Database migration

Andrew Reid andrew.reid at plug.cx
Tue Dec 3 09:20:07 CST 2002


On Mon, Dec 02, 2002 at 10:24:58PM +1030, Daryl Tester wrote:

> > At this stage, I'm particularly interested in hearing about people's
> > experiences and recomendations when it comes to database servers. I've
> > been thinking PostgreSQL from the Open Source world, and probably
> > Oracle from the commercial world, as options.
> 
> Both of these are robust databases with their own peculiar wrinkles;
> it's be worth getting A DBA to look over your in-progress/final system
> to see what performance tuning might be applicable (I've been bitten
> by a Postgres peculiarity recently that's going to involve some
> system reengineering on my part).

OK. Dare I even suggest (seeing as we are, for all intents and
purposes, a Microsoft shop, at the moment) that SQL Server is even
worth thinking about? I've never worked with it in a development
sense, but I can imagine that it will be raised as an option at some
stage in the future.

... not that I'm particularly keen to use it (the number of security
advisories directly relating to SQL Server in the last few weeks is
quite frightening), but it'll have to be a consideration.

> > My knowledge of Btreive is fairly minimal (and I'd like to keep it
> > that way, thank-you-very-much), so I thought I'd ask: has anyone had
> > any experience in moving data out of Btrieve and into a more
> > heavy-duty SQL server like PostgreSQL or Oracle?
> 
> I've done a DBase to Postgresql (6.5ish) conversion a while back.  I
> used Python to validate read and validate the database, then wrote it
> to a staging area (I can't remember if that version supported
> referential checking, but I do remember spending a while on it). 
> Then the next phase involved restructuring the schemas.

I'm learning that things mightn't be quite as bad as I thought they
might, as we're not, apparantly, using Btrieve in its original form,
rather a newer animal called "Pervasive SQL 2000", which seems as
though it might be easier to work with, from initial pokings around.

> > How much hair do you have left?
> 
> Most of it.  Not the same colour, though.

:-)

> How are you going to get the existing Windows clients to talk to the
> new database?

Still thinking about that. Perhaps, as was suggested to me by Dan
Shearer, the backend can produce data in XML format to be rendered by
whatever application we so choose, whether it be a Windows-native
client, a web-based client, or something made out of toothpicks and
creamcheese.

There's a fair bit of thinking to be done in that department, as the
interface that we currently use makes fairly heavy use of some of the
slightly interesting controls that come standard out-of-the-box under
Windows and associated APIs; these would have to be rewritten in HTML
or something if a web-based interface was to be produced.

> I'm sure other stuff will come to me in the middle of the night ...

Yeah, well, you've got my cellphone number :-)

   - andrew

-- 
| Andrew Reid [mailto:andrew.reid at plug.cx]
| Overworked and Underpaid Network Monkey
| C: +61-401-946-813  F: +61-8-8379-1093
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