Should You Migrate Databases from Oracle to Microsoft SQL Server

3 Mins read

There is no definitive answer to should organizations migrate databases from Oracle to Microsoft SQL Server. There are points where one score over the other and vice versa. 

This post will go into the many aspects of the two concerning key differences between Oracle and SQL Server, the benefits of database Oracle to SQL Server migration, and the preliminary and final process of migration. 

Presently, most businesses, mainly mid and large-sized ones are on the Oracle platform as part of their database management system. However, increasing business volumes are putting massive stress on the existing infrastructure through the exponential rise in computing and storage capabilities requirements. The most-followed way now to get around this problem is to migrate databases from on-premises to the cloud and opt for Oracle to SQL Server migration.

Critical variances between database Oracle and SQL Server

There are several key differences between the two platforms. 

  • While Oracle is compatible with a wide range of platforms, SQL Server can be installed exclusively on the Microsoft Windows Server only.
  • Values do not change in Oracle before commit while it is not so on the SQL Server. 
  • Star Query optimization is supported by the Oracle database but this feature is not offered on the SQL Server.
  • Several schemas are supported by Oracle with the instance while SQL Server provides schemas in each database. 
  • Full, incremental, and differential database backups are offered by the Oracle database while SQL Server provides full, incremental, and partial database backups only. 

Given these key features of the two databases, the next step is to evaluate the benefits that accrue from Oracle to SQL Server migration.

The key benefits of Oracle to SQL Server migration

This section will explain why organizations are increasingly opting to switch databases from Oracle to SQL Server. 

  • Affordability: When the full-deck features of Oracle like Oracle Enterprise Manager or Oracle Data Guard are used, operation costs are more than SQL Server. It is because SQL Server provides all database engine features like Analysis Services and Reporting Services in one comprehensive license cost. Further, Microsoft SQL Server keeps costs within reasonable limits in several ways. These include compressing data, merging databases, allotting resources optimally, and visualizing servers, leading to a single streamlined and flexible data policy.  
  • Data handling: SQL Server is more adept in the management of massive volumes of data for running applications and workloads thereby meeting the increasing requirements of organizations for more data processing capabilities.
  • Reporting systems: SQL Server can create exclusive reporting systems through its unique automated business intelligence features, thereby partially eliminating the need for the human touch in database administration. 
  • Single vendor license: Users of the Oracle database get locked into this vendor with high licensing costs. This is especially felt when businesses upgrade or modernize the existing database infrastructure as resulting costs of usage increase substantially. On the other hand, users of Microsoft SQL Server get equal performance, scale, and security needed to run enterprise-level applications at reduced costs.  

These benefits make Oracle to SQL Server migrationa much-preferred option.

Oracle to SQL Server migration process

Before attempting Oracle to SQL Server migration, the systems should be readied for the process so that the migration passes off without a hitch.

Preparatory steps

  • Install the SQL Server on the target database where the migrated database will be located. Ensure proper connectivity and accessibility between the source Oracle database and the target Microsoft SQL Server. 
  • On the same server, install SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) and Oracle Client. However, before launching SSMA and connecting it to the source Oracle database, check the connectivity to the port and other firewall issues.  
  • Map the Oracle schema to the point where Oracle to SQL Server migrationwill be done. 
  • Convert Oracle objects and load them to the SQL Server. This can be done either by saving a script and running it on SQL Server or synchronizing the database objects. 

Once these steps have been completed, the ground is ready for Oracle to SQL Server migration.

Migrating database Oracle to Microsoft SQL Server

There are two methods that organizations can choose from for the migration task.

  • One-go migration: The complete migration is completed in one lot. Systems have to be shut down during the process as otherwise any transaction done after the last run or backup will not be moved to the new target database. Even though it is a quick and seamless process, businesses, especially those in the mid and large-size range might find it inconvenient because of the required downtime. Before starting, test executions have to be run so that there are no glitches during the actual migration.
  • Two-step migration: There are two steps involved here and that is why it is often referred to as the phased migration method. In the first, the focus is only on the part of the data that is static and does not change. Once this process is completed, data migration is done at preset intervals only of the incremental data that has come up after the last run.   

Oracle to SQL Server migrationis largely automated and the method selected by businesses depends entirely on their specific needs and whether they can afford to shut down their systems for any length of time. 


About author
Breanna, with the help and support of BeDoper's audience, provides fresh news on the tech and EdTech daily to your screen. Stay connected with Breanna on FB, Twitter, and Pinterest to spice up your feeds and productivate your time.
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