Release Notes: What your newsroom needs to know about the DocumentCloud migration

Release Notes: What your newsroom needs to know about the DocumentCloud migration

Plus MuckRock gets a major speed boost

Written by
Edited by Beryl Lipton

We’re three-quarters through migrating newsrooms over to the upgraded DocumentCloud platform, so we wanted to take some time to walk through what we’ve learned so far and what newsrooms need to know for a smooth transition. The video of our discussion last week — including Q&A time where we answered burning questions — is below. We also upgraded MuckRock’s servers to offer a faster, more responsive experience.

For previous site improvements, check out all of MuckRock’s release notes, and if you’d like updates emailed to you — along with ways to help contribute to the site’s development yourself — subscribe to our developer newsletter here.

What newsrooms migrating to the upgraded DocumentCloud need to know

We have migrated about 75% of newsrooms over to the DocumentCloud Beta, and the feedback has been incredibly helpful in prioritizing what we work on and how we focus our support. Our goal is to migrate all newsrooms to the new, more stable platform by the end of the year so that we can begin the work of migrating URLs smoothly and roll down the old servers without disruption.

Last week, we held a webinar to walk through common questions and help get folks acclimated to the new platform. Here’s a few bullet points that are worth highlighting, and the full video is embedded below:

  • Timeline: We’re migrating newsrooms over from the smallest to the largest, but we can move you up or back in the queue if needed. To get upgraded sooner, email us with the subject line “Beta Migration.” To delay your migration, fill out this form. Please note that we are generally unable to delay migrations beyond the end of the year. If you have a serious blocker that prevents upgrading before then, please get in touch so we can discuss.
  • Deprecated or missing features: Most of DocumentCloud’s core features are now implemented in the Beta, along with some major improvements to processing speed and stability. We have not yet migrated a few things, however, that impact some newsrooms: Project embeds, non-PDF document processing, internationalization of the interface, and entity extraction. We are also deprecating the timeline view feature in favor of re-thinking new ways of analyzing large corpus of documents.
  • User management: User management has been revamped and is now done through MuckRock Accounts with some major tweaks to make it easier to manage organizations and users in more flexible, intuitive ways going forward.
  • Kicking the tires: If your newsroom already uses DocumentCloud and you’d like some users to have access to the Beta for testing and evaluation purposes but are not ready for the full upgrade, email us with the subject line “Beta Access” and please include your organizational name.

MuckRock server tune up

DocumentCloud has been getting a lot of upgrades recently, but we have also been working on some updates to MuckRock. As the site has grown, some things got a little slower than we wanted, so last week we flipped on a big upgrade to a beefier server. Almost everything should be a lot faster, particularly searches and operations on existing requests.

Image via Wikimedia Commons