Over the course of any application development, it is only natural for database requirements and criteria to evolve as time goes on, constantly adapting to users’ shifting needs and preferences.
Whether developers would like to modify databases by adding a new table to a group of data, removing certain elements, or modifying constraints, the key to making secure changes in today’s digital environment is data migration.
While data migration and website migration continues to be a valuable tool to ensure that databases worldwide can safely evolve to align with users’ goals, users need to gain an in-depth understanding of the various advantages and risks associated with the process before beginning their own data migration.
This article will provide an in-depth look into the world of data migration, its purpose, functionality, and more.
What are Database Migrations?
When it comes to making changes to databases, data migration is a reliable, efficient way to enjoy your schema’s most recent versions.
In today’s day and age, there are many scenarios in which this type of adjustment would be necessary.
Perhaps your company’s leadership has decided to leave behind an outdated system, opting for modern data storage and a new location for team members’ data.
In this case, data migration would be a handy tool to ensure that all of the company’s historical data is safely moved to the new system or location.
Moreover, if your business has recently acquired another entity, data migration can help ease the transition so that all of the new data merge seamlessly with existing information.
These scenarios and more showcase the importance of data migration in this digital day and age.
Skilled data migration teams can help ensure that your systems do not experience any faulty launches or lose crucial data in the process.
Database Migration Definition
Simply put, data migration, also known as schema migration, database schema migration, or migration, is designed to transition a database from its current state to a new, modified state.
A slightly more detailed definition reveals data migration to be a “controlled set of changes developed to modify the structure of the objects within a relational database.”
The changes that constitute a database migration could include splitting fields, adding or removing columns, adjusting various elements within the database, and more.
Regardless of each migration’s specificities, the process is meant to make database changes repeatable, shareable, and testable without loss of data.
Changes made through database migration are often reversible and are logged on a record. In this way, team members can review the exact changes that were made to get from the original version of the database to the new, contemporary version.
Database Migration Tools
Utilising the right database migration tools is crucial to guarantee the success of your schema migration and ongoing development.
There are several high-quality migration tools available today. The best carry out migration based on automated changes and allow for users’ customised input to address their personal needs.
When deciding which database migration tools will suit your specific preferences, consider the following benefits and potential drawbacks of any migration platform.
First, database migration tools are useful because they help teams plan their future schemas and implement changes that make that vision a reality.
Moreover, migrations leave a record of the adjustments that have been made. This allows teams to maintain a clear understanding of how the database has changed over time.
However, when left to carry out migrations on their own, database migration tools can inadvertently lose data, make undesired changes, or result in failed migrations.
The good news is that most of these scenarios can be avoided by enforcing human oversight and double-checking conditions before starting a migration.
Migrations can even be tested for effectiveness to ensure that they achieve your specific goals before migrating all of your data.
How to Test Database Migration
To test a database migration, start by assembling a group of team members who are familiar with the original database and understand the changes that need to be made through migration.
Together, your team can review a list of possible risks concerning database migration, whether it be a lack of integrity within the system migration, data loss, or more.
Because migrations are most successful with the help of human oversight, the team should verify that results are produced in the desired SQL code.
The migration tool should have an accurate view of the database and is not making any incorrect assumptions made about your data.
Start by migrating small sections of test data. If the migration is successful, gradually include more significant sizes of data until you are migrating your actual data.
Why is Data Migration Needed?
While data migration is optional, it is extremely useful for organisations to stay updated with users’ constantly evolving needs by making appropriate database modifications.
To adapt to users’ modern needs, organisations big and small choose to make the leap from outdated systems to contemporary, up-to-date databases.
This beneficial transition can be facilitated through effective database migration. Because database migration often transitions data to the cloud, organisations can save money thanks to a reduced need for IT support staff.
Database migration can also allow for company-wide collaboration, with the option for all data to be accessible in a centralised location.
These positive aspects and more add to the value that database migration contributes to businesses today.
Database migration is an intricate process that allows businesses and organisations to transition to new, updated databases when it is time to leave old, inefficient systems behind.
As mentioned above, database migration tools keep a clear record of the changes made to databases so that users can track their history and test, repeat, and share database changes.
While one of the advantages of database migration is its ability to carry out automated tasks, human oversight is essential to limit inaccurate assumptions on the migration tool’s part, failed migration, or several other avoidable scenarios.