XF 2.0 Import from VB3.8 to XF2.0: what are the pros/cons of Retain content IDs ?

Grover

Well-known member
#1
In the new year I have the intention to finally (after 7 years :eek:) take the plunge and upgrade/migrate transform our vBulletin 3.8 installation into XenForo2.0

Reading the import manual it says:

Retain content IDs
At this point, you will also be asked if you want to Retain content IDs. This option can only be used on a completely empty XenForo installation, that has no threads and posts. The setting will attempt to retain the IDs of the data that is imported, so that a thread that has an ID of 2563 in the source database will be imported with an ID of 2653 in the XenForo database.

If Retain content IDs is not selected, data will be imported with sequential IDs that do not match the source database. This is the default option, and in most cases is faster and more reliable.

Don't worry about existing links in search engines etc. pointing to URLs using the old source IDs. Many importers supply redirection scripts that can seamlessly redirect visits to old pages in your source system to their corresponding new pages in XenForo.
It is the only step outlined there of which I am not sure what to do.

I found a single discussion about it where @Brogan explains:

It's really up to you whether to use it or not.
Personally I preferred to reset all IDs and have them sequential from 1 again.
It's worth pointing out though that some need the IDs to be retained, due to external applications or software which make use of them.

You will still need redirection of some sort, whether you retain the IDs or not.
On my vB3.8 board I do not use any plugins, external applications etc. The only thing I remember is that in some stylesheets I refer to specific threadID's to make them have a different colour in the threadlist. But I guess that this is easily replicated in XF2.

Reading the explanations given above, I assume in most cases retaining threadID's is not necessary?

What are (next to what is already explained) the cons and pros of retaining these threadID's?
 
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RobParker

Well-known member
#2
If you want to forward/redirect old links to new ones don't you need to retain the old IDs? Fairly sure we had to do something like that but it was years ago!
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#3
Whether you retain IDs doesn't affect whether URLs can be redirected.
If the IDs are not retained a script can be used.
If they are retained, simple rewrite rules in .htaccess can be used.

It's purely a personal preference - some people like to keep the same user IDs, for example, others like to reset them and fill in any missing gaps due to deleted accounts.
 

Alfa1

Well-known member
#4
I would really advise to retain IDs anywhere you can. It will be so much easier writing redirection script, mass text replacements and comparing things between old and new sites. For me this has made migration much easier.

Also, before you import anything: make sure that all prune settings are turned off. Else XF will delete various data that you might later regret.
 

Slavik

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#5
Retain ID's is an option you should keep if you can, as above it makes a lot of things a lot easier to troubleshoot or work with later on.
 

Grover

Well-known member
#6
It's purely a personal preference - some people like to keep the same user IDs, for example, others like to reset them and fill in any missing gaps due to deleted accounts.
I see, now I realize this is also about userID's , not only threadID's.
 

Kier

XenForo developer
Staff member
#8
If you plan to use the vB redirection scripts available as an add-on, there is no need whatsoever to retain IDs, whether you choose to do so is entirely down to your preference.
 

Grover

Well-known member
#9
I would really advise to retain IDs anywhere you can. It will be so much easier writing redirection script, mass text replacements and comparing things between old and new sites. For me this has made migration much easier.

Also, before you import anything: make sure that all prune settings are turned off. Else XF will delete various data that you might later regret.
Thanks for these tips. It is indeed important for me to be able to compare things after the import. Why exactly does retaining ID's make that simpler? Can you give a practical example?

Are these prune settings part of the importscript? (I don't use XF yet so I am not aware of settings like this at the moment). What exactly is pruned that I would need later? And if I decided that after import I do not need that specific non-pruned data, can it then still be pruned?

Is there a tips&tricks posting/doc available somewhere concerning the import process where such points are mentioned?
 

Slavik

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#10
Thanks for these tips. It is indeed important for me to be able to compare things after the import. Why exactly does retaining ID's make that simpler? Can you give a practical example?
Lets say for example theres a thread which doesnt redirect, it happens time to time for various reasons, someone clicks a link and it doesnt put you to the right place.

If you know the old thread id, you can just manually put it in or check the database to make sure the data is there, you dont have to mess around doing a look up on the import log.
 

Grover

Well-known member
#11
Thanks for all these quick replies. Listening to most of the staff, it seems there is no necessity to retain them (which -as a novice- explains to me why this option is turned off by default in the ACP). Still, it is interesting to read other's practical experiences with this.
 

Alfa1

Well-known member
#12
There have been so many cases where retaining IDs proved handy. From writing .htaccess redirects for things that the stock redirection scripts do not handle, to tracing Google Webmaster Tools crawl errors back to original content, to easily importing vb content into xf addons and cross-referencing between such.
 
#13
I'm doing my first test import and "Retain content IDs" is grayed out, I cannot tick the box. The board has no content on it, only my admin account which I used for installing a style and addons.

What do I need to do or not do to make "Retain content IDs" selectable?
 

ncrs

New member
#14
Anomandaris, I also wish to retain content ID's. I hope someone will step up and answer your question for both of us. Do I need to delete the existing Main Category and Main Forum? Do I need to delete all users? If I delete all users how do I log in to run the import script? Right now I have a pretty clean install. Three users to look things over and test what we want to do. We are anxious to transition to XenForo from vB 4.2.5
 
#15
@ncrs I was forced to do a fresh install and import with retain content IDs and then move forward with customizing the forum afterwords because noone replied to my question :( I could have made a support ticket but didn't want to waste anymore time and just started fresh.
 
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