How to load data from IBM Db2 to PostgreSQL Destination

Learn how to use Airbyte to synchronize your IBM Db2 data into PostgreSQL Destination within minutes.


This can be done by building a data pipeline manually, usually a Python script (you can leverage a tool as Apache Airflow for this). This process can take more than a full week of development. Or it can be done in minutes on Airbyte in three easy steps:

  1. set up IBM Db2 as a source connector (using Auth, or usually an API key)
  2. set up PostgreSQL Destination as a destination connector
  3. define which data you want to transfer and how frequently

You can choose to self-host the pipeline using Airbyte Open Source or have it managed for you with Airbyte Cloud.

This tutorial’s purpose is to show you how.

What is IBM Db2

Specializing in the development and maintenance of Android, iOS, and Web applications, DB2’s AI technology offers fast insights, flexible data management, and secure data movement to businesses globally through its IBM Cloud Pak for Data platform. Companies rely on DB2’s AI-powered insights and secure platform and save money with its multimodal capability, which eliminates the need for unnecessary replication and migration of data. Additionally, DB2 is convenient and will run on any cloud vendor.

What is PostgreSQL Destination

An object-relational database management system, PostgreSQL is able to handle a wide range of workloads, supports multiple standards, and is cross-platform, running on numerous operating systems including Microsoft Windows, Solaris, Linux, and FreeBSD. It is highly extensible, and supports more than 12 procedural languages, Spatial data support, Gin and GIST Indexes, and more. Many web, mobile, and analytics applications use PostgreSQL as the primary data warehouse or data store.


  1. A IBM Db2 account to transfer your customer data automatically from.
  2. A PostgreSQL Destination account.
  3. An active Airbyte Cloud account, or you can also choose to use Airbyte Open Source locally. You can follow the instructions to set up Airbyte on your system using docker-compose.

Airbyte is an open-source data integration platform that consolidates and streamlines the process of extracting and loading data from multiple data sources to data warehouses. It offers pre-built connectors, including IBM Db2 and PostgreSQL Destination, for seamless data migration.

When using Airbyte to move data from IBM Db2 to PostgreSQL Destination, it extracts data from IBM Db2 using the source connector, converts it into a format PostgreSQL Destination can ingest using the provided schema, and then loads it into PostgreSQL Destination via the destination connector. This allows businesses to leverage their IBM Db2 data for advanced analytics and insights within PostgreSQL Destination, simplifying the ETL process and saving significant time and resources.

Step 1: Set up IBM Db2 as a source connector

1. First, you need to obtain the necessary credentials to connect to your IBM Db2 source. This includes the hostname, port number, database name, username, and password.  

2. Once you have the credentials, open the Airbyte platform and navigate to the "Sources" tab.  

3. Click on the "Add Source" button and select "IBM Db2" from the list of available sources.  

4. In the "Configure IBM Db2" page, enter the hostname, port number, database name, username, and password in the corresponding fields.  

5. Click on the "Test Connection" button to ensure that the credentials are correct and that Airbyte can connect to your IBM Db2 source.  

6. If the connection is successful, click on the "Save" button to save the configuration.  

7. You can now create a new pipeline and select the IBM Db2 source as the origin. Follow the prompts to configure the pipeline and select the destination where you want to replicate the data.  

8. Once the pipeline is set up, you can run it manually or schedule it to run at specific intervals.  

9. You can monitor the progress of the pipeline and view any errors or warnings in the Airbyte platform.  

10. Congratulations, you have successfully connected your IBM Db2 source to Airbyte and can now replicate your data to any destination of your choice.

Step 2: Set up PostgreSQL Destination as a destination connector

Step 3: Set up a connection to sync your IBM Db2 data to PostgreSQL Destination

Once you've successfully connected IBM Db2 as a data source and PostgreSQL Destination as a destination in Airbyte, you can set up a data pipeline between them with the following steps:

  1. Create a new connection: On the Airbyte dashboard, navigate to the 'Connections' tab and click the '+ New Connection' button.
  2. Choose your source: Select IBM Db2 from the dropdown list of your configured sources.
  3. Select your destination: Choose PostgreSQL Destination from the dropdown list of your configured destinations.
  4. Configure your sync: Define the frequency of your data syncs based on your business needs. Airbyte allows both manual and automatic scheduling for your data refreshes.
  5. Select the data to sync: Choose the specific IBM Db2 objects you want to import data from towards PostgreSQL Destination. You can sync all data or select specific tables and fields.
  6. Select the sync mode for your streams: Choose between full refreshes or incremental syncs (with deduplication if you want), and this for all streams or at the stream level. Incremental is only available for streams that have a primary cursor.
  7. Test your connection: Click the 'Test Connection' button to make sure that your setup works. If the connection test is successful, save your configuration.
  8. Start the sync: If the test passes, click 'Set Up Connection'. Airbyte will start moving data from IBM Db2 to PostgreSQL Destination according to your settings.

