Announcing the Soong project - developing a general-purpose ETL framework

I'd like to invite members of the open-source community, particularly (but not exclusively) those involved with PHP, to join in designing and developing a general-purpose ETL framework for data migration. The vendor name for packaging components of this project is soong, and git repos for existing components are under the GitLab account "soongetl".

Drupal file migrations: The s3fs module

A recent project gave me the opportunity to familiarize myself with the Drupal 8 version of the S3 File System (s3fs) module (having used the D7 version briefly in the distant past). This module provides an s3:// stream wrapper for files stored in an S3 bucket, allowing them to be used as seamlessly as locally stored public and private files. First we present the migrations and some of the plugins implemented to support import of files stored on S3 - below we will go into some of the challenges we faced.

Disabling functionality temporarily during migration

Continuing with techniques from the “Acme” project, the location content type had an address field and a geofield, with field_geofield configured to automatically determine latitude and longitude from the associated field_address - a fact I was initially unaware of. Our source data contained latitude and longitude already, which I mapped directly in the migration:

Configuring migrations via a form

Frequently, there may be parts of a migration configuration which shouldn’t be hard-coded into your YAML file - some configuration may need to be changed periodically, some may vary according to environment (for example, a dev environment may access a dev or test API endpoint, while prod needs to access a production endpoint), or you may need a password or other credentials to access a secure endpoint (or for a database source which you can’t put into settings.php). You may also need to upload a data file for input into your migration.


I'm pleased to announce that I am joining Moshe Weitzman in Cyrve. Our specialty is content migration and transformation - the grunge work of fitting old information into new holes.

Past projects of mine

XML -> Mobile-compliant XHTML

I produced a mobile-compatible website for delivering 2008 U.S. Presidential election results to hand-held devices. This involved modifying the Drupal FeedAPI module (at that time still in beta) to read custom fields in addition to standard RSS fields (patch submitted).

As a follow-up project, in two days I created a system to take XML feeds of raw election data and produce mobile-compatible XHTML pages to present the results, for live updates on Super Tuesday. This system included a templating system so the client could easily style it to their own needs (they reported it took half an hour with my delivered system to complete the theming and customization), and has remained in operation through subsequent primary elections.