Switching Teams: Moving an Application from MySQL to PostgreSQL

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 from 10:00 – 10:45am in B204


The true life story of switching database backends in our application.


SQL is an ISO standard, so you should just be able to switch backend databases, right? Sadly, while standards help, real life applications almost always use version specific syntax and functions. Five years into the development of our application, we started thinking that a different database backend would better meet our future needs. This is the story of why we choose Postgres and Open Source, how and why we switched, what worked, what didn’t, what was easy and what was hard. The conversion of our user generated data from a mixture of unknown and unrecorded character sets to consistent UTF-8 added some interesting twists to our journey.

While each application is different, Julie will give you the information you need to decide whether switching backends is right for your project and some tools to get you started. Although we switched from MySQL to PostgreSQL, most of the information applies to any SQL database. This talk will also be useful to people who have been thinking about switching backends for future projects or working on a project with an unfamiliar SQL dialect.

For those who are interested, the application in question provide the CATME SMARTER Teamwork tools (http://www.catme.org) A demo is available at https://www.catme.org/login/survey_instructions

Speaking experience

I have not given this talk before.

Other than within various organizations I've worked for, most of my speaking experience is related to my hobbies. I have given 2 presentations at Beaver Bar Camp, one on Nerdlepoint and the other on doing stitching for soft electronics using standard supplies rather than the more expensive ones specific to soft electronics. A blog post and link to the slides for the former are available on my needlework blog - http://blog.orangerugyarn.com/blog1.php/nerdlepoint I have also taught for CyberPointers ANG, CyberStitchers EGA and the Cascade Stitchers EGA (handout minus the one page I don't have permission to distribute at http://baumler.com/BeadedScissorsFobInstructions.pdf) I have recently been asked to do a return engagement with the Cascade Stitchers, which I find to be the best praise available for my teaching skills.