What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Database Application Modernization?

Estimated read time 3 min read

The IT leaders confront various challenges in seeking the ideal way to modernize their database or data warehouse application which are advancing to the cloud and on-premises databases which are replaced by cloud native systems. Database application modernization, is in a way, a nightmare for the leaders as it entails modifying thousands of applications and each one of them has their own challenges. The benefits when it comes to better economics, competitive advantage, and ease of use cloud databases are now being recognized by these leaders. But modernization on order to support the new cloud databases is a lose-lose game with limited pros that lead to compromise. This article focuses on pros and cons of database application modernization.


A plethora of syntactic modifications are classified in this case and they can be easily identified which leads to quick rewrites. Mainly, this category entails discrepancies in keywords like workarounds or abbreviations for the shortcuts the new database doesn’t offer yet. Workarounds for this kind of issue are straightforward and have limited risk. They may seem like pure textual differences at first, but can be dealt with textual manipulation tools only. But, what is common here is the adjustments required are available without a holistic understanding of the query.


Queries in this very category tend to make the use of powerful and non-standard constructions which need elaborate rewrites and true subject matter expertise when it comes for adjustments for the cloud databases. For instance, the proprietary idioms such has Teradata’s QUALIFY or extensions that pre-date standards and hence, they tend to deviate from the language definition of any other SQL dialect. This subtlety is a proof especially error prone are the system specific interpretations of standard clauses like ordering of NULL values which are relative to other data. The very same query will return various results when they are executed on the on-premises database and its cloud counterpart. When perceived in contrast to the application queries in the advantages category, these queries call for a full and elongated semantic understanding of all the parts involved and very unlike the advantages category, no changes can be locally stored but normally require a complete restructuring of the original query.

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