How to Achieve a Developer-Friendly Oracle to Postgres Migration
It’s no secret that developers love Postgres. In fact, that passion has been one of the key drivers in businesses migrating to Postgres and away from proprietary legacy databases like Oracle, which lack the flexibility, reliability and innovative potential required to build truly modern applications.
But we wanted to learn more about the exact priorities and concerns developers weigh when considering Oracle to Postgres migration—what do they hope to achieve, and how can Postgres experts help them achieve it?
That’s why we gathered questions from those who attended our recent Oracle migration webinar series, and ran them by those at EDB who know developers best: Vice President of the Performance Engineering and Architecture team, Vibhor Kumar and Senior Postgres DevOps Engineer, Doug Ortiz.
Here, we’ve compiled their insights into:
- How leaving Oracle for Postgres specifically benefits developers
- What considerations and concerns developers might have about the process of migration
- The best solutions to ensure a seamless migration that will fulfill all developer needs
Oracle to Postgres migration empowers developers
“The fundamental reason why developers prefer Postgres to Oracle—and why they’re so in favor of migration—is that the technology behind Postgres is extremely developer-friendly,” Vibhor Kumar explained at the beginning of our conversation. “It has all of the capabilities and features that a developer could want, in addition to offering incredible benefits from an extensibility point of view.”
These two benefits come up frequently when EDB speaks with developers about their database needs. While legacy databases like Oracle offer a relatively robust suite of tools and capabilities, developers are often restricted from using anything not included in that suite—or the tools of their choice will be limited by the database post-integration. Postgres, on the other hand, puts no boundaries upon what solutions a developer can integrate into their arsenal, making it easier to develop modern applications that fit the standards and vision of the organization. “With Postgres, if a developer wants to create an extension or build their own storage system, they can do that easily,” Kumar emphasized.
As for extensibility, we hear a similar refrain: restriction vs. freedom. With Oracle, your ability to expand your database as necessary comes with additional charges from the provider—you’re essentially paying to grow. Postgres has no interest in charging you for your own success, however. You can grow as you see fit without worrying about future financial hurdles.
Finally, Kumar noted Postgres’ ability to connect with other databases, allowing architects and IT leaders to build hybrid, multi-system infrastructures that are ideally suited to the diverse needs of a development team. “Different databases are good for different things,” he explained. “If an organization wants to still use Oracle for some things or MongoDB for some things, it’s very easy for developers to use extensions to pull data from those databases into their Postgres when they need it. This is just another example of how Postgres isn’t just ‘user-friendly,’ but as we said, developer-friendly!”
What Postgres migration looks like for a developer
Those are just three of the many reasons we see developers pushing their IT decision-makers to adopt Postgres. Of course, it’s one thing to point out the benefits of your dream database; it’s another thing to outline the process of migrating in a way that keeps your business up and running.
“When a developer is wondering what the process of migrating to Postgres looks like for them, we explain that the answer will largely depend on their use case,” Kumar said. “If they’re ANSI SQL standard followers and users—if that’s where they do most of their work—not much will change for them, and they won’t have to think too much about the migration. If they’re an Oracle user who is very enmeshed in all of the Oracle development features, the migration may be more involved on their end.” That increased involvement isn’t just a matter of unlearning old tools and learning new ones; it’s also a matter of rewriting fundamental components of the database on which the developers depend.
Because Community Postgres (also referred to as PostgreSQL) doesn’t come with built-in Oracle compatibility, the Oracle tools for development can’t just be ported over. Not only will the developers themselves be responsible for restructuring their architecture or rewriting pieces of application code for PostgreSQL, they will also have to do extensive testing once the migration is complete to ensure that everything is working properly and nothing got lost in the rewriting process.
It’s here where some teams begin to get cold feet, and that’s understandable. Database migration is complicated and can take time when your source and target are heterogeneous in their infrastructure. Questions like, “what if the length of the migration disrupts business continuity and delays our new release?” or “what if we complete the migration and our applications no longer work?” are very common.
Luckily, there are a range of solutions designed specifically to prevent these outcomes and ensure as seamless a migration to Postgres as possible. With their help, all your developers need to is anticipate what awaits in their new database.
Migration tools and services set developers up for success
In the second of our three Oracle migration webinars, we explored how the process of migrating the data itself is the most intimidating part of the migration process. Especially when you’re dealing with heterogeneous databases, this is where your business faces the biggest chance for error. But what if you could make your source and your target just a little less heterogeneous?
“The tight integration of applications with Oracle interfaces is one of the main things that makes these migrations so complicated, because Postgres doesn’t offer any sort of meaningful compatibility for those Oracle interfaces. That’s why EDB designed interfaces like OCL, equivalent to OCI, EDB*Loader, equivalent to SQL*loader, EDB*Plus, equivalent to SQL*plus and ECPGPlus similar to Pro*C to help ease the migration process, complete with Oracle compatibility,” explained Kumar.
Oracle compatibility is one of the cornerstones of all the migration tools that EDB offers. It reduces the risk of errors due to rewriting, helps enterprises save money and time that might have gone into correcting major errors during migration, allows your developers to carry over many of the tools and code they’re already familiar with and drastically reduces the time it takes to execute even a major migration.
These solutions—such as Migration Portal, Migration Toolkit, Replication Server, and LiveCompare—are designed to support your IT leaders and developers, whether you’ve chosen to migrate EDB Postgres Advanced Server or free Community Postgres. They don’t require you to invest in an enterprise Postgres database, just the database best suited to your needs.
And it doesn’t stop there! It’s one thing to have the tools to simplify your migration; it’s another to have constant guidance along the way, provided by experts who live and breathe Postgres. With EDB Professional Services, you can get 24/7 access to support on migration hurdles and advice on designing a Postgres architecture that truly empowers your developers.
“Developers love how easy to use Postgres is. They love how much it allows them to accomplish,” Doug Ortiz reiterated as he listed off his favorite migration tools. “You want your developers to be able to experience that from Day One, and ensuring a seamless migration with specialized tools and services is the best way to do that.”
Postgres makes developer innovation easy; EDB makes Postgres adoption simple
In many ways, your developers are the vanguard of your enterprise, finding new and exciting ways to transform and modernize your applications. That’s why they want a database that won’t hold them back or limit what they can achieve. It’s why they want Postgres.
Over the years, we’ve seen this born out, as developers from organizations big and small come to EDB with questions about how to get to Postgres from Oracle, what migration asks of them and how they can make the most of Postgres once they’ve migrated. We hope Vibhor Kumar and Doug Ortiz were able to provide you with answers to some of these questions, as well as ideas for how to streamline the process of migrating.
Don’t let Oracle hold your developers back. If they aren’t innovating, neither are you.
Want to learn more about how to design the ideal Oracle to Postgres migration? Check out our eBook "The Complete Oracle to Postgres Migration Guide!"