Several ways to Migrate PostgreSQL

by Sachin

PostgreSQL, also referred to as Postgres, is an open-source stable database management system that supports and comply SQL (relational) and JSON (non-relational) queries. As this system supports many data types, approximately 6035 companies use it to manage their tech stacks. Some major companies that use PostgresSQL to store data are Uber, Netflix, Shopify, Reddit, Robinhood, and Instagram.

Due to its compliant, dynamic-loading, and catalog-driven operations, organizations also use it to migrate data from one database to another. So, if you are looking for reliable software that can securely move your data from the main server to a new one, using a PostgreSQL migration tool is an ideal option.

Why Use PostgreSQL Migrations?

During data migration, you must keep track of database changes to detect errors. You may also need to backtrack your steps if any issues arise during the process. Therefore, using PostgreSQL for migration can help you achieve these goals easily.

Some of the main reasons to use PostgreSQL migrations are:

  • It provides free source code that allows you to freely modify and implement migrations
  • You don’t have to pay a license fee
  • It is compatible with multiple data models, such as SQL and NoSQL
  • It offers high-security features to protect your data

How to Create PostgreSQL Migration?

You can use two methods to create PostgreSQL migration on your database, including the following:

Migrating Data Through pg_dump

To transfer data from one major PostgreSQL version to another, you need to use pg_dump (the utility for backing up the PostgreSQL database). This backup utility does not block other users from accessing the database even while it is being used concurrently. However, you cannot avail of this feature from general file system backup methods.

Moreover, using pg_dump will ensure that your servers face less downtime. You can install the new server in a new directory and run it simultaneously in both old new and old servers (using different ports). Your command should be written in this form:

Another way to complete PostgreSQL migration is by following the steps mentioned below:

  • Select an intermediate file
  • Shut down the old server
  • Open a new server on the old port
  • Make sure the old port has not been updated
  • Run pg_dump command

However, if you cannot run two servers simultaneously, back up the data before installing the new version of the server. Then you can remove the old server, install the latest version and restore the backup. The command will appear in this manner:

Other Migration Methods

You can use pg_upgrade contrib program to migrate data from one server to another through PostgreSQL. However, you cannot run the old and new versions at the same time. Since most people use pg_dump instead of pg_upgrade program, it is better to create a backup before starting the migration process. This way, you can still access your data even if something goes wrong during PostgreSQL migration.

You can also run Slony (PostgreSQL asynchronous replication system) to create a standby server that has a new and updated version of PostgreSQL. Once all data sync up, you can switch databases with the master server and shut down the old one. This way, you only have to deal with a few seconds of downtime.

Top 5 Postgres Migrations Tools

There are different ways to successfully migrate Postgres database from the old server to the new one. The top 5 ones are:

dbForge Studio for PostgreSQL

dbForge Studio for PostgreSQL is GUI universal Postgres migration tool to manage and develop a PostgreSQL database. You can create, develop, execute, and edit commands and queries using this migration tool. Moreover, you can adjust the code according to requirements in a user-friendly interface. 


PgLoader is an open-source migration tool that can easily transfer data from an existing database to a PostgreSQL database engine. It supports various files such as MySQL, MSSQL, and SQLite.


Dbmate is a data migration tool that syncs database schema with production servers across multiple developers. It is compatible with Go, Node, Python, Ruby, and several other command languages and frameworks that are essential in writing database-backed applications. 

SolarWinds Database Performance Monitor

SolarWinds Database Performance Monitor is a tool for monitoring and optimizing traditional, cloud-based, and open-source databases. It provides a visual view of your entire database along with recommendations to improve database functioning.


Flyway is an open-source migration tool that supports PostgreSQL and 20+ relational databases. It is developed on seven main commands, Migrate, Clean, Info, Undo, Baseline, Validate, and Repair. You can write commands in SQL, Java, Python, and Bash, and aggregate scripts with Baseline to improve database transparency and remove errors.

How to Migrate PostgreSQL Database Using dbForge Studio for PostgreSQL?

dbForge Studio for PostgreSQL is a migration tool that can help you shift your workloads and data to new data storage and databases. Using this, you can quickly and easily conduct these functions:

  • Create, edit, and share data import and export templates
  • Use advanced mapping techniques
  • Minimize the use of manual coding

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, you don’t have to switch between different IDEs while transferring PostgreSQL data. dbForge Studio for PostgreSQL can streamline databases during data migration.

To easily use dbForge Studio for PostgreSQL to migrate data, use these steps:

  • Open Data Import Wizard
  • Click on the ODBC driver to import data
  • Go to the import option and select the server, database, and data you want to import
  • Import the data to an existing table or create a new table to shift the data
  • Run the import job

Now your data has successfully migrated to PostgreSQL, to migrate it back from PostgreSQL, follow these steps:

  • Connect the ODBC driver with the target DBMS server
  • Go to the driver’s setting to save templates. This will minimize the need to go through the same action while moving data between multiple systems
  • Select the whole table or specific data you want to migrate
  • Run the Export job
  • Data migration is completed successfully

Wrapping Up

PostgreSQL is a popular database management system that companies use to migrate data from one server to another. You can also use pg_dump or pg_upgrade programs to create data migrations. However, you can lose data while using pg_upgrade program as it has not been tested frequently for migration. Therefore, it is better to use one of the migration tools, such as dbForge Studio for PostgreSQL, to securely import and export data.

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