Alex Kirpichny

Alexandr Kirpichny

Chief Product Officer, Ispirer Systems

During the age of digital transformation, businesses are turning more and more to adaptable, safeguarded, and versatile data management options to underpin their operational needs. Microsoft Azure's Azure SQL Database, a cloud-based service for relational databases, stands out as a robust resource for managing essential data workloads, providing heightened performance, dependability, and simplified management.

This article explores the features of migrating Oracle database to Azure SQL Database, the steps, and peculiarities of such a transition, highlighting the role of Azure SQL Database in driving efficient data management in the modern cloud environment.

Why Azure SQL?

Azure SQL Database is a cloud-based, fully managed relational database service. It offers high compatibility with Microsoft SQL Server and a wide range of features for diverse data management needs. It eliminates the need for infrastructure setup, maintenance, and patching. This enables organizations to focus on their applications and data rather than database administration. Let’s look at the key features of Azure SQL Database:

  • Scalability and performance. Azure SQL Database excels in providing excellent scalability and performance. This empowers organizations to handle growing data workloads and ensure top-notch application responsiveness. Azure SQL Database offers elastic scaling, permitting dynamic resource adjustments according to workload needs. It also includes intelligent performance optimization with automated query performance monitoring and configuration adjustments for faster queries, reducing manual tuning.
  • Security and compliance. Azure SQL Database provides robust data encryption mechanisms to safeguard data both at rest and in transit. Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) automatically encrypts database files, backups, and transaction log files, securing data at rest.
    Azure SQL Database also allows organizations to define firewall rules, which control the network access to their databases. These rules help organizations limit database access to specific IP addresses, adding extra security against unauthorized entry attempts.
  • High Availability and Disaster Recovery. Azure SQL Database provides various features for high availability and efficient disaster recovery, such as automatic backups, geo-replication, and service-level agreements.
  • Smart Monitoring and Insights. Azure SQL Database provides powerful tools for tracking and understanding how your databases are doing. This helps you spot problems early, improve how your databases work, and make decisions based on data. Some of the key aspects include query performance insights, automatic tuning, and integration with Azure Advisor.
  • Compatibility and Integration. Azure SQL Database is compatible with a wide range of tools and services. It lets organizations utilize their current investments and makes it easy to connect with their existing data setup. For example Azure SQL Database provides integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Leveraging the power of Dynamics 365 applications helps mid-market companies build better customer relationships.

How to migrate Oracle to Azure SQL Database?

Oracle to Azure SQL migration is a complex task that needs careful planning. Now we'll explain the important steps to do this successfully, and why each step is crucial for a smooth transition.

1. Comprehensive Analysis. Before you start moving your database, it's important to examine it. Databases are intricate ecosystems, and a lack of careful examination can lead to bottlenecks, downtime, and frustration. During this analysis, you must gain a comprehensive understanding of the database structure and its constituent elements.
A meticulous inventory of the elements to migrate is crucial. Moreover, closely scrutinize all the applications that rely on this database, and assess how the migration may impact their performance during and post-migration.
To make this process as smooth as possible, use Ispirer Assessment Toolkit. This solution enables automated assessment which greatly saves time for the initial pre-migration analysis, while providing a comprehensive analysis report of the database objects before moving to Azure SQL Database. In addition, the software demonstrates an approximate estimation of Ispirer Migration Service.

2. Strategic Migration Planning.Available migration tools may tempt you to leap into migration without a plan, but doing so would be unwise. Planning is the compass that guides you through the migration process. It aids in identifying tasks, sequencing activities, estimating timeframes, and allocating necessary resources for a successful transition. Importantly, planning helps you pinpoint potential bottlenecks, including network congestion and latency.
Considering the differences between PL/SQL and Azure SQL, migrating will require several conversion tasks. The planning phase is the best time to identify and tackle these challenges.

