How To: Change an AMS-Managed Community into an HL-Managed Community

By Cristy Zuazua posted Mar 27, 2018 10:33 AM

Hi, all - a common question we get from admins is how to change an AMS-managed community into an HL-managed community. This is a fairly simple process, but it's important to understand the difference between AMS-managed communities and HL-managed communities so you can make sure you understand how each will function and be managed going forward:

  • AMS-managed (or integrated) communities are communities that are created in your membership database (for most clients, that would be NetForum, Aptify, Personify, etc - in our jargon, we refer to this database as an AMS). This means that community membership is based on a classification sourcing from your membership database, and that classification pulls over the the Higher Logic community site and puts users in a specific community based on the member's record in your membership database. For example, if you have a Board of Directors community and it's AMS-managed, your database admin would have to add a code or classification - like BOD - in a user's member record for the system to pull them into that community.
  • HL-managed communities, also referred to as member-created communities, are communities that don't interact with your membership database, or AMS, at all. They are created solely on the Higher Logic side and membership is managed through the community settings on our platform only. You can manually add users to this type of community, or set up Automation Rules to add specific user groups.
Because the setup of these two buckets of communities is fundamentally different, there is no way to switch an AMS-managed community to an HL-managed community, and vice versa. The process to transition an AMS-managed community into an HL-mananged community follows:

  1. Create a new HL-managed community. If you go to your All Communities page (most organizations have this, as it's part of our standard setup, but others may have custom layouts that vary), there will be a button that says Create New Community, here:

    1. Click the Create New Community button and give your new community a name. Please note, all communities need unique names, so if you're trying to title it the same thing as your AMS-managed community, I'd change the name of the original community to something slightly different and then use the name you want on the new community.
    2. Add desired description and view permissions and Save.
  2. Decide what data to migrate from your AMS-managed community. Higher Logic has a back-end tool to bulk-migrate community data, but only as a whole, from community to community. So, for example, we can migrate all library entries from one community to another fairly quickly and free of charge, but if you'd like only certain files moved from one community to another, there may be a fee for this, as it's a much more manual process.

    If you decide to migrate content from your AMS-managed community to your new, HL-managed community, please create a support ticket and include the links to both the old and the new community and let us know what you'd like migrated; this information will expedite the migration process.
  3. Add members to your new community. Higher Logic can migrate content from one community to another, but not members. To add members to your new HL-managed community, you can add them manually or open a support ticket to bulk-add them to the community. In order to d the latter, we would need .csv Excel file containing one column titled, "Email" and all the desired users' email addresses. If you can include if you'd like them subscribed to Real Time, Daily Digest, or No Email to start, it will expedite the process.
  4. Archive your old AMS-managed community. If you go to the community landing page of your old, AMS-managed community, you can click on Settings > Settings > click on the dropdown under Type to change it to a hidden Community Type, as below (naming conventions may vary):

And now you're all set! You old community is safely archived, and your new community is ready to go. Cheers!