Remember, Airbyte keeps your data in sync at the frequency you determine, ensuring your PostgreSQL Destination data warehouse is always up-to-date with your IBM Db2 data.

Use Cases to transfer your IBM Db2 data to PostgreSQL Destination

Integrating data from IBM Db2 to PostgreSQL Destination provides several benefits. Here are a few use cases:

  1. Advanced Analytics: PostgreSQL Destination’s powerful data processing capabilities enable you to perform complex queries and data analysis on your IBM Db2 data, extracting insights that wouldn't be possible within IBM Db2 alone.
  2. Data Consolidation: If you're using multiple other sources along with IBM Db2, syncing to PostgreSQL Destination allows you to centralize your data for a holistic view of your operations, and to set up a change data capture process so you never have any discrepancies in your data again.
  3. Historical Data Analysis: IBM Db2 has limits on historical data. Syncing data to PostgreSQL Destination allows for long-term data retention and analysis of historical trends over time.
  4. Data Security and Compliance: PostgreSQL Destination provides robust data security features. Syncing IBM Db2 data to PostgreSQL Destination ensures your data is secured and allows for advanced data governance and compliance management.
  5. Scalability: PostgreSQL Destination can handle large volumes of data without affecting performance, providing an ideal solution for growing businesses with expanding IBM Db2 data.
  6. Data Science and Machine Learning: By having IBM Db2 data in PostgreSQL Destination, you can apply machine learning models to your data for predictive analytics, customer segmentation, and more.
  7. Reporting and Visualization: While IBM Db2 provides reporting tools, data visualization tools like Tableau, PowerBI, Looker (Google Data Studio) can connect to PostgreSQL Destination, providing more advanced business intelligence options. If you have a IBM Db2 table that needs to be converted to a PostgreSQL Destination table, Airbyte can do that automatically.

Wrapping Up

To summarize, this tutorial has shown you how to:

  1. Configure a IBM Db2 account as an Airbyte data source connector.
  2. Configure PostgreSQL Destination as a data destination connector.
  3. Create an Airbyte data pipeline that will automatically be moving data directly from IBM Db2 to PostgreSQL Destination after you set a schedule

With Airbyte, creating data pipelines take minutes, and the data integration possibilities are endless. Airbyte supports the largest catalog of API tools, databases, and files, among other sources. Airbyte's connectors are open-source, so you can add any custom objects to the connector, or even build a new connector from scratch without any local dev environment or any data engineer within 10 minutes with the no-code connector builder.

We look forward to seeing you make use of it! We invite you to join the conversation on our community Slack Channel, or sign up for our newsletter. You should also check out other Airbyte tutorials, and Airbyte’s content hub!

IBM defines Db2 as a cloud-native database built to power low latency transactions and real-time analytics at scale. It provides a single engine for DBAs, enterprise architects, and developers to keep critical applications running, store and query anything, and power faster decision making and innovation across your organization.

On the other hand, PostgreSQL is a powerful, open source object-relational database system with over 35 years of active development that has earned it a strong reputation for reliability, feature robustness, and performance. It also ranks among the top 10 databases worldwide, and its popularity is growing rapidly.

You may wish to replicate your data from IBM Db2 to PostgreSQL. Here are a few reasons why:

  • PostgreSQL is an open-source database, while Db2 is a proprietary database. Therefore, moving data to PostgreSQL may reduce costs.
  • G2 claims that PostgreSQL performs better than Db2.
  • Unlike Db2, PostgreSQL supports a wide range of operating systems.
  • PostgreSQL supports secondary indexes without any restriction.
  • You can run both your operational and analytical workloads on PostgreSQL.
  • You may use Postgres as a single location to transform and join data from across the enterprise.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to replicate data from IBM Db2 to PostgreSQL using Airbyte. Let’s get started!


Below are some prerequisites required for the tutorial.

* This tutorial was tested on an Apple Macintosh running X86 silicon.  At the time of writing, an ARM64-compatible Db2 docker image was not available, and so this does not work on newer ARM-based Macs.  

