PLM migrations and database wars

PLM migrations and database wars

Migration. This is a word any IT and PDM/PLM manager is afraid to hear. In my view, it is one of the most painful things in enterprise software. The obvious reasons for migrations are related to IT infrastructure upgrades, need to move to the next PDM / PLM version and decision to switch to another vendor. The last one is not rare in the world or PDM/PLM mergers and acquisitions.

The core of any PDM/PLM system belongs to the database. Most of the systems in the market today are running on one of the available RDBS – Oracle, DB2, Microsoft SQL and maybe some others. Few days ago, I posted about PLM data models. PDM / PLM data model is part of any implementations. The way you handle it can make your migration process either smooth or nightmare. However, even the smoothest migration process is a complicated task that requires IT dedication and after-migration validation with customers. It takes time and cost money.

Recently, PLM vendors started to pay additional attention to the process of migration. Some of PLM vendors are including migration processes into their licensing terms by supporting to migrate from a previous version environment to a new one. SaaS /cloud vendors have the advantage of handling process of migration with limited exposure to end users.

The following article caught my attention few days ago – Oracle hurls MySQL at Microsoft database wobblers. Migration with a touch of Excel. The article represents an interesting perspective on database migration wars between Oracle and Microsoft. It resonated with potential migration problems customers may face when migrating between different PDM/PLM versions and/or products. The following passage emphasizes the importance of a smooth migration. It also presents the “competitive force” behind migration.

Under the latter category, Oracle is now throwing open source at Microsoft in the form of a migration tool to shift users off of Redmond’s latest database. Oracle new migration tools will move data from Microsoft SQL Server to MySQL, which Oracle bought from Sun. The tools come as part of the MySQL Workbench. Oracle claimed the migration tool would also shift database tables and data to MySQL and “quickly” convert existing apps. Oracle is also pushing its database as a back-end to Microsoft’s Excel.

What is my conclusion? The “data hostage” business is still a reality for database vendors and for many PDM / PLM providers too. I can see vendors will be more focused on how to reduce the hassle of data migration for customers. At the same time,  SaaS vendors will take an additional advantage of the cloud technologies to make migration process invisible for users. The target and demand of customers are how make information available. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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