Migrate Accelerate

This guide assumes that you have a website running on Drupal 7 or earlier and want to migrate to the latest version of Drupal: Drupal 9 or later. Drupal 9 or later represents an important next step in the evolution of Drupal. It consolidates what already existed in Drupal 8 and lays the foundation for what comes next, with more features and enhanced security and stability.

Here is a sneak peek at what you get with Drupal 9 or later:

  • Richer media management

  • Content workflows

  • Layout builder

  • Increased page load performance

  • Multilingual capabilities

  • Mobile experience, and much more!

Drupal 9 or later is also more evolved and advanced:

  • The backend is written in modern and object-oriented PHP, and the front-end is written by using the latest web standards.

  • It relies on Symfony 4 and requires at least PHP 7.3, leading to improved stability and security.

  • Drupal 9 or later moves to the latest versions of all dependencies (for example, Twig 1, to Twig 2).

  • Database version requirements are increased for all supported database backends in Drupal 9 or later, for improved security and performance.

What is Acquia Migrate Accelerate?

Acquia Migrate Accelerate is a set of tools designed to shorten the path to migrate or rebuild websites from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 or later.

While previous Drupal to Drupal major version upgrades involved running a series of update scripts on your live, production website (leading to long downtimes and backup restoration if things failed), when moving from prior versions of Drupal to Drupal 9 or later, you can build out your new website and migrate your content and functionality, leaving the production website up and running the entire time, flipping the switch at the end once you are ready.

Acquia Migrate Accelerate helps you to:

  • Set up a data source for your Drupal migration, create a migration environment, and install equivalent modules for your new Drupal 9 or later site.

  • Select and map data migrations, import data, troubleshoot errors, and audit content.

  • Launch your new Drupal site to Acquia Cloud.

Migrate Accelerate Introduction

Open source

For all Drupal site owners, an open source version of the Acquia Migrate Accelerate module is available in the community. With this module, all Drupal 7 users can leverage the Acquia Migrate Accelerate module to migrate their site to Drupal 9. For more information, see Acquia Migrate: Accelerate - now open source!.


An Acquia Cloud subscription is required to use Cloud Platform and leverage Acquia Migrate Accelerate in the Cloud Platform user interface.

Key features and benefits

Let us take a look at some of the key features and benefits:

Dedicated migration environment

Included in your Acquia Cloud Enterprise (ACE) Platform Subscription, Acquia Migrate Accelerate generates a dedicated environment for you, already set up with system requirements of Drupal 9 or later, installed with Composer.

Module recommendation engine

The tool runs your Drupal 7 module list against the list of known-good Drupal 9 or later replacements, and adds those modules along with any required patches to your Drupal 9 or later codebase.

Site builder-friendly terminology

Migrations are collected into site builder-friendly chunks and do not wrangle with complex developer terms. However, these terms are still available on the Details tab.

Acquia’s Expertise - Built In

A variety of core and contrib patches help harden migrations to make them more robust and successful. Any module that Acquia has explicitly “vetted” will be enabled out of the box. Acquia also makes specific suggestions for migration messages that might occur.

Migration dashboard

The Migration dashboard provides an overview of the data migration process, including number of records imported, number of errors encountered, and the last import date.

Robust, dynamic user interface

Acquia Migrate Accelerate provides a JavaScript-driven user interface in React for performing migrations, which allows less technical users to get a jump start on importing content, and allows for instant, dynamic updates to the interface as items complete.

Preview before migrating

Double-check the incoming data for accuracy, and see a preview of how your content looks. You can also look up specific high-impact items to check them over before importing.

Filterable error messages

During a migration, errors might occur. View them easily in a filterable message console. Each migration has different messages, but typically 96% of the messages include recommended solutions to help you solve them.

Unlike Drupal core’s migration system, Acquia Migrate Accelerate checks for content validation errors to spot data integrity problems on the Drupal 7 source site that might otherwise make their way over to your new Drupal 9 or later site.

Smart dependencies

Acquia Migrate Accelerate has advanced knowledge of which migrations depend on others to ensure that they are imported in the proper order without causing errors.

Support for import and rollback

If you made a mistake or found errors that must be fixed, you can easily roll back migrations.

Queue one thing at a time, or multiple at once

Acquia Migrate Accelerate’s queuing system gives you the flexibility to import one migration at a time to check for errors, or try several at once.

Module Auditor

A dashboard that points to known issues in your contributed modules, and pointers on how to start porting your custom modules.

Content Refresh

Acquia Migrate Accelerate provides the ability to periodically refresh content and files from your production Drupal 7 site. Therefore, you are always migrating current data.


Acquia Migrate Accelerate helps with the data import part of your migration, but afterwards you must manage your custom code, including the look-and-feel. Acquia Migrate Accelerate cannot address porting code from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 or later.

You will need to manage your modules

The total effort to migrate your modules depends on the mix of contributed and custom modules your site uses. Acquia Migrate Accelerate helps with the process by identifying and installing the contributed modules you need for Drupal 9 or later based on what is installed on your existing site. You must port custom modules and themes. There are pointers for this on the Module Auditor page.

You will need a plan to manage your custom code

An inventory of the site’s integration code, APIs, and other custom functionality gives you some idea of what it takes to recreate this functionality in a new version of Drupal. There might be contributed modules that provide functionality you had to write custom code for in Drupal 6 or 7.

Is the site theme custom or contributed?

Your contributed theme might have been updated for Drupal 9 or later, allowing you to shorten the development lifecycle for your migration project. A custom theme requires additional effort to migrate. Site Studio helps speed up theme-building by enabling you to use reusable components to build pages.

Other helpful resources

You might find these resources helpful as you prepare to migrate to Drupal 9 or later:

  • Drupal 7 to 8/9 Module Upgrader: This project is a command-line script that scans the source of a Drupal 7 module, flags any code that requires updating to Drupal 9 or later, points off to any relevant API change notices, and attempts to convert the Drupal 7 code automatically to the Drupal 9 or later version.

  • Flight Path: Flight Path is a Drutiny-based tool that you can leverage to analyze a Drupal 7 site for migration to Drupal 9 or later. This tool uses data from the recommendations engine of Acquia Migrate Accelerate. Flight Path produces a report that demonstrates the value Acquia Migrate Accelerate can bring to a Drupal 7 to 9 or later migration projects.

  • Upgrading from Drupal 6 or 7 to Drupal 9 or later: Community documentation on how to perform major upgrades.

  • You and your team might require training before you can complete your migration and work with the resulting site. For more information, see Drupal training offerings, or talk to your Account Manager.

  • For more information on Acquia Migrate Accelerate, access the E-learning material.