What is Virtuoso Performance?

Virtuoso Performance is Mike Ryan - or, more precisely, Mike Ryan's migration consulting company. Virtuoso Performance provides data and content migration services:

  1. Analysis of legacy data.
  2. Architecture of custom migration solutions.
  3. Implementation of migration processes within that architecture.

Who is Mike Ryan?

Mike Ryan, like so many other developers early in the 21st century, was building his own PHP/MySQL-based CMS ("Virtuoso Site Manager") when he discovered Drupal in late 2003. His first contributions were a few little statistics enhancements - his biggest contribution in those halcyon days of Drupal 4.x was the original implementation of pathauto (still the fourth most-installed contributed module).

A career diversion into HRIS for a few years included some data migration work - of Human Resources data from ADP to Lawson (via CSV files fed through Microsoft Access!). Desiring to return to web development, he re-engaged with the Drupal community in his spare time, and started attending the Boston meetups led by Moshe Weitzman (Mike and Moshe had previously worked together, pre-Drupal). At one of those meetups, as someone sought ideas for migrating a raw HTML site into Drupal, and everyone discussed how this was a problem no one wanted to deal with, Moshe looked across the table at Mike and said "There's an opportunity here". Thus, Cyrve - the first Drupal shop to specialize in migration - was born.

Cyrve quickly became the go-to for Drupal migration, and to support their work (and enable the rest of the community as well) Mike and Moshe created the Migrate module. The initial 1.x branch was a classic procedural framework, relying on Drupal's hook system, and was used for such migration clients as The Economist. They quickly found, however, that the initial architecture wasn't flexible enough to support a wide variety of migration scenarios, in particular requiring data to be preprocessed into SQL tables in the Drupal database and presented as views. Thus, when Examiner.com began a project to migrate to Drupal 7, Mike and Moshe took the opportunity to redesign the migrate module as an object-oriented framework. Migrate 2.x became the framework for migration into Drupal 7.

In 2011, Mike and Moshe joined Acquia. While Moshe moved on to work in various areas, Mike remained focused on migration as part of Acquia's Professional Services, continuing to develop Migrate 2.x as well as creating more specialized modules such as migrate_d2d and wordpress_migrate, on behalf of myriad Acquia clients such as Warner Music.

In 2013, Dries announced at DrupalCon Prague that starting with Drupal 8, major version upgrades would be implemented using a migration approach rather than the former update-in-place method, inspired by the Migrate 2.x framework. The initiative to incorporate migration into Drupal core launched shortly thereafter, led by chx, taking full advantage of modern OO design patterns and the Drupal 8 plugin system.

Mike left Acquia to launch Virtuoso Performance in the spring of 2016. He has continued to be active in development of the Drupal 8 migration system, serving as a core subsystem maintainer as well as creating and maintaining contributed modules building on the core framework: migrate_plus, migrate_tools, and migrate_upgrade.

Mike is currently applying his Drupal migration experience to developing a general purpose PHP framework for data migration. To support his work, please consider supporting Mike on Patreon.