Migrating from DTM to Launch

Ben Robison
Apr 5, 2018 · 5 min read

Now that Launch, by Adobe is available to all Experience Cloud customers, we’re getting more and more questions from DTM customers about how to migrate from DTM to Launch.

On the Launch product team, there are a couple of guiding principles to how we think about migration:

  1. Migration should be as simple and straightforward as possible
  2. You should be able to perform the migration on your own when you are ready
  3. You should understand what your options are for migrating and rolling back so that you can be comfortable with the process

The Launch team is providing some tools so that migration can be self-service. If you need extra love and care, our consulting team is ready to help.

Use Launch Without Changing Page Code

The first thing we’ve done is to give you the ability to use Launch without having to change any of the code on your web pages. The feedback from beta customers and early adopters told us that this is a critical first step.

DTM and Launch both function by publishing a JavaScript file that contains everything you need for your tags to work the way you’ve configured them. This is sometimes called a container tag.

A browser retrieves this container tag at runtime and runs it. In order for that process to work, your web pages contain a <script> tag which tells the browser where to retrieve the file. This <script> tag is called an Embed Code.

Launch lets you link your Launch Production environment embed code with your DTM production environment embed code. Then when the browser retrieves the container tag (referenced by the embed code) it will get the Launch container tag instead of the DTM one that was there before.

You can read more about this in the product docs here. This is a feature that you can use if you want to (no one will make you) and is available now.

If you use the Linking option, please note that this has no impact on your DTM Property. If you publish from DTM again, it will overwrite the Launch container tag. This is by design because it gives you a Panic! button which is very useful when you need it.

Once you’ve made the switch and published your Launch container tag, we recommend you disable the linked property in DTM to avoid messiness.

Import DTM Properties into Launch

We also have another tool that will help you to migrate. This one will allow you to copy your DTM properties into Launch. It is available now, you can read here for more info.

If you go into Launch you can create a new property and start from scratch. Now you can also go into DTM and create a new property by using the Upgrade to Launch button. This does not make any changes to your DTM property, but it does create a new Launch property with all the same rules and logic inside of it.

What does that mean?

It means that the ECID, Adobe Analytics, and Google Universal Analytics tools will be converted over into the matching Launch extensions with matching configurations. It means that your data elements will be copied over into Launch data elements. It means your rules will be copied over into Launch rules. This includes custom code.

Note: To emphasize this point, the only thing the Upgrade to Launch button does is to copy DTM resources into Launch. It does not change anything that is published anywhere. You still have to publish to the Launch production environment (and if you don’t link your embed codes, then you also have to swap the embed codes on your site) before any Launch code will be live anywhere.

We can’t migrate everything (for example, some unsupported _satellite methods and properties that exist in DTM no longer exist in Launch), but we expect that for most customers, this should get you at least ~95% of the way there. Search Discovery has built a scanning tool and provided some additional info that will help you identify and fix these types of _satellite issues.

Migration Process

So what would a migration actually look like? There are lots of different scenarios and setups, but I’ll outline some extremes and you can get a sense for what you’re options are and where you fall on the spectrum.

Scenario 1: I want to do it the Launch way

  1. Login to Launch and set everything up the way you want it. Use the opportunity to clean up some/all of the messes in your current implementation (no judgment, we’ve all done it, we understand).
  2. Test in Dev. Development environments in Launch are intended to be used as you iterate through changes to ensure that the business logic you’re configuring actually behaves as you expect.
  3. Test in Stage. Staging environments in Launch are intended to be deployed in your own Staging environment, one that is as close to production as possible, and it is here that most customers would be running automated tests, static code analysis, etc. It would also be valuable to mention that there are a couple of Chrome extensions that to let you (just you) test Launch container tags in Dev and Staging environments on your Production website.
  4. Publish to Prod. This won’t actually do anything yet because your website isn’t pointed to the Launch container tag, but it’s important to do this first so that there is actually a container tag when you make the update.
  5. Update your Production website to reference the Launch Production Embed Code. Once you’ve done this, your shiny, new and thoroughly tested Launch container tag will be delivered into the browser at run-time.

Scenario 2: I have a day job, just take care of it for me

  1. Login to DTM and hit the Upgrade to Launch button.
  2. Find your new property in Launch.
  3. Test in Dev. This is the same as Scenario 1 and you’ll use this to do any cleanup and fix anything that isn’t able to be migrated properly.
  4. Test in Stage. This is the same as Scenario 1.
  5. Link your Launch Production Environment to your DTM Production Environment (described above).
  6. Publish to Prod. With this route, as soon as you publish to Prod, your shiny, new, and thoroughly tested Launch container tag will be delivered into the browser immediately, because the Launch container tag will overwrite the DTM one, and browsers are already set to retrieve the DTM one.

These are not hard and fast rules, just guidelines to give you a sense of options. You can mix and match however you’d like.

Happy tagging =)

Launch, by Adobe

News, updates, and thoughts related to Launch - the modern, extensible tag management system from Adobe.

Ben Robison

Written by

By day I work for Adobe as Principal Product Manager. I spend all my time on Adobe Experience Platform Launch.

Launch, by Adobe

News, updates, and thoughts related to Launch - the modern, extensible tag management system from Adobe.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade