How to Migrate SQLite to SQL Server? | Easy Steps

on Microsoft SQL Server, SQLite • April 20th, 2022 • Write for Hevo

SQLite to SQL Server Featured Image

SQLite is an open-source, Transaction Relational Database Engine that requires zero configuration and can be embedded within any application. SQL Server is one of the leading Database Management systems in the market. It has established itself as an easy-to-use, reliable and efficient system. It provides a wide range of functionality as well. It works on SQL and like any other DBMS, under a wide range of scenarios, the system doesn’t provide the level of efficiency you require.

This article helps you connect SQLite to SQL Server seamlessly. It also gives a brief introduction to SQL Server and SQLite before diving into the SQLite to SQL Server integration methods.

Table of Contents

What is SQLite?

SQLite to SQL Server: SQLite Logo
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SQLite is an open-source Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). Most Relational Databases are based on the Client-Server model, which means that the Database typically runs on a server. However, SQLite is a Serverless Relational Database Management System, also referred to as an Embedded Database. SQLite Database operates from within the software that is accessing data. The Database can be accessed directly without the need for intermediation from a Host Server.

SQLite is self-contained, file-based, and is known for its portability, performance in low memory environments, and reliability. It is designed to work without a Database Administrator and is very easy to set up. The data transactions carried out in SQLite are ACID compliant [Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability]. SQLite, being an open-source tool, is available free of cost for all users. However, depending on the use case you can always pay for additional extensions.

Key Features of SQLite

Here are the key features of SQLite:

  • Cross-platform DBMS: You do not need a large range of different platforms like Mac OS, Windows, Unix, and Linux. You can even use it on a lot of embedded operating systems like Windows CE and Symbian.
  • Easy Storage: With SQLite, you are guaranteed an efficient way to store your user data.
  • Large Assortment of APIs: SQLite provides API for a large range of programming languages like Java, PHP, Python, Objective C, C#, and Visual Basic, to name a few.
  • Variable Length of Columns: The length of the columns is variable and not fixed. It facilitates you to allocate only the space a field might need. For instance, if you have a varchar(200) column, and you place a 10 characters length value on it, then SQLite would allocate only 20 characters’ space for that value as opposed to the complete space.
  • Flexible and Serverless: SQLite doesn’t need a different server system or process to operate and facilitates you to work on various databases in the same session at the same time.

When Should you use SQLite: Key Use Cases

One of SQLite’s greatest advantages is that it can run on all platforms, including macOS, Windows, Linux, etc. SQLite is an RDBMS contained in a C library, hence the Applications written in any language can use SQLite as long as they can be connected to External Libraries written in C. Below are the appropriate uses for SQLite.

  • SQLite comes in handy for developing Embedded Software for Digital Devices like Televisions, Mobile Phones, Set-Top Boxes, Game Consoles, Cameras, etc.
  • Depending on your usage, you can leverage SQLite’s flexibility to work on multiple Databases in the same session simultaneously.
  • SQLite is used as a Temporary Dataset for Applications to get some processed data.
  • SQLite is a cross-platform DBMS, hence you can access it over all platforms including Windows, macOS, and more.
  • SQLite works well as a Database Engine for most websites, as it can manage low to medium-traffic HTTP requests.
  • Because it is simple to set up and use, it is used in Educational Institutions for learning and training purposes.

What is Microsoft SQL Server?

SQLite to SQL Server: SQL Server Logo
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SQL Server is a relational database system provided by Microsoft. It can hold petabytes of data and have 100s of parallel running cores. It has a comprehensive querying layer that aids in business analysis and tightly integrates with reporting tools. Recent versions have spark support built-in; which means analyzing large amounts of data using Spark SQL without much additional setup needed.

It supports ANSI SQL, the standard SQL (structured query language) language. SQL Server comes with its implementation of the proprietary language called T-SQL (transact SQL). SQL server management studio (SSMS) is the main interface tool, consisting of a client and server. A client is an application for sending requests to the SQL Server installed on a given machine, whereas a server is capable of processing input data as requested.

SQL Server provides enterprise-grade security and support which makes it a favorite among organizations with strict compliance requirements. This post is about loading data from Google Analytics to SQL Server.

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Key Features of SQL Server

Here are a few key features of SQL Server:

  • The Database Engine: This segment handles data storage, fast exchange processing, and data security.
  • The SQL Server: This assistance begins, pauses, stops, and continues the dataset process. 
  • The Server Agent: It plays out the job of the task scheduler. It tends to be set off by any occasion or according to request. 
  • The SQL Server Browser: This receives approaching queries and connects with the ideal SQL server instance. 
  • The SQL Server Full-Text Search: This permits the client to run a full-text search against Character information in SQL Tables.

