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Single vs. multiple instances

Babelfish offers two modes of operation:

  • single-db
  • multi-db

When you create a Babelfish cluster, you choose between using a single migrated T-SQL user database or multiple migrated T-SQL user databases together. Your choice will affect how the names of T-SQL schemas inside the Babelfish database appear in PostgreSQL. For more information about selecting between single-db and multi-db mode, review Choosing a migration mode.

If you specify single-db, you can create only a single T-SQL database in Babelfish, and T-SQL schemas will be created as regular PostgreSQL schemas in your Babelfish database. If you specify multi-db, you can create multiple T-SQL databases (each with its own schemas), and a T-SQL schema will be created as a PostgreSQL schema (<database name>_<schema_name>) to avoid name conflicts.

The migration mode is stored in the migration_mode parameter. You can’t change the value of this parameter after initializing Babelfish. To change the migration mode, you’ll need to create a new cluster. If you don’t select a migration_mode, Babelfish is initialized with the default value of single-db.

The following code snippet creates a user and database before setting the migration mode and initializing the Babelfish extension. The code snippet is in psql, invoked on the PostgreSQL port (by default, 5432):

/* Create a user that will own the sample database */

/* Create a database named demo, owned by the above user */
CREATE DATABASE demo OWNER babelfish_user;
ALTER SYSTEM SET babelfishpg_tsql.database_name = 'demo';
SELECT pg_reload_conf();

/* Specify the migration mode for the database */
ALTER DATABASE demo SET babelfishpg_tsql.migration_mode = 'multi-db';

/* Move into the demo database */
\c demo

/* Create the extension in the demo database and initialize Babelfish */

In the example, the ALTER DATABASE statement sets migration mode to multi-db. The SYS.INITIALIZE_BABELFISH function then performs the steps required to initialize Babelfish in the mode that you’ve specified.

When you connect to the TDS port, you will be connected to the PostgreSQL database named by the babelfishpg_tsql.database_name parameter. During initialization, babelfishpg_tsql.database_name will be set to the name of the database from which you invoked SYS.INITIALIZE_BABELFISH. If you are using multi-db mode, you can then connect to the TDS port and use the CREATE DATABASE and USE statements as you would in Microsoft SQL Server; in single-db mode, you can connect to the TDS port and use the single T-SQL database.

Choosing a migration mode

Each migration mode has advantages and disadvantages. Choose your migration mode based on the number of user databases you have, and your migration plans. After you initialize Babelfish, you can’t change the migration mode. When choosing a migration mode, consider the requirements of your user databases and client applications.

When you initialize Babelfish, Babelfish creates the system databases master. and tempdb. If you created or modified objects in the system databases (master or tempdb), make sure you re-create those objects in your new cluster. Unlike SQL Server, Babelfish doesn’t reinitialize tempdb after a cluster reboot.

Use single database migration mode in the following cases:

  • If you are migrating a single SQL Server database. In single database mode, migrated schema names (when seen from PostgreSQL) are identical to the original SQL Server schema names. If you plan to ultimately migrate your application to native PostgreSQL, your SQL code may require fewer modifications.

  • If your end goal is a complete migration to native PostgreSQL. Before migrating, consolidate your schemas into a single schema (dbo) and then migrate into a single cluster to reduce the required changes.

Use multiple database migration mode in the following cases:

  • If you are trying out Babelfish and you aren’t sure of your future needs.

  • If multiple user databases need to be migrated together, and the end goal isn’t to perform a fully native PostgreSQL migration.

  • If you may be migrating multiple databases to PostgreSQL in the future.

Babelfish for PostgreSQL Links