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When Routine Data Imports Aren’t So Routine

  • Post published:April 28, 2015

We occasionally get hefty requests, but one recent project was especially notable.

A client asked us to import the data from a SQL Server Database to a MySQL Database. It wasn’t such a routine task that floored us but more the information that came afterward: the database was more than 10 GB in size, an amount so large that there was no one tool that could effectively import all of the data.

There were also additional struggles such as a difference in table structure between the databases.

In order to tackle these hurdles, we took on the somewhat baffling duty of converting the SQL Server Database to that of MySQL. We began by attempting to use MySQL Workbench, SQLyog and Navicat; none of them worked properly, so we got down to digging up a solution. After hours of research, we found a third-party .NET application entitled ‘MSSQL to MySQL Exporter’, the implementation of which finally enabled us to successfully convert the databases.

Our next hurdle existed in the table structures; this is less a difficult duty than a time-consuming one. We may have personally funded the local coffee shop for several days as we wrote the PHP code to fetch, filter and transform every GB of data as according to the database table structure.

Even then, once we realized how long uploading was taking we were forced to come up with quick, functional solutions, updating the PHP script and splitting the files once they’d reached a size limit of 5-6 Mbs.

You can imagine the collective sigh of relief when the day came that we were finally able to import the more than 10 GBs of data into the new MySQL database according to the new table structure.

The most rewarding part of this project was not the work accomplished but our client’s reaction once he’d taken in that work; we’re proud of what we do and are, of course, equally as pleased when our clients are proud as well.