Direct Import of RM8 database into RM7 – Part 1

Issue

As described in Returning to RM7.5 custom reports, groups and Publisher from RM8 via GEDCOM, there are reasons some users of RM8 would like to be able to transfer data to RM7 more directly than through GEDCOM as the medium is unsatisfactory. In addition to inherent losses identified in GEDCOM & DnD transfer losses, it involves more steps than one might have with a more direct approach.

Solution

Both RM7 and RM8 use similar SQLite databases so, obviously, a transfer of data through SQLite operations is the most direct means possible. However, "similar" is not "identical" and there are challenges with transferring Tasks, TreeShare, FamilySearch, Custom Reports and Report Settings and other File Settings, History, Bookmarks, et al. Therefore, this first part of a direct import solution addresses the low-hanging fruit and maybe that's where it will stop, depending on the difficulty of going further. Nonetheless, it may be adequate for many purposes and is being published now so that procedural problems it may have with certain databases may be identified through usage by more people.

Procedure

  1. In RM8, open and prepare your RM8 database file for export by running the set of File>Tools>Database Tools. Note the file's full path and name for entry into the SQLite script. Close the database.
  2. In RM7, create a new empty database or open the database you wish to overwrite (I'll leave it to you to backup or make a copy!). If an existing file, run the RM7 set of File>Database Tools. Note the file's full path and name so you can find it with your SQLite manager.
  3. Open the target RM7 database with your SQLite manager (one with a fake RMNOCASE collation - see #rmnocase).
  4. Open SQLite manager's SQL Editor on this database and load into it the script Import_RM8_to_RM7.sql.
  5. Edit this script to change the path and name in the ATTACH DATABASE line to that of your source RM8 database.
  6. Execute the script.
  7. On reopening the target RM7 database with RM7, run File>Database Tools.
  8. Media links that pointed to items below the Windows User's root folder will be broken as will those that were downloaded via TreeShare to a sub-folder of that containing the source RM8 database. RM8 uses symbols for those paths that RM7 does not recognise. Use the Media Gallery's Fix Broken Media Links tool or, much faster, Search & Replace (Ctrl+H) on Media filenames to fix them.

Considerations

  1. If you upgraded from a RM7 database to RM8 when your RM7 database had a well-developed Book specification or extensive Custom Reports, try importing the data from RM8 back into a copy of that database. You may be pleasantly surprised that those reports still work, even though you may have made many changes in your tree.
  2. This procedure transfers groups; GEDCOM does not.
  3. Color-coding suffers in translation because RM8 has 28 colours, 13 of which are outside the range for RM7 and those that are within do not all map to the corresponding color.
  4. I was 'lazy' with data typing despite there having been changes between the two versions. SQLite itself is also 'loose' with enforcement. For example, many fields in RM7 that were type BLOB became type TEXT in RM8. My prior experience with RM in the past was that it did not care when the content was textual so I've made no attempt to CAST these TEXT fields back to BLOB on import. Yet, it's possible it may give rise to some obscure error.
  5. I get a memory access error in citations using Find Everywhere on a file that originated in RM7 and imported back from RM8, yet there is no such error in the original nor in the RM8 upgrade. That's an obscure error not present in other files I've imported.
  6. Please let me know what errors you encounter, discoveries you've made, benefits you've realised..., probably best through the Forum, given its message editor is superior to the Comment editor.
  7. Good luck!

3 Replies to “Direct Import of RM8 database into RM7 – Part 1”

  1. Hey, much thanks. I’m definitely going to take a look at this. It may be a few weeks because I’m going to out of town over the next couple of weeks, but I will definitely look at it.

    I’m not overly worried about the “Tasks, TreeShare, FamilySearch, Custom Reports and Report Settings and other File Settings, History, Bookmarks” issues. All of those things I either don’t use or can reconstruct as needed. But I do understand that many users would be concerned about some of those issues.

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