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How to give up Oracle and welcome Postgres?

– Rajni Baliyan I DBA Consultant, Ashnik
Singapore, 16 Apr 2014

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I meet many customers who actually want to over come dependency on Oracle database but they think it is tricky and difficult. Not many know of alternatives those are as robust as Oracle database. And it begins with having doubts on how they can minimize the efforts of modifying the application (if needed) and importantly whom to trust it with.
Oracle users’ pain point revolves mainly around: “contracts and application packages”. Oracle sells whole stack of application not just the database and these applications generally aren’t certified on many other alternative databases, so the customers are stuck using Oracle Database for each corresponding Oracle app. The other problem is often such deals come with contractual lock-in and that is the aching part. How to get rid of this, is a big question.
Finding the right application (based on Oracle database) to migrate is also a difficult part. Whether to migrate completely out of Oracle database or to choose a specific application is another question that adds up to the dilemma of migration. In most cases, cost-containment strategy is to build new applications/workloads on Postgres Plus Advanced Server (PPAS). Another popular migration strategy, we have observed, is offloading the reporting queries to PPAS.
A small to mid-size firm might find it easier to scrap and switch. The higher the number of applications, the more likely it’ll get to optimize the mix of technology in the data center. One can easily limit the usage of Oracle apps to only things that require it. For instance: State Farm, one of the biggest insurance firms in US, performed a major refactor recently, moving all mission-critical apps over to PPAS.
PPAS, EnterpriseDB’s enterprise class product, is favoured by companies when wanting to move away from Oracle database. We being EDB’s master partner in ASEAN region, get to meet lots of such customers. And our first advice to them is to start with the ‘low hanging fruits’ – anything that isn’t mission critical. And in no time, they see that migration was not as much a pain as they thought it would be. And eventually, many of our customers end up migrating the critical apps too.
PPAS comes with the Oracle compatibility layer which eases the process of migration. Using the PPAS migration tool one can migrate the Oracle application virtually unchanged. Migration is the 8 phase process- Plan, Prepare Environment, Migrate Schema, Migrate Data, Port Application, Test, Integration, Rollout (go live).
And in case you’re wondering who can help us with this, Ashnik can! We offer consultancy services in this region for migrating away from Oracle and use a script-based analysis of the existing Oracle database setup to determine risk and unknowns of migrating an app to PPAS. With our experience in choosing the correct application and approach of first ‘cracking the risks and then walking through the pain of migration’, we sure have many a success tales to tell.


  • – Rajni Baliyan I DBA Consultant, Ashnik