Migrating a Database from Microsoft MSSQL to MySQL

If you’d asked me ten years ago if I’d ever consider moving my databases from Microsoft MSSQL to open-source MySQL, I’d probably have said no. I grew up in an era of Oracle and Sybase. I worked at Sybase for a while as a contractor. If you were doing something serious with a database, you went with something rock-solid. At the time even MSSQL was considered a pretender.

How life changes.

Nowadays, through the magic of the Internet, the open source model means that thousands of top-notch developers from around the world can pour their heart and soul into making something powerful and robust. It also means the huge corporations are no longer the gatekeepers blocking access to that technology.

And it means I’m finally doing something that to me is akin to the changing of an era.

I’m migrating all of my data out of my MSSQL databases into MySQL.

Interestingly, it’s not even about money. Right now, for me, it’s about not having two different database engines on my server competing for resources. If both MSSQL and MySQL are running, taking requests when my website visitors navigate my pages, claiming memory, accessing the disk, it’s a competition nightmare. If I can have all my data in one engine, that one engine can manage everything far more efficiently.

So, that decision being made, the next question is what kind of a nightmare is going to be involved in this move.

I don’t have to worry about the MySQL setup or any of that. I was already using MySQL heavily, so that part of the equation is OK. There’s no learning curve or installation or other work involved. That leaves two main aspects to this.

First, how well with the data move from one engine to another. Will data be lost or corrupted?

Second, how well will my ASP classic scripts, which were coded to work against MSSQL, work once this conversion is done. Will I have to recode a lot of my scripts?

So let’s start with step one.

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