The practicalities of transferring data between project collaboration systems used by the construction industry

As part of an industry-lead initiative, standards have been developed to enable bulk exchange of project data between project collaboration systems used by the construction industry. Through the work of developing exchange standards to the practical implementation of data transfer, this paper examines the issues that need to be addressed by both solution providers and their clients when considering moving a project’s data between two different instances of collaborative software. It highlights the practical difficulties of keeping the consistency of the data during the transfer process and gives solutions that can help to overcome these and other problems. The paper draws on experience gained through the development of vendor-neutral standards and real-life project migrations to put forward procedures which should be adopted by vendors, and gives insight into the underlying process for clients. The paper will form a vital framework for clients to determine if the benefits of moving projects between suppliers outweigh the difficulties associated with the move, and to help vendors put processes in place to best facilitate the transfer.