Migrating databases from SQL Server to MySQL

If you are interested in migrating your SQL Server databases to MySQL, you should probably look at the notes from someone who has already taken that path. In this article by Alexander Rubin, we see what happened when he attempted to migrate his database.

One of the reasons I chose Jira as opposed to some standard MS SQL database (such as AdventureWorks2014) is that it is a non-standard choice. Most of the software vendors use standard databases to test their software, and it works perfectly on those standard databases. Jira is not a usual choice and will be closer to real life.

MySQL Workbench

MySQL Workbench supports Microsoft SQL Server migration. The migration is straightforward except the issues with character sets. I have experienced the error “Could not successfully convert UCS-2 string to UTF-8”.

workbench_errors

It turns out (with the help of Martin Brennan’s blog) that we will need to use “ODBC (FreeTDS)” drive for MS SQL, and enable sending Unicode data as UTF8:

workbench_drive_params

After changing those settings, I was able to successfully migrate Jira database from MS SQL to MySQL.

Advantages and disadvantages:

  • Plus: free and open source tool, multi-platform
  • Plus: successful migration for Jira
  • Plus: supports multi-threaded migrations (increase worker tasks if needed, default value is 2)
  • Minus: needed some tweaks to work with character sets
  • Minus: not very easy to debug errors
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