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Multi-Platform Database Development; How are Your Migration Skills?

Calculating a dollar value per line of code (LOC) generated by a programmer is somewhat archaic these days. None the less the Legacy 2 Future Consulting Group states that Gartner Group Estimates the cost somewhere between $6 to $26, Forrester estimates the cost to be $20, IBM estimates the to be $30, and An Integrated Approach to Software Engineering (2005) by Pankaj Jalote estimates the cost between $8 and $25. So roughly the cost per line of code would be $20. Assuming a programmer is working a 40 hour week and making 150K per year, this would mean the programmer is cranking out about 30 lines of code a day on average. Granted there are uber-coders out there that probably exceed this and we must also remember that this number takes into account different stages of development such as design and testing.

The fact that it now seems to be in vogue to have multiple and different databases (Oracle, DB2, SQL Server, Access, PostgreSQL, Sybase, MySQL, etc.) all in the same datacenter, creating and maintaining database code, procedures, and functions that will be shared across database platforms can be difficult, cumbersome, time consuming, and costly from a manual perspective. Additionally, the quality of this manual process is highly dependent on individual skill sets that often produce differing quality of code across database platforms—leaving IT with rising maintenance costs.

As much as you or I agree or disagree with the deployment of different database platforms within a single IT shop we must still deal with them in the most effective and efficient way possible. As a DBA we are often asked to create triggers, procedures, or functions that developers can make use of. AND it is these packets of code that we are also asked to migrate between the different database environments. Not an easy task for DBAs that are more concerned with one-liners that modify objects or are use to adding a data file to extend storage. But recently I took an extensive look, AND USED, a product called SQL Assistant from SoftTree Technologies that quickly and efficiently helped me translate Oracle PL/SQL code to SQL Server T-SQL. Conversions to Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, or a variety of other programming languages is as easy as highlighting the code and selecting Copy SQL Code As some other format. This puts the code in an edit buffer that can be pasted in your current edit session or another. For example, a common SQL statement from Oracle; SELECT * FROM DUAL; quickly produces the following sampling of code bases:

Dynamic SQL (PL/SQL)


   v_sql nvarchar2(4000);


   v_sql := 'SELECT * FROM DUAL;';



Dynamic SQL (T-SQL)

DECLARE @sql nvarchar(4000)



Dynamic SQL (DB2)

DECLARE v_sql varchar(4000);

SET v_sql = 'SELECT * FROM DUAL;';


SQL Assistant’s ability to help automate the conversion of code from one database platform to another can help reduce the time and cost to generate lines of code while maintaining a high level of consistency, style, and quality across all code bases. AND SQL Assistant can help DBAs support common functionality across differing database platforms. As a highly portable tool, DBAs and developers alike, regardless of editing tool, can produce code that has the same look and feel—enabling DBAs and developers to work quicker and reduce development costs.


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