Migrating Database Oracle to Snowflake – A Detailed Overview  

Before going into the migration process of database Oracle to Snowflake, it is necessary to get a general idea of the two, the benefits of each, and what advantages the migration has for organizations.


Oracle is an offering of the Oracle Corporation and is a relational database management system. It has various platforms such as the Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition, Personal Edition, and the Express Edition and enterprises can choose one according to their specific needs. Oracle is primarily designed for data warehousing and grid computing and provides affordable solutions for data management and applications.   

Oracle offers several features.

  • Performance and scalability – Real Application Clustering and Portability feature allow users to scale in storage as per requirements.
  • Availability – High performing computing provides data at all times, even during outages, failures, and unplanned downtimes.
  • Recovery and Backup – Data can be recovered from any type of failure with unaffected parts of data being available while the affected ones are recovered.
  • Security – Data security is always the top priority for any organization. Oracle has mechanisms in place to monitor and track data access and usage. Moreover, Oracle is ACID-compliant ensuring data integrity and safety.

Oracle runs on a wide range of software and hardware configurations and data storage and retrieval is very fast. Most applications can be easily integrated into the database. It was one of the first databases to support LINUX/GNU.


Snowflake is a cloud-based data warehousing solution. It has many unique features that make migrating data from Oracle to Snowflake an attractive proposition for businesses.

  • Snowflake offers superior data management as users can work with both structured and unstructured data. This feature is not available in the Oracle database.
  • The data warehousing solution is a Software-as-a-Service product and hence any new project can be quickly started without any additional investments in hardware or software.
  • Snowflake offers unlimited storage and computing facilities with high level of flexibility. Users can scale up and down whenever required, paying only for the quantum of resources used.
  • The data warehouse has unmatched computational capabilities. There is no drop in performance and lag even when multiple users simultaneously work on multiple intricate queries.
  • A very important aspect of Snowflake is quick data recovery in case of an outage. In case of a failure of the primary database, it’s Failover and Fallback feature automatically triggers the secondary databases without any work stoppage or downtime. Once the outage is resolved, the process works in the reverse direction and the primary database is updated.
  • Snowflake offers stringent data safety and security measures and all data is encrypted end-to-end with federated and multi-factor authentication.

These advanced features make Snowflake, a cloud-based platform, the industry leader in this field.

Steps for migrating database Oracle to Snowflake

The steps to migrate a database from Oracle to Snowflake are simple and easy and carried out with minimum human intervention.

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  • Extracting Data from the Oracle database – The first step is extracting data from the Oracle database and placing it in a CSV file. A SQL Plus query tool present in the Oracle Database Server along with the “Spool” command is used to facilitate this process and direct the results to the CSV file. The data will be continually extracted until the command is turned off.
  • Processing the mined data – The extracted data cannot be migrated directly to Snowflake but has to be first processed and formatted to match the data types that are supported by the Snowflake architecture. These include EUC-KR, UTF-8, ISO-8859-1 to 9, Big5, and UTF-16. In case the extracted data does not sync with any of them, a customized format has to be created with the “File Format Option” and date and time have to be marked on the file.
  • Placing data in a staging area – Even after the data is formatted, it cannot be migrated from Oracle to Snowflake but has to be kept in a temporary cloud staging area. There are two stages from which a choice can be made. One is an internal staging area in which users have to create tables and assign a name to it. For an external location, Snowflake currently supports Microsoft Azure and Amazon S3.
  • Copying files to Snowflake – The data file that is in a staging area has to be now copied into Snowflake. The Data Loading Overview tool is used to copy small databases while the COPY INTO command is for copying large databases. The process of migration of the database from Oracle to Snowflake is now complete.

These are the steps for migrating database Oracle to Snowflake and can be quickly done with the right tools.

Optimized tools for Oracle to Snowflake migration

Using the right and most optimized tools makes the process very easy and does not require human intervention as they are mostly automated. Ensure that the chosen tool can handle large volumes of data quickly and efficiently. The tool should automatically execute the data mergers, transfers, and reconciliation through a simple click-and-point interface. Finally, the tool should use the Oracle CDC to copy incremental data only into Snowflake instead of going for full refreshes every time a change is made at the source database.

Make the Oracle to Snowflake effortless by following these steps and using the right tools.