Database migration is the process through which a database is transferred from one Database Management System or computer to another. There are various reasons why a company may need to migrate its database. It may be replacing hardware, or their hardware requires maintenance or an upgrade. The data center may be relocating or just simply, a company finds a better DMBS with a more pleasant working environment. For complete migration, all database objects, properties and categories are transferred: table definitions, data, contains, views, triggers, stored procedures, indexes, functions, roles, permissions and user accounts.
There are two ways database migration can be carried out. Either manually or by using automated software designed by specialist companies. The manual procedure is as follows:
- In the form of SQL, table definitions are extracted from the original database with its matching indexes and constraints
- These SQL statements are then turned into the target format for example in case we are shifting to Oracle, into Oracle format and imported to its destination database
- Data is gathered from the tables and stored as CSV (comma separated values) files serving as intermediary storage
- Data is then converted into destination format before being imported on to target tables
- Views, stored procedures/functions and triggers are gathered from the source database as SQL statements and source code
- These statements and code are then transformed into target format before being imported into destination database
The new system then needs to be verified to check if the database has been migrated perfectly from the source database. At this stage of the process, data integrity and appropriate supports for matching applications should be gone through and cross checked.
However, this process as a whole is tedious and difficult. Most companies prefer automating the process. For this, some specialized softwareare available and ready to be used. The difficult task here is to find the perfect tool for this task on which you can rely without having to worry about the protection of your data. A good converter must have the following features:
- It should support all variants and forks of both the source and target database management systems
- It should be able to convert primary database entries (including table definitions, data, indexes and constraints) alongside all necessary features
- All of the conversion settings are saved inside a profile to be used for next time as well
- There should be an option to edit names, conversion rules, types mapping etc.
- Command line version should be present
- 24/7 customer support should be provided in addition with tutorials on Youtube/or other media platforms
A number of software vendors are working toward the goal of providing automated database migration tools in line with these features. One of them is Intelligent Converters having worked in this sector for almost 20 years. They have a variety of tools to migrate databases between every single possible Database Management System including MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, SQL Server, Azure SQL, MS Access, SQLite and FoxPro.