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ELM - Moving from one database vendor to another using the optimized concurrent repotools migration commands [BETA]

Authors: ChrisAustin, DanielMoul
Build basis: Engineering Lifecycle Management 6.0.6,, 7.0.1, 7.0.2, 7.0.3


General Availability customers should refer to the formal technote Database Migration: IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management products.

17th August 2022 Update: Patches that contain the new migration tools: (this list will be updated as patches are released)

New repotools -concurrentExport and repotools -concurrentImport commands provide faster migration of Engineering Lifecycle Management (ELM) application repositories from MS SQL Server to Db2 or Oracle. This page can be used as a guide to plan out and execute a migration using the optimized repotools commands.

ELM applications in scope

The repositories of the following applications can be exported and imported using these new commands:

  • JTS (Jazz Team Server)
  • RM (primary application of DOORS Next)
  • QM (primary application of Engineering Test Management)
  • CCM (primary application of Engineering Workflow Management)
  • GC (Global Configuration Management)
  • RELM (Engineering Insights)

Other ELM repositories:

Prerequisite Considerations

  • A non-production test environment with a copy of data from production is needed to run a test migration.
    • The copy of production data should be recent enough that you are confident it represents all data in the product repository--for example, within the last few months for teams following established development processes.
    • You need test data for each application and application instance you will migrate. For example, if you have two RM servers, you need to do a test migration of each. This statement does not apply to clustered CCM or QM servers, since clustered servers share one database instance.
    • A staging environment with hardware equivalent to production is the most reliable indicator of expected migration time.
  • A user with administrative privileges must perform the migration.
  • The ELM server(s) needs to be offline, so an outage window will be required.
  • Migration requires an export and import of data together. There is no support for a partial migration, or for the servers to come online between an export and import.
  • The ELM server(s) must have sufficient disk space to hold export file(s). The database data is compressed during export, but it is not the same compression ratio on all databases. A good rule of thumb is to use the size of the database when determining how much disk space should be available for export files.
  • Well-performing hardware is required for high speed migration.

Review existing migrations

There are some documented examples of repositories and environments that have used the optimized migration.  When preparing an environment for optimized migration, looking at these use cases can help you to compare other hardware specifications to your current environment.

Supported Migrations

  • ELM 7.0.2 SR1 ifix025 with patch, can be used for migration of production data.
  • ELM 7.0.3 includes additional optimizations, bug fixes and logging and (after general availability) can be used for migration of production data.
  • In both, the optimized concurrent migration supports migrating from Microsoft SQL Server to IBM Db2 or Oracle databases.
  • Export and import ELM application versions must be the same. It is not possible to export one version of an ELM application and import it into a newer or older version.
  • Source and target databases must be at a version supported by your version of ELM within the System Requirements.
  • To request early access to these new repotools commands on earlier releases so that you can test with your data, contact IBM Support.

Preparing Servers

While the optimized repotools migration code has been reworked to reduce the outage time for a migration, the operating environment also plays a crucial role in how fast a migration can complete. The new repotools -concurrentExport and repotools -concurrentimport commands make use of multiple CPU cores and fast disk and network I/O.


  • If possible, use a local disk for writing and reading export files. Exporting to or importing from a network share or network storage device may limit the processing speed of the migration.
  • Solid State Disks (SSD) are recommended for migration storage. Disk speeds are an important part of migration, both on the ELM server running the repotools commands, and the database server. Refer your ELM server admin and DBA to our article on Disk Benchmarking.

CPU Cores

The optimized migration relies heavily on concurrency to reduce its runtime speed.  Running ELM and database servers with at least 8 to 16 cores is recommended.

System Memory

Running the concurrent db migration repotools commands (-exportConcurrent, -importConcurrent, and -compare) can use a lot of system memory. It is important to minimize other processes competing for system resources when running these commands. On Linux, the Out Of Memory Killer has terminated concurrent migration processes early. Administrators are then forced to correct the issue by reducing memory usage, and re-running the terminated command.


You may not need to modify database specific settings for all cases of migration.  In general, databases that are tuned for ELM daily use will be appropriate to use in the export context.  Import databases should be created with ELM application specific recommendations in mind, found in the product documentation.

