A Comprehensive Overview of Database Oracle to Microsoft SQL Server Migration

There is one critical aspect of the modern business environment, regardless of the industry or size and that is minimizing costs while maximizing operational efficiencies. Databases that meet these standards are universally preferred, one reason why organizations are increasingly opting for Oracle to SQL Server migration.

How does the Oracle database have a higher cost factor? In addition to the license, users have to pay other fees for partitioning a table as well as for using other advanced features like Database Data Masking and Database Encryption. On the other hand, all these features are available out-of-the-box in the Enterprise edition of Microsoft SQL Server. Further, SQL Server provides special tools like SSMA (SQL Server Migration Assistant) for database migration for free in all editions.

Main differences between Oracle and SQL Server databases

Before moving to the benefits and process of Oracle to SQL Server migration, it is necessary to understand the differences between the two.

  • While Oracle database works on various platforms, SQL Server can be installed only on the Microsoft Windows server.
  • Values do not change before committing in Oracle database while it does for SQL Server.
  • Multiple schemas are supported by Oracle with the instance while schemas are offered in each database in SQL Server
  • Oracle provides full, incremental, and differential database backups while in SQL Server, it is full, incremental, and partial backups only.
  • Oracle supports Star Query optimization while the same is not offered by SQL Server.

Considering these features of the two, what are the benefits of Oracle to SQL Server migration.

Benefits of Oracle to SQL Server migration

There are several benefits of migrating databases to SQL Server.

  • Apart from lower license fees in comparison to Oracle, SQL Server helps to keep costs under control in other ways like virtualization of servers, data compression, and data consolidation. Transparent data compression also leads to better database performance.
  • Unlike traditional databases, a Set-up Wizard easily installs the SQL Server without the need for any command-line configuration.
  • Data is highly safe and secure in SQL Server as encrypted and complex algorithms ensure that databases are impossible to hack into. Strict permission management and user admission monitoring keep data completely insulated from external hands.
  • One of the main reasons why it makes sense for Oracle to SQL Server migration is the ability of the SQL Server to recover and restore damaged and lost databases. This is because the primary component of the SQL database engine ensures data storage and running queries through indexes, files, and transactions. Hence, log records are put on the disk before a transaction is committed. In the instance where a server crashes or faces an outage, transaction logs are used after the issue is resolved to restore the incomplete transactions to the point where the outage occurred.
  • The operating and maintenance costs of SQL Server is low compared to Oracle database as there are specialized tools in SQL Server that handle data storage and maintenance as well as data mining and partitioning.
  • With SQL Server, businesses have the option of choosing the specific edition that meets their needs and budget, thereby saving on IT infrastructure costs. For large organizations, SQL Server has the expensive Enterprise edition with a host of advanced and cutting-edge tools. Next is the more affordable Standard edition with lesser tools but ideal for mid and small-sized businesses. Finally, there is the free Express edition with still fewer features. It can match the requirements of startups and individuals. Apart from these versions, there is the Developer SQL Server edition that is exclusively for developers to test their applications on the SQL server.

These are the many benefits of SQL Server over the Oracle database.

Preparing the ground for Oracle to SQL Server migration

While the full process of Oracle to SQL Server migration is automated, some preparatory steps have to be carried out before the main migration process.

  • Installing SQL Server in the target database and making sure of proper connectivity between Oracle source database and the SQL Server target database.
  • Installing Oracle Client and SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) to the target database.
  • Mapping Oracle schema to the target location for Oracle to SQL Server migration.
  • Converting and loading all Oracle database objects to the SQL Server by either synchronizing all database objects or saving a script and applying it on the SQL Server.

These processes can also be done when migrating database Oracle to Azure SQL database and Azure Synapse Analytics.

Oracle to SQL Server migration

The actual process of Oracle to SQL Server migration can now be started and can be done in either of the two ways.

  • Carrying out the complete migration process in one shot without a break. Here, the source database has to be shut down during migration to prevent any transactions after the last backup or run from moving to the target database. The possibility of any errors is eliminated by carrying out test executions before starting the migration.
  • The other Oracle to SQL Server migration is a two-step process. First, the stagnant and less-used data is fully migrated. Once done, the incremental data or any changes made to the source database after the last run are incorporated into the target database at pre-set intervals.

Whichever of these processes are used for Oracle to SQL Server migration, they are completely automated ones that do not require human intervention at any stage.


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