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Switching to MySQL from SQL Server

SQL Server is a database management system offered by Microsoft. While it is a good tool to work with, it requires licensing which can be extremely costly. Besides the cost, it is also managed by a single company, hence making any updates or requirements dependent on them to fulfill. As an alternative, you could use MySQL. MySQL offers all of the features of SQL Servers while being open-source. Being open-source means it is free to use, edit or modify for your use.

An added advantage of using MySQL is its ability to run well with web-based applications. It is used widely with PHP, a popular web framework.

If you are planning to migrate from SQL Server to MySQL, there are a number of way to go about it:

  1. The most obvious method is to do a manual migration. This requires a person with strong technical knowledge of databases as it requires manually exporting entries from MS SQL and importing them into MySQL. While this method can work, it is likely to cause problems. It would not be recommended for everyone.
  2. A second option is to use a native migration tool offered by Microsoft or MySQL themselves. Microsoft has a DTS service while MySQL has the MySQL workbench. These definitely ease the process of migration by migrating database schemas, data, constraints, and indexes. However, they do not migrate more complex structures like view or stored procedures. If you want to migrate these complex structures, you would have to go about it manually.
  3. The last, and most easy-to-use option is to use an automated migration tool. This method is most suitable for beginners as well as professionals who are looking for a one-click solution. An automated tool can transfer the basic schema, data extremely efficiently but it also can not handle complex stored procedures, triggers and views.

Once the migration is completed. It can be verified by randomly matching data between the new and the original database. Below is the list of key features that are expected from SQL Server to MySQL converter:

  • Support for all versions of SQL Server (including Azure SQL) and MySQL (including popular forks and SAAS platforms)
  • Options to merge and synchronize MS SQL data into an existing MySQL database
  • Options to migrate MS SQL database into MySQL script file containing both DDL and DML statements
  • Migrate indexes and foreign keys with all necessary attributes
  • Support for command line arguments in order to automate the migration
  • Option to customize resulting table structure would be an extra benefit
  • Option to filter data using SELECT-querieswould be an extra benefit¬†