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format migration

Broader Term: 

n. ~ 1. The process of copying data from one type of storage material to another to ensure continued access to the information as the data structure becomes obsolete; media migration. - 2. The process of converting a data from an obsolete structure to a new structure to counter software obsolescence.


Format migration1 makes no change to the bitstreams within the files copied. Examples might include moving files from a floppy disk to a CD-ROM. Moving a bitstream usually does not alter the file content. - Format migration2 may involve changes in the internal structure of a data file to keep pace with changing application versions, such as migration from Word 95 to Word 2000. Or, it may involve a more radical change in structure, such as changes from one application to another, such as Word to WordPerfect. Making changes in a data structure places the original at risk, as the new structure may not accurately capture the form and function of the original.