Convert Firebird Database to PostgreSQL

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Firebird is a fast and reliable relational database management system with good support for multi-user access and best of all – it’s free and open source. However, compared with other advanced database management systems, Firebird doesn’t have such feature as integrated replication, full-text search. In view of this fact it’s not surprising that lots of companies consider moving their Firebird databases to more effective and robust DBMS. To eliminate the restrictions mentioned above, an individual may give consideration to migration from Firebird to PostgreSQL having in mind essential benefits of PostgreSQL:

  • sophisticated object-relational DBMS having virtually all possible database features like subselects, transactions, user-defined types and much more
  • PostgreSQL is probably the most scalable and reliable database systems
  • it is also free and open-source

Database migration from Firebird to PostgreSQL is complicated and tedious procedure, especially when it should cover a lot of tables containing large volume of data. Also, there are some differences between two DBMS that must be handles properly:

  • special processing for specific data types like “blob sub_type 1”
  • different means of escaping strings inside INSERT INTO clauses
  • converting autoincrement columns into serial
  • converting datetime types into timestamp

When this happens, special tools are useful to automate the entire process of data migration.

Available Solutions

(1) FBexport. This is a free tool that can dump Firebird database as insert statements. Probably, this is the most straight forward method to migrate, although it requires some manual post-processing because PostgreSQL has different syntax of DDL and insert statements.

(2) You will find commercial software solutions that can perform complete migration from Firebird to PostgreSQL with a bit of clicks of mouse button. One of those is Firebird to PostgreSQL converter by Intelligent Converters. This product offers all required functionality for efficient conversion:

  • Support for all versions of Windows and Linux/Unix PostgreSQL
  • Option to modify structure of the destination table
  • Convert indexes and relationships between tables
  • Stores conversion settings into profile
  • Option to merge Firebird data into a current PostgreSQL database
  • Option to sync PostgreSQL destination with Firebird data
  • Support for multibyte character sets
  • Option to convert Firebird data into PostgreSQL script (direct connection to PostgreSQL is not required)
  • Support for command line arguments to script and schedule the conversion