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Dmitry Balin of Microsoft has been telling me about Microsoft's new Oracle migration toolset. Oh, BTW, I think it only works one way - from Oracle to SQL Server. Who'd have thought it?

Nevertheless, it sounds pretty good. And, I'm promised some real migration case studies (ie, not from SQL Server 2000 to 2005) Any Day Now.

But an interesting aspect of this is that you might never migrate, even if SQL Server is great and the toolset is all Dmitry says it is.

Supposing that SQL Server is far more cost effective than Oracle and equally powerful (and the jury is still out on this), the real costs of migration may come from recreating the semantics behind your database, and regression testing your apps after conversion.

So, a major use of this toolset could still be in estimating the cost of migration and in enabling pilot studies. But, still, a fast tool is welcome - if you're going to get bad news, best get it fast - and get over it.

Bercause migration isn't the only path. Why not wrap databases as cross-platform services - unless or until you can actually cash in on a migration by abandonong an entire platform? Remember, you can't generally claim the savings from moving off an old box until you actually junk it...

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