In practice, we have seen that import databases optimize their execution plans based on the large occurrence of writes after -importConcurrent has been run. This can have a negative impact on query performance during compare or when running the ELM server using the new database vendor initially. To clear the execution plan on Oracle, run

alter system flush shared_pool;
. To clear the execution plans on Db2, either leave the DB2 AUTO_MAINT job enabled, or do the following to execute runstats in a script:
  1. Connect to the database using the db2 connect command.
  2. Create a script (like this example):
  3. Validate the db2_runstats.sql.out contains all the table names to execute runstats on.
  4. Run the script using db2 -tvf:
    C:\IBM\SQLLIB\BIN>db2 -tvf db2_runstats.sql.out > outcomestats.txt


Customers have seen some performance gains importing to DB2 by doing the following:

  • Set the memory to be automatic which allows memory growth:
    db2 "update db cfg for [DatabaseName] using DATABASE_MEMORY 5000000 automatic"
  • Increase the bufferpool:
    db2 "ALTER BUFFERPOOL IBMDEFAULTBP SIZE [Appropriate size based on avaiable physical memory]"
  • Enabling the statement concentrator:
    db2 "update db cfg using stmt_conc off immediate"
  • Increase the heap size:
    db2 "update db cfg using APPLHEAPSZ 10000 automatic"
  • Increase the DB2 Log File size files:
    db2 "update db cfg for [DatabaseName] using LOGFILSIZ 12288"
  • Increase the DB2 Log primary transactions log files:
    db2 "update db cfg for [DatabaseName] using LOGPRIMARY 128"
  • Increase the DB2 Log Secondary transactions log files:
    db2 "update db cfg for [DatabaseName] using LOGSECOND 128"

These are not meant to be definitive settings, but can be discussed with database administrators and implemented when appropriate.

Migration Task List

  1. Before beginning your test migration, delete unnecessary attachments to reduce space. Orphaned work item attachments can take up space in your database, and increase migration times and complexity. To reduce that risk, you can use the WorkitemAttachmentMigrationUtility. You can also configure EWM to store large attachments outside of the default database.
  2. Before beginning your test migration, perform a -verify to check database integrity. A verify is one way to determine the health of the database BEFORE you begin a migration, and also as a method of determining AFTER whether the migration introduced any problems. To run a verify:
    /server/repotools_[app] -verify level=5
    If any issues are reported then use Troubleshooting the Verify command or contact IBM Support
  3. Back up the application(s) to be migrated. When you migrate from one database vendor to another database vendor (for example, Microsoft SQL Server to IBM Db2), it is critical to back up each application database before you perform the migration. It is recommended to store your data for a six-month period after a database migration, providing enough time to ensure that the product is functioning as expected and that no remedial actions are necessary later. For more information, consult the IBM Documentation (aka Knowledge Center) topic "Backing up and restoring IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management (ELM) applications."
  4. Increase repotools script heap XMX to at least 4096M. The migration commands require more then the default 1500M heap space. In internal testing, 4096M has proved to be sufficient, but there could be cases where an even larger value will prevent potential memory contention issues. In repositories with many large multi-gigabyte sized attachments, consider using an Xmx of 8192M. To increase the heap, define the following system environment variable (note that M should not be appended to the system environment variable):
  5. Install any necessary patches, and use -clean. The Tech Preview optimized migration requires a patch to enable the migration commands, JTS_DB_Migration_Patch__.zip. For 7.0.3, this is the only required patch. If you are using or 7.0.1 an additional backport patch is also required. Any patch files should be installed to the [install]/server/patch directory with care to follow any associated patch readme files. It is important to run repotools commands with the -clean parameter whenever using patches.
  6. Export the data with -exportConcurrent. To perform an export:
    /server/repotools_[app] -exportConcurrent -clean toFile=../export/[app].zip

    Important statistical information about the migration execution can be gathered and saved to the repotools log. The new statistics collection behavior is effective from 06-2021. This information can be used by support if troubleshooting a migration is required. Note that statsLogFrequency is only required to change the default logging period once every 60 minutes.

    /server/repotools_[app] -exportConcurrent -clean toFile=../export/[app].zip statsLogFrequency=60
    If want to ignore the statistics while exporting the data, need to pass the parameters like below
    /server/repotools_[app] -exportConcurrent statsEnabled=false -clean toFile=../export/[app].zip
    /server/repotools_[app] -exportConcurrent statsEnabled=no -clean toFile=../export/[app].zip
  7. Check the log file for error messages and runtime statistics.
  8. Update the ELM server with new database settings. You can either set up a new ELM server install using the same version as your export ELM Server, or use the existing export server. If you re-use the existing server, backup the old teamserver.properties file(s) so they can be used in the -compare tool later on (Example: teamserver-sql.properties). If you set up a new ELM instance, ensure you keep the same URI, by changing IHS, or installing side-by-side on the existing server. Update the following properties in the server/conf/[app]/teamserver.properties file to point to the new location.
  9. Import the data with -importConcurrent. To perform an import:
    /server/repotools_[app] -importConcurrent -clean fromFile=../export/[app].zip

    Important statistical information about the migration execution can be collected and saved to the repotools log. The new statistics collection behavior is effective from 06-2021. This information can be used by support if troubleshooting a migration is required. Note that statsLogFrequency is only required to change the default logging period once every 60 minutes.

