Thursday, September 05, 2019
Stroka Business Group has already moved 12 sites from AspDotNetStorefront to NopCommerce and has 3 more in the migration stage. Read below in the first-person narrative about how the migration process usually goes and why store owners should not be afraid of it.
Stroka Business Group with the headquarters in Slovenia brings fast and effective IT solutions to organizations for 25 years. 54 experts successfully work with customers in the areas of business, web and mobile solutions, system integration, and have a strong development and programming team of experts and their own development department.
Why the migration became needed
We at Stroka Business Group used AspDotNetStorefront (ASPDNSF) to build the stores from 2007 to 2014. At the time when we started to use it, there were no much open-source platforms on .NET that supported integrations with CRM and ERP systems. But then the owner of the platform changed, and the problems came.
The most important reason for migration was the price of ASPDNSF license, which ended up exceeding more than $1.500 for each individual e-shop (as for 2014, now it starts from $5.500 - approx. ed.). The second reason was the marketplace. ASPDNSF didn’t have such a rich and widespread offer of plugins and themes on its marketplace.
The third reason was that after our research we decided to establish our eCommerce strategy on nopCommerce platform due to .NET technology. As a company, we are building our growth on Microsoft technologies which gained us the opportunity to become Microsoft partner of the Year 2013, 2017 and 2018 in Slovenia. After internal testing, we found out that NopCommerce is a very stable platform.
But the main reason was our Slovenian market which is very small, and we had a lot of different competitors, which were winning with the price. So, we had to find a solution which is acceptable for customers and on the other hand also very stable and with great further potential.
How did customers react to the migration proposal
As some shops were already 3-4 years old, the customers who wanted to stay in a leading position with their shops needed to go into the renovation. We explained to the customers that we are using a new platform which has a lot of benefits for them and that we will build their new site on this new technology. When we presented the customers the pricing model and they got the information that the ASPDNSF license needs to be refreshed, they were all for migration.
Migration from AspDotNetStorefront to NopCommerce: how the process goes
Migration from one eCommerce platform to another could cause a lot of problems if you are not doing it in the right order. During migration, we need to carefully consider all the data: products, sales, customers and of course SEO which could cause a loss of page in the search rank.
Our migration process is split into six major steps:
- Category migration (Name, Description)
- Manufacturer migration (Name, Description)
- Product migration
- Product data (Name, Description, Prices, Specifications, etc)
- Product images
- Product SEO migration
- Customer migration
- Customer addresses
- Customer info (Name, First name, Email)
- Orders and order items
- Static content (Topics)
Most of the migration is done with SQL migration from the old eCommerce database to the new nopCommerce database. The static content such as pages gets transferred manually.
Each migration process is individual but the common scenario looks like this:
1. Category data
2. New category URLs
Includes a special procedure to insert URL / slug for new categories
For manufacturer migration, the process is mostly the same.
Product data migration is done just like a category migration except for the product images. Product images cannot be migrated within the SQL.
For image migration, we made a special console application. This application could migrate products, categories and manufacturer images. The application reads the old image directory, then finds the appropriate product and saves the image into the new database and saves the files into the new image directory.
Code example - to get picture filename:
Code example - to save picture to DB:
During the migration process, we also need to consider SEO migration. SEO is very important as it prevents page rank loss. For this purpose, we developed a NopCommerce plugin which can handle old eCommerce URLs.
The plugin is made with a new registered route and a controller which handles old URLs and make the 301 redirect to a new product, category or manufacturer.
Customer info inside NopCommerce database is placed in several database tables (Customer, CustomerPassword, Customer_CustomerRole_Mapping, CustomerAddresses, and Address). If you want to migrate all customer info you need to place data in all of these tables.
Usually, customer passwords can not be migrated, due to different password encryption so we leave it blank and customer needs to set up password manually.
Customer migration script
Orders can also be migrated from older to new eCommerce site but usually it takes a lot of time to migrate all the data. We need to take into consideration which order info is necessary to be shown in the new web store. Usually, we leave orders in the old web store just for admins.
Generally, the migration process can take up to 3 days and the clients are happy with their new stores. In the future, we plan to transfer all the stores by Stroka Business Group to nopCommerce.