The Migration Process from Adobe DTM to Adobe Launch
by Chris Baird
posted on 09-19-2019
In January 2021, Adobe will sunset Adobe Dynamic Tag Management (DTM), which is being replaced by Adobe Launch. If you are an Adobe DTM user, you will undoubtedly face the challenge of migrating to Launch.
Below is a summarized version of a recent white paper published by ObservePoint titled Migrating from DTM to Adobe Launch: A 4-Phased Approach.
Why migrate to Adobe Launch?
Why change? And why now? First of all, the deadlines for sunsetting DTM will sneak up on you. Here is a breakdown of the DTM deadlines that could make your implementation obsolete:
July 9, 2019 (already passed) – Option to create new DTM properties no longer available
October 14, 2020 – All DTM properties become read-only
April 13, 2021 – DTM servers go to sleep
In addition to avoiding obsolescence, you will want to make the switch to Launch to take advantage of Launch’s new features, described below by Jeff Chasin, Principal Product Manager & Developer Experience at Adobe:
- Quick and Easy Deployment of Non-Adobe, Client-Side Browser Technologies
- Precise Organization and Management of Libraries
- Robust Approval Workflows
- Granular Rights Management
The migration: From preparation to completion
So how should you approach the challenge of making the switch? Below are some quick tips to help you navigate the migration process.
First, let’s address a pre-migration challenge you will likely face: getting buy-in from your boss.
Pre-migration: Getting your boss’s blessing
Adobe has been really good about communicating the change, but that communication doesn’t always make it upstairs. Even if it does, the urgency of the challenge often falls on deaf inboxes because managers don’t understand the importance or the extent of this migration.
You’ll need to put together a business case to convince managers that the 3-6 months of work is worth it. This case should include the “why,” “who,” and “when” associated with the migration.
Now let’s talk about the actual steps to migrate to Adobe Launch.
Phase 1: Catalog
At a minimum, the goal of a successful tag management migration is to maintain the status quo of analytics tracking.
You will need to establish a baseline or catalog to check against as you create your new implementation within Adobe Launch. You can create this catalog manually or via automation.
If you create your catalog manually, make sure to factor in time for building a solution design reference. If time isn’t on your side, automation can speed up the process.
If you choose automation, you can use an automated solution like ObservePoint to quickly conduct a comprehensive scan of your website, creating a record of all present technologies.
Phase 2: Strategize
The Strategize phase involves evaluating your tagging strategy and determining what needs to change. There are multiple ways you can deploy tags via a TMS on your site, so you should determine which strategy will be a better long-term option.
Plan your testing and QA strategy
An important part of the Strategize phase is to plan how you’re going to test your implementation to ensure correct deployment. Manual testing is possible but is prone to human error. Automation with a solution like ObservePoint is much quicker and more accurate.
Phase 3: Migrate
Once you have a baseline to work from and have decided on your migration/testing strategy, you can begin migrating technologies over to Adobe Launch.
When migrating, you can either adopt what Jenn Kunz, Principal Architect at 33 Sticks, calls a “lift-and-shift” approach or a “burn-it-down-and-start-fresh” approach.
Lift and shift
If you have a relatively simple implementation, then you should consider using the “Upgrade to Launch” feature within DTM, as this option will save you from having to replace your DTM embed code.
The “Upgrade to Launch” approach, however, isn’t ideal for large, complex implementations because your custom DTM scripts may not work in Launch. In this case, you will be much better off taking the Start Fresh approach and evaluating your implementation piece by piece as you migrate.
The Start Fresh approach is the hands-on approach and will provide you with full control over how your Launch implementation functions because it will essentially be a completely new implementation you build from scratch.
If you decide to start from scratch with your implementation, be prepared to spend several months making the migration. The Start Fresh approach may not be the easiest approach, but your implementation will be much better off in the end.
Phase 4: Test
Testing will be the final step in the migration process, though you should perform incremental tests every time you add new tags to Adobe Launch.
The goal of testing is to compare your Launch implementation (in staging) to your documentation or your production implementation, prioritizing the most important parts of your site. If you decide to go the automation route, ObservePoint can make testing your implementation smooth and efficient.
The finish line
Once you finish the final testing phase, your transition to Adobe Launch will be complete, and you can bask in the satisfaction of a job well-done while you go enjoy a solid dose of self-care.
To take a deeper dive into the migration process from Adobe DTM to Adobe Launch, check out ObservePoint’s white paper: Migrating from DTM to Adobe Launch: A 4-Phased Approach.