Gartner Research

Familiarize Yourself With DBMS Migration Best Practices to Ensure Success

Published: 18 October 2017

ID: G00332646

Analyst(s): Lyn Robison , Henry Cook


DBMS migrations present many challenges and traps for the unwary. This research offers guidance about the techniques technical professionals can use to migrate between DBMSs and provides examples about how to detect and handle the many pitfalls.

Table Of Contents

Problem Statement

The Gartner Approach

The Guidance Framework

  • Prework
    • Clear Objectives
    • Core Team
    • Management Support
  • Step 0: Become Familiar With Migration Technology and Techniques
    • Example of Typical DBMS Differences: SQL Server and Oracle
    • Example: SQL Server to Hana and Use of IDENTITY
  • Step 1: High-Level Assessment of the Feasibility and Effort to Migrate
    • Migration Metrics
    • Particular Risk Factors and Technical Conversion Challenges
    • Initial Architecture
    • Migration Approach and Estimates
    • High-Level Business Case and Feasibility Assessment
  • Step 2: Undertake a Detailed Migration Study
    • Turning Risk Into a Cost Estimate
    • The Correct Use of Contingency
    • A Useful Migration Sanity Check
    • Database Compatibility Options
    • Dynamic SQL Translation as an Alternative to Code Conversion
    • Built-In Translation Frameworks
    • Case Study: Thomas Publishing
  • Step 3: Carry Out the Migration
    • Case Study: Large Insurance Company
  • Step 4: Formal Cutover to Production
    • Case Study: REWE Systems
  • Follow-Up
    • Case Study: Converting Thousands of Schemas Through Repeatable Migration

Risks and Pitfalls

  • Related Guidance

Gartner Recommended Reading

©2021 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and its affiliates. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without Gartner’s prior written permission. It consists of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization, which should not be construed as statements of fact. While the information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartner research may address legal and financial issues, Gartner does not provide legal or investment advice and its research should not be construed or used as such. Your access and use of this publication are governed by Gartner’s Usage Policy. Gartner prides itself on its reputation for independence and objectivity. Its research is produced independently by its research organization without input or influence from any third party. For further information, see Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity.

Already have a Gartner Account?

Become a client

Learn how to access this content as a Gartner client.