Data Migration Assistant

The scary part of upgrading SQL Server is finding out you have a problem AFTER the fact. In this episode, Mariano Kovo joins us to discuss the Data Migration Assistant tool from Microsoft. While the name can be a bit misleading, (What? Microsoft have confusing names—that’s a first), the major benefit to the tool is the assessment feature to alert you of potential issues when you upgrade. Issues are broken into three major categories:

  • Breaking Changes
  • Behavior Changes
  • Deprecated Changes

While each change should be reviewed, many times we allow deprecated features to remain unresolved as they are still supported in SQL Server; however, we certainly want to put those on the backlog because one day Microsoft will finally pull the plug and we want to be ahead of the curve.

3 Takeaways

  1. Data Migration Assistant (DMA) replaces the Database Upgrade Advisor.
  2. DMA can create new objects in Azure SQL Database environments, but is not our preferred method to migrate databases.
  3. DMA can only inspect objects in the database—it won’t check ad hoc code inside the application unless you provide a trace file to review.

If video is not working, please find it on YouTube at
Please Like, Subscribe, and hit the bell for notifications. Thank you!

Our Guest

mariano kovo

Mariano Kovo

I’m a Data Architect, working in technology since 1995, in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. Specialized in Microsoft SQL Server Databases from version 6.5 until today, going through all versions of the product and several of its engines. My passion for data technologies took me from my first job as a DBA Administrator to become a collaborator within Microsoft Argentina & Uruguay as a SQL Server technical specialist.
I am the co-founder of Precision IT, a technology company with a presence in Argentina and the United States, a certified partner in Microsoft, Citrix, and Dell EMC. My focus is Infrastructure Architecture, High Availability, Disaster Recovery, and Performance & tuning. Additionally, I recognize myself as an enthusiast of Microsoft Azure Cloud platform and cloud data platform technologies.
In 2010 I was co-founder of the PASS (Professional Association for SQL Server) chapter in Argentina (SQLArgentina) and which I currently represent. Since 2018 I have received the Microsoft MVP award in Data Platform for my various contributions to the community and my skills on the data platform. I am continuously participating in technical talks for Microsoft, SQL Saturdays, Universities, Microsoft User Groups, and webcasts for the community presenting official releases and specialized workshops for the community, both in Latin America and the United States.

[Data Migration Assistant] will tell you if you are using any instance feature that is not compatible with the destination target that you choose.

Mariano Kovo

Meet the Hosts

carlos chacon headshot

Carlos Chacon

With more than 10 years of working with SQL Server, Carlos helps businesses ensure their SQL Server environments meet their users’ expectations. He can provide insights on performance, migrations, and disaster recovery. He is also active in the SQL Server community and regularly speaks at user group meetings and conferences. He helps support the free database monitoring tool found at and provides training through SQL Trail events.

eugene meidinger headshot

Eugene Meidinger

Eugene works as an independent BI consultant and Pluralsight author, specializing in Power BI and the Azure Data Platform. He has been working with data for over 8 years and speaks regularly at user groups and conferences. He also helps run the GroupBy online conference.

kevin feasel headshot

Kevin Feasel

Kevin is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP and proprietor of Catallaxy Services, LLC, where he specializes in T-SQL development, machine learning, and pulling rabbits out of hats on demand. He is the lead contributor to Curated SQL, president of the Triangle Area SQL Server Users Group, and author of the books PolyBase Revealed (Apress, 2020) and Finding Ghosts in Your Data: Anomaly Detection Techniques with Examples in Python (Apress, 2022). A resident of Durham, North Carolina, he can be found cycling the trails along the triangle whenever the weather's nice enough.

Want to Submit Some Feedback?

Did we miss something or not quite get it right? Want to be a guest or suggest a guest/topic for the podcast?

Let's find what you're looking for