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I have been tasked with migrating a Laserfiche repository to Alfresco (Records Management module).

The Laserfiche implementation is hugely underutilized - They've scanned in about 60Gb in the last 9 years, and simply do infrequent lookups based on the full-text OCR. Only two meta-data fields are tracked: Account Type, and Client Name. That's it - no other features are utilized.

I have Googled the heck out of "migration tools", and found nothing that reads from Laserfiche. I find that Laserfiche does not support any standard export format or APIs such as CMIS or JCR.

Certainly, there are firms that do nothing more than migrate documents, but for enterprise / fortune-1000 clients; this is a small workgroup. I'm hoping for a software migration tool, or an import path available in Alfresco.

share|improve this question
What export formats does Laserfiche support? And what APIs can you use to query it with? – Gagravarr Jul 8 '11 at 20:23
LF only exports to a proprietary format which imports only to another LF repository (of the same LF version). The APIs used to be free, but a year ago, LF started charging $2,400 for their toolkit. We don't have it. – John Langstaff Jul 8 '11 at 20:58

It sounds like a pretty horrific case of Vendor Lock-in. If I were in your place, I'd spend some serious time unpicking the Laserfiche file format with hex editors, and so on, see if I could figure out anything from the content of the file, and the hex representation of it. It might turn out that there's something standards-compliant buried inside an ugly dirty proprietary file.

It's probably against their terms and conditions, but if you don't shout too loudly about it, who gives a toss?

There has to be some way to get the data out of these files, but it's a matter of how dirty you're prepared to get.

share|improve this answer
An obvious universal approach, "spending serious time with a hex editor as it might find something buried inside", isn't helpful for me now. As I said, "I'm hoping for...[see above]" because these are hugely popular document management packages. It's not OK now for me to write the migration tool. Sadly, "Vote Down requires 125 reputation". Please down-vote this answer, as (I can't), it offers only commentary, demonstrates no specific knowledge (there is no Laserfiche file format to unpick) and it buries my question into oblivion. Thanks. – John Langstaff Jul 9 '11 at 17:17
@Sficca I'm afraid your blatant attempt to sabotage my answer hasn't worked. I appear to have two upvotes. This means the community is right, and you are wrong. Get over it. No laserfiche file format? Well, how is the storage maintained. Perhaps you should ask better questions, rather than just flaming my answers when I give them based on the limited information you've provided in the first place. – Tom O'Connor Jul 10 '11 at 12:52
It may not be the answer you were hoping for, but it may be your only free option. As Tom says, you've been bitten by vendor lock-in. Once you're on Alfresco you're on a friendly open source system, so things will be much better, but to get out of your current proprietary system may well entail spending time and/or money to extricate yourself... – Gagravarr Jul 10 '11 at 22:04
@Sficca - it may not be the answer you wanted to hear, but it's certainly a valid answer, and so far it's the only one posted here. Aside from the suggestion to buy the LF toolkit, which is also a valid answer. Which, I notice you suggested yourself. Would you expect someone to build a shed without buying a hammer? For a project like this, $2400 is kind of cheap. – mfinni Aug 10 '11 at 13:44
The LF toolkit only recently comes with a charge. It is ransom of intellectual property. Mr. O'Connor's quick answer (1 of about 90 in July) "..Two upvotes. This means the community is right, and you are wrong." is amusing! "Unpicking with hex-editors, and so on" is not a helpful first answer. It buries the question. I do appreciate the comment though as well intentioned. Thank you. – John Langstaff Aug 22 '11 at 22:11

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