Migrating Data to BRAHMS

Updated 18 March 2024

Getting started with a new data management system requires planning and a key part of that is the migration of your data.

The BRAHMS team has many years of experience migrating data from a wide variety of stores - examples are MS Access, Excel spreadsheets, DBF files, MS SQL Server, PostgreSQL and other bespoke database systems. As part of the migration process, we also check data integrity and, where possible, help standardise your data.

For users with BRAHMS v7 databases, a function is provided to auto-migrate your data to v8.

"We have been using BRAHMS v7 for many years now and were delighted to see how easy it has been to transfer our dataset over to the new v8." (Tim Pearce, RBG Kew Millennium Seed Bank Partnership)

Free sample migrations

We can usually offer a free test migration of your data. This would generally be a fast and partial migration allowing you to evaluate BRAHMS using your own data. Your data are normally returned to you in an XML folder - and these data can then be imported to the data store of your choice.

Full data migration service

The vast majority of data migrations, even for larger instuitutions, are straightforward and we can provide a migration plan which guarantees a limit of 5 days of costed work. For small or new projects where you have limited data in flat files (e.g. lists of records in an Excel spreadsheet), we would normally migrate these data free of charge.

When data are provided for migration, it helps if you send us documentation as follows:

  • a list of the separate tables with the table names and their content description.
  • a list of the fields in each table with a descriptive note to explain the data field (unless obvious).
  • notes on table relations in your data structures (unless obvious).
  • sample images of screens that refer to specific records in your existing database, typically images of forms.

How to provide and send data?

Many projects submit data in csv or xlsx formats. However you can send data in MSSQL Server, PostgreSQL, MSSQL, CSV, Excel, MS Access, DBF or clearly delimited txt tables. As long as we can open the data tables you send us, we can work with that. Projects typically transfer archived files to us using - although you can use dropbox or your preferred institutional data transfer option.

For all further details on data migration, please contact Oxford University Innovation -