes are moved, users can send a message to themselves with all the entries in the PAB listed in the Cc field. After the messages are migrated to Exchange, users can open them and add the recipients to the new PABs.


Some existing systems have additional data about each account stored in their directory—title or department, for example. You can extract this information as part of migration.


Is the attachment useful after being migrated? Attachments that require an application on a host system may no longer be useful in their current format. Do any attachments need to be converted before being added to the migration file?

This section also contains the following topic:

Related Topics

Creating a Source Extractor