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How to Migrate to InterBase/Firebird Databases?

When speaking about the functionality and/or performance, many arguments can be mentioned in favor of InterBase/Firebird database management systems - at least as compared to the leading enterprise level RDBMSs. For example, from the cost perspective Firebird offers a comfortable migration path from closed-source, commercial databases to an open-source analogue since Firebird provides a lot of the features available in commercial databases, including stored procedures, triggers, hot backups (backups made while the database is running) and replication. Some advantages furthermore assigned to InterBase/Firebird database management systems are standard conformity, stability, a small footprint (needing few resources) and ease of administration. As a result, now both InterBase and Firebird offer a high performance, scalable, portable and cross-platform database solution that is ideal for mission critical enterprise or embedded applications. Here we will not consider the causes of migration to InterBase/Firebird, but will discuss the issues associated with the migration process itself.

Database migration is a special process regarding the knowledge embedded in the schemas and the unique value of the data contained in the databases. Data loss or corruption could be a risk a company is not willing to take. Throughout the migration process to InterBase or Firebird system there are the two most important phases:

  • schema migration - designing the schema mappings, implementation of the mapping, evaluation of the schema's correctness;
  • data migration - designing the data mappings, transferring data into the target database server, testing.

GUI Tools for InterBase/Firebird Migrating

It became obvious that database migration is a complex task so the migration toolkits could prove very useful in supporting the workflow. Using this kind of tools can spare about half the time spent on manual data transformation and transfer.

EMS Data Pump for InterBase/Firebird is a powerful tool for converting databases and importing table data from an ADO-compatible source (e.g. MS Access, MS SQL Server, or any other source with ADO support) to InterBase/Firebird databases. Since ADO provides applications with the uniform access to information stored in diverse information sources, EMS Data Pump for InterBase/Firebird is able to move the data from absolutely various sources, like database systems, indexed-sequential files, spreadsheets, document stores, OLE DB and ODBC connections.

The tool has an easy-to-use wizard interface that allows you to build the ADO connection string, select the source tables, fields, indices and constraints for converting, view and edit the SQL script for generating the target InterBase/Firebird database, select tables to be imported, set an SQL criterion for importing data and customize a number of pump options. You can fully customize generation of InterBase/Firebird database elements according to the source information structure. The program allows you to set the correspondence between DB Provider and the target database server data types, view and edit the target InterBase/Firebird database properties, such as schema which the table is to be allocated to; define data type, size, scale, default value and other column options; specify indices attributes; set constraint types and more.

Additionally to the GUI wizard, the installation package of EMS Data Pump for InterBase/Firebird includes the command-line utility. This utility can automate the migration task by performing data transformation on the schedule basis according to the saved parameters.

Making a Backup of InterBase/Firebird Database

Database snapshots allow you save database structure and data to a script file and can be useful in your data recovery efforts in case of a disaster because you can revert your existing database to the snapshot or restore individual tables and data as necessary.

EMS DB Extract for InterBase/Firebird is a useful and easy-to-use utility for creating InterBase/Firebird database backups in a form of SQL scripts. It allows you to save metadata of database objects and, additionally, table data. Full customization of the extract process enables you to select source objects and data tables for extract and tune many other extract options, like defining constraints for extracted data tables, setting SQL statements for emptying tables before inserting extracted data and more. DB Extract for InterBase/Firebird includes a graphical wizard that will guide you through the database extract process step by step, and a command-line service for automation of your tasks.

The demand for database management tools in the areas of archiving, security, migration, backup, and replication will continue to increase as enterprises look for comprehensive and automated solutions to support growing requirements. EMS SQL Management Studio for InterBase and Firebird is a set of powerful tools for developing database applications and administering databases. This integrated workbench will become your indispensable assistant in your InterBase/Firebird database management process and will help you to view the contents of the databases and its schema definition, generate test data, debug code, compare database schemas and contents, create complex queries and much more.

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