At a glance

GovCMS, Merlin
Federal government
Build & migration
Whole of government

The purpose

To allow more government agencies to benefit from GovCMS, a whole-of-government website platform. 

The players

The Department of Finance (Finance) owns the GovCMS platform, a whole-of-government digital platform for use across all levels of government in Australia. GovCMS is built on Drupal, an award-winning, enterprise-grade CMS that’s easy to use, stable, highly secure and open source (no license fees).

The challenge

Finance identified 25 high-value government websites that were all on disparate platforms, with differing levels of security, ease-of-use and total cost of ownership (TCO). Manually migrating 25 individual sites would have taken a considerable amount of time and the process would have had significant overheads to ensure content was migrated accurately. This was especially the case for large volume sites like the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), which also had a complex information architecture structure with content that was up to 11 levels deep. An efficient and accurate process was needed to quickly map and migrate content from each of the different platforms (ranging from Sharepoint to WordPress) on to GovCMS D8.

The sites varied from small, 10-page brochureware websites with minimal content publishing to the DFAT site with 29,000+ pages and approximately 50,000 files.

The solution

Salsa used our Merlin migration tool to migrate all 25 websites. Merlin is an open source migration framework deliberately crafted to lower the barrier to migrate legacy and proprietary sites onto standardised/consolidated platforms such as GovCMS. We migrated 25 non-GovCMS websites to the default, out-of-the-box GovCMS D8 over six months. The technical migration automation process was coupled with a comprehensive stakeholder change management process to ensure both the technical GovCMS system and the business owners and users were transitioned onto the platform and into the GovCMS community as smoothly as possible.

The benefits

The benefits of migration to GovCMS included: 

  • Reduced TCO for the government agencies
  • Easier content management and administration via one CMS
  • Access to reusable GovCMS modules and components
  • A truly open source, open platform solution
  • Access to the Drupal community’s contributions to continue to grow
  • Improved overall user experience leveraging the Australian Government’s Design System 
  • Responsive sites, so websites can be viewed on desktops, tablets and smartphones
  • Accessible sites (built-in WCAG2.0AA compliant tools)
  • A secure environment