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Guest Article: Overcoming the Costs of Oracle Migrations

Sandor Klein I Manages Sales Operations
Europe, the Middle East and Africa, 14 May 2014

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By Sandor Klein, Vice President – EnterpriseDB
Modern IT organizations face the daunting dilemma of contracting budgets and exploding information demands. Practical economics dictate that these demands cannot continue to be met with expensive, proprietary database technology. By leveraging Postgres with Oracle compatibility, Oracle shops have overcome the three major cost categories of switching – technology, people and IT operations – that have traditionally locked out alternative databases.

When combined with EnterpriseDB’s compatibility best practices, Postgres Plus Advanced Server gives IT organizations a continuum of cost-effective Oracle compatibility alternatives, including new application deployment, replication for reporting and business intelligence and application migration.

EnterpriseDB extends the open source database PostgreSQL with enterprise-grade performance, security and manageability enhancements. In addition, EnterpriseDB implemented a comprehensive suite of Oracle-compatible database constructs, interfaces and utilities.

The ability to run existing Oracle applications on Postgres Plus Advanced Server eliminates the costly, time-consuming, and risky re-coding typically required to migrate applications from Oracle to any other database. In addition, an enterprise’s Oracle DBA and database developer skill sets are completely reusable in a Postgres Plus Advanced Server environment, eliminating the need for costly re-training or re-hiring.

And recognizing that there are many reasons why organizations cannot simply convert all Oracle applications to another database, EDB compatibility ensures smooth integration into an existing Oracle infrastructure with tools like xDB Replication Server that supports bi-directional replication between Advanced Server and Oracle databases.

Achieving Compatibility

Achieving compatibility required augmenting PostgreSQL in nine critical areas so that it can replace or supplement Oracle databases in an enterprise’s IT infrastructure. These are:

Oracle SQL Compatibility – the ability to execute Oracle-specific SQL syntax.
PL/SQL Compatibility – the ability to execute PL/SQL, Oracle’s unique language for triggers, stored procedures, packages and functions.
Data Dictionary Views – including the most popular Oracle catalog views.
Programming Flexibility and Drivers – the ability to support the most common programming languages used to create database applications for Oracle, including compatibility and interoperability with the Oracle Call Interface (OCI) and Pro*C.
Migration Tools – a suite of automated tools to move Oracle schema, data, packages, triggers, stored procedures, functions and other objects in one simple step.
Replication – the ability to replicate with Oracle databases in near real-time to improve database performance, offload reporting from OLTP systems, and as the foundation for other applications at a small fraction of Oracle’s cost.
Enterprise-class Reliability and Scalability – the features and capabilities to provide parity for Oracle in many high-volume, mission-critical applications.
Security – row-level security support, built-in source code obfuscation to hide sensitive or confidential information in 
addition to traditional role-based authentication and authorization.
Oracle-like Tools – a robust set of integrated tools that will be familiar to professional Oracle DBAs and developers such as EDB*Plus, EDB*Loader and EDB*Wrap.

Best Practices for Oracle Migrations

Many organizations select an initial application with which to prove the functional
equivalence of compatibility features and to gain confidence in the overall strategy. Once the initial application has been developed, tested and deployed, the team is in a good position to decide what other applications are the good candidates for migration.

It’s important to note that query, reporting and BI activities can significantly degrade the performance of OLTP applications. Many organizations address this dilemma by replicating business transactions from a primary (Oracle) database to a replica (Postgres Plus Advanced Server) database. In this configuration, the primary database continues to deliver OLTP services to associated business applications with improved performance, while the replica database supports high-volume query and reporting activities also with improved performance.

With such technology available that reduces the costs often associated changing databases, Any Oracle shop looking to reduce their license costs and vendor lock-in would be well served to investigate Postgres Plus Advanced Server as a complement or replacement to their existing systems.

– Sandor Klein I Manages Sales Operations, Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Read other articles in the Newsletter:
Business has changed, design approach needs to change as well – Sachin Dabir

Does your organisation want to be an Elephant or a Cheetah? – Kaustubh P

What I learnt as a PostgreSQL Trainer – Sameer Kumar