3. Tool Selection.After developing a migration plan, it's time to select appropriate tools for each facet of the project. Microsoft stands out for its provision of tools designed for the migration of various databases to Azure SQL Database. However there are a number of tools on the market that simplify this transition. Note that some tools contribute to the entire migration projects, while others help in specific migration tasks. Here is the list of appropriate solutions you might explore for migration projects:

  • Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit. This tool evaluates the source database and generates a report that enriches the planning process. It also provides valuable insights into software and hardware configurations.
  • Azure Data Factory is a cloud-based data integration service offered by Microsoft within the Azure cloud computing platform. Organizations use Azure Data Factory to design, schedule, and manage data-driven workflows. These workflows move, migrate, and orchestrate data from various sources to various destinations. Organizations commonly use Azure Data Factory for data integration, data migration, and ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processes.
  • SQL Server Migration Assistant. SSMA empowers you to assess the source database's schema, code, and environment, streamlining the migration process.
  • Azure Advisor. Use this tool to obtain performance insights into your database after migrating it to the cloud. Ispirer Toolkit. This tool automates migrating an Oracle database to Azure SQL Database, including packages, triggers, functions, tables, views, and data.

4. Database Schema Conversion. Following the creation of a migration plan, the next step is to migrate your database schema on Azure SQL Database. At this point Ispirer Toolkit comes to the stage. The tool facilitates schema conversion and makes it easier and faster compared to migration with other tools. Further we will dive deeper in this migration topic.

5. Data Migration.Migrating data to Azure SQL requires careful planning and execution. There are specific considerations when moving data from on-premises databases to the cloud.
One essential aspect is evaluating how the migration benefits the organization when moving to the cloud. Choosing the right approach for cloud migration is another key decision, with options like the "lift and shift" method and replatforming.

In data migration, you need to make a copy of your current data, set up data syncing, choose the right migration method, clean and prep the data, ensure security and compliance, and set a budget.

Successful cloud migration is not just a technical process; it's a vital business process that demands a well-thought-out strategy. This strategy must address a blend of management and technology challenges, along with staff and resource realignment.

Basically, there are three essential steps for data migration:

  • Extraction
  • Transformation
  • Loading

It's important to note that extracting a substantial volume of data can be resource-intensive. Schedule CPU-heavy tasks during off-peak hours to minimize the impact on server and network performance.

6. Data Validation. Data validation is a critical aspect of quality assurance to ensure the successful data migration. Reviewing every item in a large database can be challenging. Instead, focus on checking parameters like the row count in each table and the data size in bytes for accuracy. Additionally, validate that indexes, views, and other objects have successfully migrated to the target database.

7. Functional testing. Functional testing is critical to ensure that an Oracle database migration to Azure SQL Database is successful. Once the migration is complete, it is important to ensure that a new database operates efficiently, without any troubles. The goal is to ensure that the database has migrated from one RDBMS to the other correctly and securely. This stage not only confirms the efficiency of the migration, but also uncovers any potential hitches or disparities. Additionally it guarantees that the application functions at its best in the fresh cloud setting.

Schema conversion using Ispirer Toolkit

Migrating a database schema from Oracle to Azure SQL Database can be intricate. However, Ispirer Toolkit makes the process remarkably streamlined and efficient. This automated migration tool simplifies the conversion of Oracle schemas to Azure SQL Database and saves a lot of time and effort.

The toolkit automatically analyzes the source Oracle schema and generates the corresponding SQL scripts for Azure SQL Database. As a result, it minimizes the need for manual intervention and significantly reduces the risk of errors during the migration process.

Ispirer Toolkit provides full support for migrating data, stored procedures, functions, and views. It ensures that the structure and functionality of the database remain intact in the destination Azure SQL Database. Moreover, the tool assists in handling complex statements, making it particularly valuable for large-scale enterprise applications.

Automating the migration process with Ispirer Toolkit speeds up the move to Azure SQL Database. This allows organizations to take advantage of cost efficiency and scalability while reducing the typical challenges of database schema migration.


In conclusion, Oracle to Azure SQL Database migration represents a challenging yet highly rewarding journey that hinges on meticulous planning, precise execution, and a deep understanding of both database systems. Our exploration has shown that the key to a successful migration lies in methodical analysis, tool selection, and the power of automation. While hurdles are inevitable, they are entirely surmountable with the right strategy.

Azure SQL Database has a robust ecosystem and advanced features. It's an attractive option for organizations looking for cost-efficiency, scalability, and adaptability in their data management solutions. This transition is more than just a technical change. It's a strategic move toward innovation, efficiency, and future-proofing your data infrastructure.

Weigh all the pros and cons and upgrade your Oracle database to Azure SQL without hassle. Contact Ispirer for a free 30-day trial of the Ispirer Toolkit.