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A Test Drive of the MySQL Migration Suite : Page 3

Got data in a proprietary database such as Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle 9i? The MySQL Migration Suite can help you move it to the MySQL open source database. Find out what's involved in the migration and how well the suite facilitates the transition.


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The MySQL Query Browser

Now that you have migrated the data to MySQL, it is time to install the MySQL Query Browser. Installation is as easy as download and double click. Consistent with the expectations of the average Windows end user, the interface utilizes drag-and-drop tools in a fully customizable file explorer fashion.

The MySQL Query Browser facilitates SQL editing with a wealth of rich features, including auto code completion, vertical and horizontal page split, image viewing, and file export to CVS, HTML, XML and Excel formats. Also included is a nice feature that functionally color codes edited changes. When you are ready to commit to an edit, you press the Apply Changes button at the bottom of the screen. Teamed with the MySQL Query Browser, the MySQL Migration Toolkit features an easy-to-navigate visual interface to the MySQL server, consistent with the drag-and-drop Windows style of GUI.

The MySQL Administrator

For visual administrative features, the MySQL Administrator provides visual feedback to the database administrator with functionality previously found only on the command line. Useful for file backups, log views, user admin, and server diagnostics, the MySQL Administrator is an extremely useful and visually verbose cross-platform diagnostics tool for the DBA. Like the MySQL Query Browser, the MySQL Administrator features an edit-changes-before-applying-changes style. The administrator can make and test changes before implementing them, greatly easing the pressure of live edits.



Room for Improvement

The MySQL Migration Toolkit provides all the functionality one has come to expect from a mature Windows program, but it currently is available only on Windows. Mac or Linux users are out of luck for the time being. While the MySQL Migration Toolkit is capable of transferring proprietary tables and data to a MySQL server, it cannot currently transfer Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) runtime code or queries bound to form controls. Oracle views, procedures, and sequences are also currently not supported. As an interim workaround, you can use MyODBC to link your Access front end with the MySQL server on the backend. Another alternative is to redesign your VB code and macros in Perl using Project: Axis (Not_Evil), a project whose goals include developing data-driven GUI apps under Linux.

Easy to Use, Easier on Your Budget

Despite its limitations, the MySQL Migration suite (beta) is a rapidly maturing project that provides an easy-to-use visual GUI for MySQL server migration, editing, and administration. Each of the three included applications is a standalone that provides its own visual working environment to the MySQL server.

Using an eight-step migration process, the MySQL Migration Toolkit is easy to install, visually pleasing, and intuitive. Because it incorporates a platform-independent Java agent and standards-based JDBC connectivity, the MySQL Migration Toolkit makes transferring data to and from the MySQL server practically effortless. Taking advantage of the free MySQL server license, you can (for example) migrate an Oracle database running on Solaris to a MySQL server running on BSD or Linux. Under the dual license agreement, migrating to the MySQL server has the potential to reduce the overhead costs associated with proprietary database servers. Compared with the command line, the MySQL Migration Suite makes migrating, querying, and administering a MySQL server a walk in the park.

Acknowledgements: Special thanks to Daniel Kasak, Bill White, Chad Auld, and Matt Comb



Gregory L. Magnusson is the founder of Cyborg Spiders Web Development. Since experiencing X-Windows with FreeBSD in 1999, he hasn't looked back. In the current horse race of developing Web technologies, Greg is putting his money on PHP.
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