Database migration is the task of transferring data and meta-data between diverse storage types, formats, or systems. Enterprises and companies often find themselves requiring database migration for a range of purposes, including the replacement of server or storage equipment, routine maintenance or upgrades, migration of applications, consolidation of websites, and the relocation of data facilities. Implementation of this procedure includes conversion and transfer of all database objects and categories: table definitions, data, indexes, constraints, views, triggers, stored procedures and processes, user accounts, roles and permissions.
Databases could possibly be migrated manually or programmatically through the use of advanced program known as database converters. Manual approach usually comprises these steps:
- export table definitions along with indexes and constraints from the source database in form of CREATE-statements
- convert these statements into the destination format and import to the target database
- export the source data into comma separated values (CSV) files as an intermediate storage
- transform the data according to the destination format and load it to the target database
- extract views, stored procedures/functions and triggers from the original database in form of SQL statements and code
- convert these statements and code into the destination format and load into the target database
Right after being loaded into the new database management system, the finalized data requires validation to ascertain the accuracy of the migration, ensuring its completeness, and confirming that it provides the necessary support for applications in the new system. It is advisable to run both the source and destination database systems simultaneously during the verification phase. This approach helps identify any differences and incompatibilities between the two databases and prevents potential data loss or corruption.
For extensive and complex database migration projects, employing a programmatic approach known as database converter is highly recommended. This allows for an automated process flow, alleviating the burden on human resources from challenging tasks. Selecting the appropriate tool is crucial in order to execute the database relocation within the intended timeframe, while safeguarding against any loss of data or corruption.
Here are the basic capabilities that should be available for a high quality database converter:
- All recent on-premises and/or cloud versions of source and destination database management systems are supported
- Table definitions, indexes and constraints and other important database entries are converted with all necessary attributes
- All necessary settings are stored into a profile to simplify running next conversion
- Full Unicode support
- Option to customize types mapping, data migration rules, etc
- Command line support
- Comprehensive documentation and 24/7 support service
Numerous software enterprises specialize in providing dedicated resources for automating database migration. One such company is Intelligent Converters, which has been actively engaged in the realm of database conversion, migration, and synchronization since the year 2001. They create a wide range of database converters for all well-known DBMS like PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, Azure SQL, IBM DB2, MS Access, FoxPro/Dbase, Firebird/Interbase and SQLite.