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Moving off Informix

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There are many reasons organisations might be looking to move off Informix – lack of skills, cost, cloud reasons, open source policy, performance… but whatever the reason, moving off a working database can be a daunting task. Ultimately databases exist to serve the applications that run on them. Applications that in turn are used to drive business value. A database change must only enhance the experience of the application users, and it is for this reason that this is where Prolifics Database Migration planning begins.

There may be very valid technical or commercial reasons why actually, despite everything, moving off the database is not the right decision. Perhaps your application is only permitted to be run on Informix for example. Prolifics will guide you on the technical and commercial considerations to help you understand if migrating from Informix is a good fit for your business. As you will discover, one of our key focus areas across the whole project will be minimising risk.

Ways we minimise risk:

• Technical and Commercial viability assessment before any work takes place.
• Comprehensive code assessment upfront, before any investment in services.
• Automated changes where possible to minimise human error.
• Experienced consultants on hand to provide guidance every step of the way.
• Detailed project plans in advance with fixed price costings where possible.

If your database is a good candidate to migrate, then Prolifics will introduce you to ADAM. ADAM is the Automated Database Agnostic Migrator.

But what does that mean?

Automated – Prolifics went to market searching for a database migration tool to help with moving our customers between database vendors. We found many, but none that worked for us. They were either just a bunch of scripts that didn’t do the job, or a ‘black-box’ with no auditability that also didn’t suit our needs. What we needed was customisable automation. A system that tells us what it is going to do before it does it, takes the application into account, and then automates the creation of the best solution under the guidance of a database migration expert. It didn’t exist so we built it.

Database Agnostic – Most migration tools move code from A to B, or from C to D, but unless they specifically target A to D you need a different tool. ADAM works differently as it doesn’t convert directly, but rather works on a hub and spoke model. This means that it converts A, B, C and D into a central model, and then converts that into your target database A, B, C or D. Obviously it does not work with every single database ever made but it does work with all the major relational DBMS’s. So if you want to move to Postgres, Db2, Sybase, SQL Server, Aurora, etc etc – then ADAM will work for you.

Migrator – The tool is an assistant to our consulting services. We do not provide the ADAM software to our customers, we provide a migration service using ADAM. We do not just run your code through a tool and hope for the best. ADAM will analyse all of your SQL code upfront as a part of the planning process. From that analysis we will then identify every line of code as one of the below:

• Needs a re-architecture as it is not supported on the target database for example (correct at the time of writing)
• Needs a sensible decision made by the consultant, distribution keys for example.
• Code that could be migrated a few ways, and so the specific conversion is application dependent, how to store numbers for example.
• Code that can only be migrated one way, and so can be automatically converted without further analysis.

What do Prolifics offer to help me move off Informix?

Prolifics offer a database migration service, where our consultants will use our proprietary ADAM tooling to offer an accelerated migration program and minimise project risk.

What is the process?

Reach out to one of our team who will help you conduct a viability assessment over a short 30 min call. From there we will provide a questionnaire about your environment for your application teams to respond to, and we will request all SQL code from your database (table definitions, stored procedures, triggers, the lot). Prolifics will run the code through ADAM and assess every single line of code. From there Prolifics will issue a quotation to migrate the database for you, and then you either sign up or you don’t.

We are a busy team, how much help can Prolifics provide?

Prolifics usually help our customers with the planning, data migration, code migration, and then database tuning – leaving most of the testing and application changes to the client’s internal teams. However, Prolifics can offer testing services and application development consultancy too if required.
“We can do this with you, or we can do this for you”.

How do I get started?