migrate data from MS SQL to PostgreSQL?

I've looked around and can't seem to find anything that answers this specific question.

What is the simplest way to move data from an MS SQL Server 2005 DB to a Postgres install (8.x)?

I've looked into several utilities like "Full Convert Enterprise", etc, and they all fail for one reason or another, ranging from strange errors that make it blow up to inserting nulls rather than actual data (wth?).

I'm looking at a DB with all table except for a single view, no stored procs, functions, etc.

At this point I'm about to write a small utility to do it for me, I just can't believe that's necessary. Surely there's something somewhere that can do this? I'm not even too worried about cost, although free is preferable :)


Take a look at the Software Catalogue. Under Administration/development tools I see DBConvert for MS SQL & PostgreSQL. Probably there are other similar tools listed.

I don't know why nobody has mentioned the simplest and easiest way using robust MS SQL Server Management Studio.

Simply you just need to use the built-in SSIS Import/export feature. You can follow these steps:

  1. Firstly, you need to install the PostgreSQL ODBC Driver for Windows. It's very important to install the correct version in terms of CPU arch (x86/x64).

  2. Inside Management Studio, Right click on your database: Tasks -> Export Data

  3. Choose SQL Server Native Client as the data source.

  4. Choose .Net Framework Data Provider for ODBC as the destination driver.

  5. Set the Connection String to your database in the following form:

    Driver={PostgreSQL ODBC Driver(UNICODE)};Server=;Port=;Database=;UID=;PWD=

  6. In the next page, you just need to select which tables you want to export. SQL Server will generate a default mapping and you are free to edit it. Probably you`ll encounter some Type Mismatch problems which take some time to solve. For example, if you have a boolean column in SQL Server you should export it as int4.

Microsoft Docs hosts a detailed description of connecting to PostgreSQL through ODBC.

PS: if you want to see your installed ODBC Driver, you need to check it via ODBC Data Source Administrator.

You can use the MS DTS functionality (renamed to SSIS in the latest version I think). One issue with the DTS is that I've been unable to make it do a commit after each row when loading the data into pg. Which is fine if you only have a couple of 100k rows or so, but it's really very slow.

I usually end up writing a small script that dumps the data out of SQLServer in CSV format, and then use COPY WITH CSV on the PostgreSQL side.

Both those only take care of the data though. Taking care of the schema is a bit harder, since datatypes don't necessarily map straight over. But it can easily be scripted together with a static load of the schema. If the schema is simple (just varchar/int datatypes for example), that part can also easily be scripted off the data in INFORMATION_SCHEMA.

Well there are .NET bindings for MS SQL Server 2005 (obviously) and also for PostgreSQL. So it would only take a few lines of code to code up a program that could transfer data safely from one to the other. The view would probably have to be done manually as Postgres doesn't use the same language for views as SQL Server.

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