    /server/repotools_[app] -importConcurrent -clean fromFile=../export/[app].zip statsLogFrequency=60
    If you want to ignore the statistics when importing the data, need to pass the parameters like below:
    /server/repotools_[app] -importConcurrent statsEnabled=false -clean fromFile=../export/[app].zip
    /server/repotools_[app] -importConcurrent statsEnabled=no -clean fromFile=../export/[app].zip
  10. Check the log file for error messages and runtime statistics.
  11. Rebuild Indices. In earlier releases of the importConcurrent tool, rebuildIndices is not run automatically. You can verify if rebuild indices happens automatically by running:
    /server/repotools-[app] -help command=importConcurrent
    If the [skipRebuildIndices] argument is present in the help output, rebuildIndices has been performed automatically. Otherwise, run the -rebuildIndices command to restore the database indices in the import environment:
    /server/repotools-[app] -rebuildIndices
  12. Consult the appropriate database vendor guidance above for clearing execution plans, and clear the plans.
  13. Important: It is necessary to run compare successfully in a test environment before planning your production migration. This is to ensure there are no discrepancies between the source and target databases.
    • It is not recommended to run compare after your production migration, because it could require an outage of the production system longer than is feasible. Using the test system, to validate the exported data is all present in the import database, a repotools compare can be used to perform an exhaustive cell by cell comparison of two ELM databases. This requires two teamserver.properties files, one that contains connection information to the old database, and one that contains connection information to the new database. It also requires that both databases are accessible from one ELM server location.
    • Do not start any of the ELM applications accessing the source or target databases until the compare completes. If you start any of the servers, changes in the tables may occur, creating false positive errors in the compare log.
    • While the compare can run with either database set as source or target, performance is much better when the SQL Server database is used in the source.teamserver.properties argument, and Oracle or Db2 is used in the target.teamserver.properties argument.
    • To run a compare:
      ExportJazzServerInstall/server/repotools_[app] -compare target.teamserver.properties=/opt/IBM/ImportJazzServerInstall/server/conf/jts/teamserver.properties
  14. Re-run the verify to check database integrity. After the migration and compare, run the -verify again to ensure no new issues were introduced by the migration. Any migration patches should be removed, and original patches (if any) restored prior to running the verify.
    /server/repotools_[app] -verify level=5



Most issues in the tool will be denoted by an error message of some kind in the repotools command log file.  Some errors will cause the tool to stop running immediately, while other issues can be safely logged and allow the tool to continue, allowing multiple issues to be identified in one run.  If the error message is unclear or does not provide an obvious path to resolution, most information IBM Support will need is contained in the log file. In some cases, the export file can be helpful as well, provided it is not too large for transfer and any private data sharing issues can be resolved.

Specific issues:

  • If rebuilding indices fails because data is not unique, this will require a support case to resolve any duplicate data issues before rebuilding indices and using the server.
  • If you see the error "Results file already exists." when running compare, or "The file already exists. Use the option "overwrite" to overwrite an existing file." when running exportConcurrent. Both the -exportConcurrent and -compare commands can fail if they are run multiple times without clearing out any generated files. Both commands allow the parameter overwrite=true to allow the command to overwrite any existing files.
  • Applications sometimes write log events to the database on serivice initialization, however this interferes with compare operations. So it is possible to see exceptions like the following in the log; these can be safely ignored:
2021-12-09 08:20:53,328 Unable to log startup event
com.ibm.team.repository.common.MigrationInProgressException: CRJAZ1966E Write operations cannot be performed on item type "DBEvent" at this time.  An application migration is currently in progress.
  • When loading a Project area after a migration, you see a 400 bad request. You need to ensure the Jena indices are configured properly, i.e.
    Do not put the application name in the root directory path.


If the export and import in your test environment takes longer than the time window you have available as an outage, review repotools Statistics Monitoring output and consider ways you can optimize your operational environment.  The Statistics Monitoring tracks useful hardware, software, and system performance information that can be used to compare an environment to a more highly performing setup.  Server ping times between ELM and database machines should be as low as possible.

Some ways to speed up migrations:

  • Disable Anti-Virus software for the duration of the migration
  • Use SSD drives
  • Provide ample RAM and cores for both the ELM and Database servers
  • Add more heap space to the repotools script commands

The threadpool sizes used by optimized migration can also be modified using java System Properties defined in the repotools script file:

(default is 20)  
(default is 26. Should always be 6 or more than the number defined in MigrationThreadPool.THREAD_POOL_SIZE. Example if MigrationThreadPool.THREAD_POOL_SIZE is set to 50, DBStore.STORE_THREAD_POOL_SIZE should be set to 56 or higher)

-- ChrisAustin - 2021-03-08

Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Xlsxxlsx OptimizedMigrationTestScenarioMatrix.3-12-21.xlsx manage 15.1 K 2021-03-29 - 14:39 UnknownUser Environment and migration testing times for various ELM application repositories
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Deployment.OptimizedConcurrentDatabaseMigration moved from Sandbox.ChrisAustinSandbox on 2021-03-30 - 14:39 by Main.chaustin -
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