Wednesday, June 7, 2023
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Converting Firebird Database to PostgreSQL   


Firebird is one of the best database management systems with excellent support for multi-user access. The service is fast and reliable and most of all it’s free and open source. However, when compared with other database management tools, Firebird lacks some features like integrated replication and full-text search. As a result of this drawback many companies are moving from Firebird databases to feature-rich and robust data management systems. Some of the main advantages of PostgreSQL over Firebird are:

  • PostgreSQL  is more sophisticated with features like subselects,  user-defined types, transactions and many more
  • PostgreSQL is perhaps the most scalable and reliable database management system
  • PostgreSQL  is free
  • PostgreSQL  is open-source

However, migration of database from Firebird to PostgreSQL is by nature extremely complicated and it involves tedious procedure as there are lots of tables containing huge volume of data. In addition, there are some differences between PostgreSQL and Firebird that must be handled properly: 

  • There is need for special processing for some data like “blob sub_type 1”
  • There are different ways of escaping strings inside INSERT INTO clauses
  • One should converting autoincrement columns into serial format
  • Datetime types data should be converted into timestamp format

When you have to process database that comes with such features, special tools that can automate the grueling data migration process is a must.

The Solutions

There are several ways/tools you can use. We will mention two popular solutions.

(1) FBexport is a free software that can dump your Firebird database as insert statements. This tool proves the simplest way to migrate Firebird database even though it needs some manual post-processing due to the fact that PostgreSQL has different syntax of DDL and insert statements.

 (2) There are commercial exterprise-level software solutions specifically designed for migration of Firebird databases to PostgreSQL. They are mostly simplified and the job can be done with few clicks of a mouse. One of the most popular tools is Firebird to PostgreSQL converter created by Intelligent Converters. This tool offers everything you need for efficiently converting database. 

Check the key features of Firebird to PostgreSQL converter below: 

  • It supports all versions of Windows and Linux/Unix PostgreSQL
  • There is an option to modify structure of the target table 
  • It can convert indexes and relationships between the tables
  • It can store conversion settings into profile
  • There is option to merge Firebird data into current PostgreSQL database
  • You can sync PostgreSQL destination directly with Firebird data
  • It supports multibyte character sets
  • It can easily convert Firebird data into PostgreSQL script. You don’t need direct connection to PostgreSQL.
  • It also supports command line arguments to script and schedule the conversion