Blog: Migrate Sybase Java applications to SQL Server for content services provider

A leading provider of content services for the legal industry looked to DB Best to help them modernize their aging Sybase ASE and IQ solutions that were built on top of an old IBM AIX system. We helped our customer in the past with a Sybase ASE migration. The challenge for this project — migrate Sybase Java applications along with the associated Sybase ASE and IQ database solutions to SQL Server.

In this video blog post, we’ll discuss the process we used to migrate Sybase Java applications and the Sybase ASE database to SQL Server.

Overview of the customer’s Sybase ASE system

The original customer’s system included the Sybase ASE database and several Java applications interacting with it. The data from the operational database was originally loaded into the Sybase IQ database via the ETL process for reporting queries.

Migrate Sybase ASE database to SQL Server

Why migrate Sybase Java applications and the database to use SQL Server?

Our customer faced a number of difficulties with the upgrade of the original system to a newer version of SAP Sybase ASE. These included:

  • the inability to buy additional RAM for the aging IBM server;
  • unsupported server hardware with the aging AIX operating system;
  • as well as the lack of qualified specialists to support the Sybase ASE database.

Our client liked the idea of upgrading their IBM AIX system to Windows-based servers running on commodity servers in order to meet current and future performance requirements.

The customer also considered expense of newer SAP Sybase ASE licenses to bring them back into a supported environment compared to the “everything built-in” value of SQL Server enterprise licenses.

Add to this much wider possibilities of SQL Server platform, poor support for IBM AIX used on the existing servers, discontinued server hardware, and lack of qualified Sybase ASE support professionals. Therefore, the cost savings easily justified the cost of doing the migration project with DB Best.

Database migration process in details

At DB Best, our database migration plan follows a 12-step process. The percentage values shown below represent the relative cost and time, which we usually spend on each of these steps for a typical migration project. We know this because we have completed migration projects for hundreds of customers over the years.

12 Steps for Database Migration

The following are three particular challenges that our development team faced with this migration project.

  • Schema conversion. For the conversion of database objects (tables, views, functions, procedures, triggers, etc.) we’ve used the SQL Server Migration Assistant for Sybase (SSMA). It allows to automatically convert database objects, but some of them still need manual conversion.
  • Data migration. The customer needed to save the data from the original database. We’ve used the Database Compare Suite to migrate data automatically from the old database to the new one.
  • Application conversion. On this step we’ve reconnected the Java applications and the ETL script to the new SQL Server database. Some manual code modifications were also performed on this step. At this point we dropped down the original Sybase ASE database. Here’s how the customer’s system looked now.

The migrate Sybase Java applications to SQL Server result

Our experience shows that these three steps are the most crucial for the database migration strategy.

Actually, a lot of organizations now use the outdated database systems. So, if you want to jumpstart your database migration projects and increase performance of your database systems, please contact us.