Migration of Templates from Wiki Markup to XHTML-Based Storage Format

If you are upgrading to Confluence 4.3 or later from an older version (from Confluence 4.2.x or earlier) then as part of the upgrade an automatic migration of your page templates will take place. This is a non-destructive process. Your existing content is not overwritten. Instead, the migration process will create a new version of each space template and each global template on your Confluence site. The new version will use the new XHTML-based storage format, so that you can edit the template in the Confluence rich text editor.

Note: Nevertheless, you must be sure to perform a backup of your database and home directory prior to starting the new version of Confluence, as we recommend for any Confluence upgrade.

Watching the migration logs during the upgrade

To monitor the progress of a site migration you should watch the output in the application log.

A typical logging progress will be shown by multiple log entries at the INFO level of the following format:

WikiToXhtmlMigrationThread-n - Migrated 22 of 29 PageTemplates.

There may be a wide array of messages logged from each individual template, but any errors are also collected for display in a single migration report once all content has been processed. Here is a typical example of such a report:

Wiki to XHTML Exception Report:
	0 settings values failed.
	2 PageTemplates failed.
	0 ContentEntityObjects failed.
Content Exceptions:
	1) Type: page, Id: 332, Title: Release Notes 1.0b3, Space: DOC - Confluence 4.0 Beta. Cause: com.atlassian.confluence.content.render.xhtml.migration.exceptions.UnknownMacroMigrationException: The macro link is unknown.. Message: The macro link is unknown.
	2) Type: comment, Id: 6919, Title: null, Global Scope. Cause: com.atlassian.confluence.content.render.xhtml.migration.exceptions.UnknownMacroMigrationException: The macro mymacro is unknown.. Message: The macro mymacro is unknown.

Each entry in the report will identify the content that caused migration exceptions as well as displaying the exceptions themselves.

In almost all cases any content reported as errored will have been migrated to the new  XHTML-based storage format, but will actually consist of wiki markup content wrapped within an XML 'unmigrated-wiki-markup' macro. This content will still be viewable in Confluence and editable within the Confluence rich text editor.

However, in some cases a batch of content may actually have completely failed to migrate. This is most typically due to an unhandled exception causing a database transaction rollback. This would be reported in the log with a message like this:

Unable to start up Confluence. Fatal error during startup sequence: confluence.lifecycle.core:pluginframeworkdependentupgrades (Run all the upgrades that require the plugin framework to be available) - com.atlassian.confluence.content.render.xhtml.migration.exceptions.MigrationException: java.util.concurrent.ExecutionException: org.springframework.transaction.UnexpectedRollbackException: Transaction rolled back because it has been marked as rollback-only

Confluence provides no further report about this scenario and will also allow Confluence to restart as normal without retrying a migration. If a user tries to view or edit an unmigrated template, the wiki template editor will be used.

The solution is to manually re-run the site migration after the restart, as described below.

Re-running the migration

A Confluence administrator can restart the template migration if any templates have failed the migration (see previous section). Only the templates that are still formatted in wiki markup will be migrated again. Typically, a re-migration will take less time than the original migration.

To manually re-run the migration:

  1. Open this URL in your browser: <Confluence Address>/admin/force-upgrade.action
  2. Select pageTemplateWikiToXhtmlMigrationUpgradeTask in the Upgrade task to run dropdown list.
  3. Choose Force Upgrade.

Screenshot: The 'Force Upgrade' screen in the Confluence administration console


We refer to the Confluence storage format as 'XHTML-based'. To be correct, we should call it XML, because the Confluence storage format does not comply with the XHTML definition. In particular, Confluence includes custom elements for macros and more. We're using the term 'XHTML-based' to indicate that there is a large proportion of HTML in the storage format.

Last modified on May 25, 2023

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