We are currently in the process of migrating several Confluence instances between servers. Confluence versions range from 3.5.x to 4.x. I am familiar with your nice migration documentation based on which we are using the XML backup method. We have chosen this method because we'll be migrating to a different OS and database. Otherwise we would like to keep the installation as close to the original as possible (same Confluence and plugin/add-on versions).
With the above description in mind, what would be the best way to copy plugins/add-ons from the original Confluence server to the new one? To specify a bit, I'm talking about user installed plugins.
Here's what I know so far and some more detailed questions:
I am afraid plugins are not stored in XML backups. As they are stored in the database, you can try to migrate your database using native database tools. Only when copying the whole database, plugins will be copyed. If you have to use an XML backup you will need to reinstall the plugins manually.
In my experience, this is true. One caveat: sometimes the settings on the plugins are not backed up. At least, that's what happened with the HTML plugin when I did a database dump and restore. I had to reconfigure it (re-enable certain modules that were enabled on the origin server).
Alex: I was a bit afraid that your #1 suggestion would be "use a database migration tool". :) We were hoping we could avoid that. On the other hand, manual installation is also quite time-consuming and also error prone.
Matthew: Good input! Have to keep that in mind if we choose the database migration path.
Thank you both!
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