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Questions and answers for Form2Content, a Joomla CCK.
  1. kent morrison
  2. Form2Content Lite & Pro
  3. Friday, 12 July 2019
  4.  Subscribe via email
I have been struggling with TRYING to export articles from one site and import them to a new site.
BOTH sites are at these versions:
Joomla v Joomla! 3.9.10 Stable [ Amani ] 10-July-2019 15:57 GMT
PHP v 7.2.20
MySQL v 5.6.41-84.1
Form2ContentPRO v 6.17.4

I have exported the content type and imported to new site, seems to be succesful, and I checked the category, permissions, and plugins to make themn all same same.

The problem is the ARTICLE IMPORT.
I exported ALL F2C articles, and placed the import file in the new site at:
(TRIED with the default file name and with just "import.xml";)

THe import URL that I am using is:

I have tried ti with no login and with my admin login from the front end, the import gives NO RESPONSE, NO ERRORS, no nothing, terrifically frustated.

I have to say that the documentation for article import SUCKS, it is not specific, not setp by step, and not at all clear. TONS of guessing required and I have blown MANY MANY HOURS trying to do this before asking you this question.

It would suit me just fine if you would simply DO THIS IMPORT FOR ME, because I like the software but this whole deal is really pissing me off.

The /logs folder for the new site has NOTHING in it.
I have NO IDEA how to proceed.

PLEASE let me know...
Responses (8)
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hi Kent,

I will ask Julien to see if he can help you.

I Understand that things can get frustrated but import/export is not just plug n'play. We test as much as possible but also develop to keep up with Joomla changes and this is a complex feature. As a result bugs can get in and since few people use it we have less test cases.

Appreciate if you can refrain from some of the language and capitals, doesn't stimulate us in any way ....

Please read the F2C documentation before asking questions! Thank you if you've done so ;)
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Form2Content Lite & Pro
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hi Kent,

There are a few things that you can check first:

  1. Are the import/export directories that you configured writeable?
  2. Did you also check the PHP error log?
  3. Do the import files get moved, or are they still in place after running the import URL?

Another thing to consider is the size of your import file, since you say you exported all the files in one file.
Most sites stop execution after a 30 seconds time-out. It is better to keep the article import files in smaller portions, like 5 articles per file (may vary from system to system).

Can you please check the above questions for me. When I have the answers, we can see what the next step is.

  1. more than a month ago
  2. Form2Content Lite & Pro
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thanks for this guidance Julien.

Perhaps I should ask this before proceeding:
Is there some other (easier?) way to bring less than 70 articles created with Form2Content Pro out of the old site and into the new site ?

The templates are different, some of the other content is different, but the biographies created by F2C are to be the same.
Should I use some other method, or proceed with this step by step testing as you have indicated above?
I'm looking for fast and effective solution, whatever that is.

  1. more than a month ago
  2. Form2Content Lite & Pro
  3. # 4
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hi Kent,

What you could do is back-up the F2C tables on the old site, and replace these tables on the new site with the back-up tables. (you can recognize them by the name starting with #__f2c_)
Furthermore you need to copy the image and documents directories to the new site (when you use the image(gallery) and/or file-upload field)

This will only work, when there are no Form2Content articles yet on your new site and when the categories have the same ID's on both sides.
I haven't tried this myself, but it should work.

In order to avoid collisions with other articles on the new site you need to force F2C to generate new articles ID's.
You can do that by emptying the reference_id column of the #__f2c_form table.
After that you can save/refresh the articles and new Joomla articles will be generated.

In case this solution doesn't work, I can still help you with the XML import.
When you are stuck and don't see any logging, you can give me access to the site (Joomla admin + ftp) or send me an Akeeba back-up plus your XML import file.

  1. more than a month ago
  2. Form2Content Lite & Pro
  3. # 5
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thanks for this reply Julian.

OK, I am familiar with phpMyAdmin and I can hack my way through SQL query syntax.
Your instructions above were followed and I kept fairly tight notes on this procedure

Very Tedious !
This took me about 2.5 hours to get all the way through it including the troubleshooting and small repairs at the end...

total backup both old and new with Akeeba Backup Pro

OLD SITE db is dbhostname_Ux3R2eV
Biographies CAT # 79

OLD existing tables are

EXPORT each table with these options (using phpmyadmin)
all rows
output to file
no comments
data only

RENAME each file prefix from old db to new db name (because the phpMyAdmin rename tables "feature" is flaky and did not work properly in testing)
Search/Replace all occurrances of OLDDBNAME with NEWDBNAME in each file (same reason as above)
strip out all SET directives (6 per file) (these just get in the way, not needed)

DELETE all records in existing tables in NEW DB
(only these tables exist in NEW db)
j39na_f2c_fieldcontent 1305 records imported
j39na_f2c_fieldtype 38 records imported
j39na_f2c_form 73 records imported
j39na_f2c_project 4 records imported
j39na_f2c_projectfields 4 records imported
j39na_f2c_translation EMPTY TABLE nothing to do here

delete all values of column reference_id in new db
UPDATE `j39na_f2c_form` SET `reference_id` = NULL

NEW SITE db is dbhostname_oVjuf9074
Biographies CAT # CHANGED FROM 36 to 79 (this caused other minor changes to be required)
PREFIX is j39na_

WHEN using the "Refresh" in F2C articel manager, got this error for every article
F2C Article ID 91: Invalid parent ID.

FOUND in assets table this record, changed the name from com_content.category.36 to com_content.category.79

rebuilt categories and menus
redefined the category for menu item biographies

ALSO had to change the asset_id in the f2c_projects table to the legacy asset ID

COPIED the /images/stories/com_form2content/(p1/p2/p3) directories from old to new installation
I did not have any documents to copy
made sure that SIGE plugin installed on new for image handling

then purge and repair all tables with akeeba admin tools pro
total backup with akeeba pro
backup size for new went from 108 MB to 219 MB after the above procedure

I can see articles and display articles on a category blog menu.

NEXT step for me will be testing to ensure that I can add a new article using the F2C biography form.

I will keep you informed of my progress and level of success.

Please let me know if you would like for me to develop these notes into a HOWTO so that others that need to move F2C articles to a new web site do not have to endure the pain and frustration that I have enjoyed.

  1. more than a month ago
  2. Form2Content Lite & Pro
  3. # 6
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hello Kent,

I'm glad you managed to transfer your articles.And I see that I missed some tasks that needed to be done manually. :(

I'm afraid this procedure is not user-friendly, especially for non-technical users.
The "normal" way of moving articles across sites is the export/import XML way, though I'm aware it didn't work out for you.

You say that you want to develop notes how you managed the transfer. We would be very grateful to receive some help with documentation, but I'd rather spend some effort in making the current XML export/import documentation better, since you mention it didn't help you.

Would it be an idea that I examine your site to see what went wrong with the XML export/import. Once I have figured this out, you could point me to the flaws in the documentation?
If you want to participate in this, please send me an Akeeba back-up of your import site, plus the XML file that you used to import the articles.
You can send the back-up to julien at opensourcedesign dot nl

  1. more than a month ago
  2. Form2Content Lite & Pro
  3. # 7
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Glad to help in any way !
I have just emailed you the link to shared GDrive folder with backup and export file.
Please let me know if anything else required.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Form2Content Lite & Pro
  3. # 8
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