I want to migrate content from an installation of Confluence 3.1.2 into an installation of Confluence 4.3. This seems like a pretty big jump but we'd like to avoid upgrading the 'old' confluence. My question is whether it is worth trying the 'changing the version of a space backup' or is that just doomed to fail?
That is doomed to fail. You can create a staging version of 3.1.2, do a space migration to the staging version, then upgrade the staging version to 4.3. Then if you have some other instance of 4.3 you can do a space migration to that.
I recently did this for 50-odd spaces... all automated, and worked fine.
I personally don't suggest to try the changing the version approach, because that can lead us to problems.
I would suggest to create a test instance with your data from 3.1.2 and then do the upgrade following this path 3.4.9 > 3.5.17 > 4.3
* Creating a test environment and import the XML Backup (the way that I personally do).
You don't have to worry about your database, with the full XML backup, Confluence will do the magic, I mean, populate the new database, make everything right. So, you don't need to do a clone of your database.
I hope this helps
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