When Should you use SQL Server: Key Use Cases

SQL Server can primarily be leveraged as a relational database engine to manage and store data for multiple applications of ERP, CRM, and Automation. It is also widely utilized by a large number of teams across different project functions that need a database management solution. You can also use SQL Server as a backend for data staging, web apps, and SSIS/SSRS.

Now that you’re familiar with SQLite and SQL Server, let’s dive straight into the SQLite to SQL Server migration.

Methods to Connect SQLite to SQL Server via CSV Files/ODBC Data Migration Tool

Here are the steps you can follow to migrate data from SQLite to SQL Server through the ODBC Migration tool:

Step 1: Downloading an ODBC Driver for SQLite

  • Surf to the SQLite ODBC Driver Source page. Configuring the correct driver might be a little difficult, so it is recommended that you download both 32 and 64-bit drivers to migrate data from SQLite to SQL Server. 

Step 2: Installing the Driver

  • Next, you can choose to run either the 64-bit or 32-bit driver .exe file. You can make the choice based on the operating system you are using for moving data from SQLite to SQL Server.
SQLite to SQL Server: Installing the Driver Image 1
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SQLite to SQL Server: Installing the Driver Image 2
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SQLite to SQL Server: Installing the Driver Image 3
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SQLite to SQL Server: Installing the Driver Image 4
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SQLite to SQL Server: Installing the Driver Image 5
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Step 3: Creating a System DSN for the Database

  • Next, click Start Run and type odbcad32, and press return for the 64-bit administrator.
SQLite to SQL Server: Creating a System DSN for the Database 1
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  • After the previous SQLite to SQL Server migration step, you can click Start Run and type and press return if you are working with the 32-bit administrator.
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  • Click on the System DSN tab to show up a list of System Data Sources.
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  • Click on the Add button to add a new System Data Source for your SQLite to SQL Server migration.
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  • You can then choose an appropriate driver. If you don’t have an idea about the driver that would suit your needs, you can give them a try in turn to zero in on one that is tailored to your SQLite to SQL Server migration.
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  • Next, you need to enter your SQLite database path. A point to note here is that some of the options are documented on the driver’s side. You can leave them as-is for the time being and move on to the next step of SQLite to SQL Server conversion.
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  • You can observe here that the 32-bit driver is only editable from a 32-bit administrator and the 64-bit driver is only editable from a 64-bit administrator.
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  • You can notice that the remove and configure buttons are greyed out.
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Step 4: Creating a Linked Server in SQL Server

  • For this step, it is recommended that you leverage the following T-SQL snippet to create the linked server to your SQLite database. There aren’t any login accounts or any security context with this linked server.
USE [master]
GO
EXEC sp_addlinkedserver 
   @server = 'Mobile_Phone_DB_64', -- the name you give the server in SSMS 
   @srvproduct = '', -- Can be blank but not NULL
   @provider = 'MSDASQL', 
   @datasrc = 'Mobile_Phone_DB_64' -- the name of the system dsn connection you created
GO

Step 5: Selecting the Data from the Source and inserting it into SQL Server Database Table

  • This brings us to the last step of SQLite to SQL Server migration. Click on the linked server stem and expand it to the tables. You can then simply query the tables as follows:
Select *
from openquery(Mobile_Phone_DB_64 , 'select * from db_notes')
GO
  • You can make a table in your destination SQL Server with the following type of TSQL:
Select * into SQLite_Data -- This creates a table
from openquery(Mobile_Phone_DB_64 , 'select * from db_notes')
GO
  • Finally, you can modify the data types within your destination SQL Server database table by leveraging alter commands.

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Migrating Data from SQLite to SQL Server: Best Practices to Follow

Here are a few best practices you can put into effect to get the most out of migrating data from SQLite to SQL Server:

  • The master database for migration from the SQLite database needs to be on a different disk (200 GB, RAID 5, SAS).
  • MDF files for the user’s databases need to be hosted on a separate disk (150 GB, SSD-, RAID 1/0).
  • You also need to make sure that the temporary databases are hosted on a separate disk (150 GB, SSD-, RAID 1/0).

Conclusion

In this article, you got a glimpse of how to move your data from SQL Server to SQLite after a brief introduction to the salient features, use cases, and benefits of both tools. The method talked over in this article is using CSV/ODBC Migration Tool to move data from SQLite to MSSQL seamlessly.

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Share your experience of converting SQLite to SQL Server in the comments section below.

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