Schedule - PGConf.EU 2013

Switching Horses Overnight - a Software Manufacturer's View on Replacing an Existing Database Management System with PostgreSQL

Date: 2013-10-31
Time: 13:40–14:30
Room: Leeson
Level: Intermediate

synedra IT produces a clinical archive system which uses a relational database system for metadata management. Over 50 systems are currently installed and productive. The OLTP database often contains more than 100 Million rows and is critical for data integrity, availability and performance of the whole system.

Replacing an existing Oracle database system with PostgreSQL is challenging on several levels: The switch itself has to be performed reliably and with minimal downtime. All system components must operate smoothly and with high performance with the new database after the switch. Technical support must quickly adopt the new system to ensure service delivery and the ability to react in case of problems. Finally, the switch should be somehow beneficial from a customer and business point of view.

While the whole task was by no means trivial it was delivered successfully and the transition went surprisingly well in many aspects. Interesting insights could be gained on data migration, SQL dialects, the effects of a database engine on seemingly unrelated coding and PostgreSQL specific performance and tuning.

We would therefore like to relate some preparations, experiences and anecdotes from our journey that might or might not be instructive and uplifiting for the inclined audience.


Robert Lichtenberger
Stefan Andreatta

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