Step 1: Create a sample database table in IBM Db2

To migrate data from Db2 to Postgres, you must first create a sample table in the Db2 database. Using the Db2 docker image, you need to run the following series of commands to start the database engine and connect to it:

As discussed in the Docker Db2 Quick Start, start db2 as follows:

docker run -itd --name db2 --restart unless-stopped -e DBNAME=testdb -v /tmp/:/database -e DB2INST1_PASSWORD=MyP@$sw0rD -e LICENSE=accept -p 50000:50000 --privileged=true ibmcom/db2

Open a shell to the container:

docker exec -it db2 bash -c "su - db2inst1"

You should see a prompt similar to the following:

[db2inst1@8f2558dccbb0 ~]$

Use the db2 shell to connect to the testdb database:

connect to testdb

Use the CREATE TABLE command to create a new table called FLOWER:


Use the SQL INSERT INTO command to insert records into the FLOWER table as follows:

INSERT INTO FLOWER (name, color, fcount) VALUES ('Lily', 'White', 12),  ('Rose', 'Red', 1),  ('Lotus', 'Pink', 8),  ('Sunflower', 'Yellow', 9),  ('Daisy', 'White', 10),  ('Poppy', 'Red', 3),  ('Narcissus', 'Yellow', 12),  ('Blue Morning Glory', 'Blue', 10),  ('Chamomile Vine', 'Yellow', 19),  ('Scarlet', 'Red', 16)

Now that you have a populated Db2 database, you can use Airbyte to replicate your data!

Step 2: Set up IBM Db2 as an Airbyte source

After you have downloaded and followed the instructions to start Airbyte, you will be able to access the web UI through a browser on localhost:8000.

You need to click the New Source button in the sources tab and select the Db2 source, after which some configuration details will be requested. Enter the values that were specified when the Db2 container was created, as follows:

Once you enter all the details, click on the Setup Source button, which will connect to Db2 and validate your Airbyte source configuration.

Step 3: Start PostgreSQL

Next you will set up the destination and get it running before configuring Airbyte to use it. Start a container running PostgreSQL as follows:

docker run --rm --name postgres-destination -e POSTGRES_PASSWORD=password -p 3000:5432 -d postgres:13

Open a shell to the PostgreSQL container:

docker exec -it postgres-destination /bin/bash

Confirm that PostgreSQL is running using psql shell within the container:

psql -U postgres

Enter Ctrl+D to exit the psql shell.

Step 4: Setup PostgreSQL as an Airbyte destination

Now that PostgreSQL is running, you can set up PostgreSQL as an Airbyte destination. In the destination configuration, you will provide the  information that allows you to connect to the destination – complete the configuration as shown below, using the values that you specified when the PostgreSQL container was started:

Step 5: Set up a Db2 to PostgreSQL connection

After setting up the source and the destination in Airbyte, you can choose to create a new connection, with the source and the destination that we have just created. You will then see a UI similar to the following:

As can be seen in the image above, Airbyte has detected that the source database has a FLOWER table. For the sync mode, we have chosen Incremental |Append and have specified FCOUNT as the cursor field.

Click on the Set Up Connection button to complete the configuration, at which point the connection is established and will start syncing data.

Once the sync is complete, you can verify if the data successfully landed in PostgreSQL. Let’s use the PostgreSQL shell (psql) to confirm as follows:

docker exec -it postgres-destination psql -U postgres

After connecting to the database, you can check all the available schemas and tables in the PostgreSQL database using the following command:

\dt *.*;

Airbyte has created a new table with the name flower. Next, you can check the data inside the flower table using the SELECT command as follows:

SELECT * FROM flower;

Which should respond with a table that looks similar to the following:

The records from the Db2 database are now available in Postgres, including some additional metadata columns created by Airbyte.

If you were to execute additional syncs by pressing the Sync now button, you would see that only new records (i.e. records that have an FCOUNT value greater than the highest FCOUNT value in records that were previously replicated), will be copied. This is because we have chosen incremental replication with FCOUNT as the cursor. This is discussed in more detail in the tutorial: Explore Airbyte’s incremental data synchronization.

Wrapping Up

This tutorial has demonstrated the following:

  1. Start a container running IBM Db2
  2. Configure an Airbyte source to replicate data from Db2.
  3. Start a container running PostgreSQL.
  4. Configure a PostgreSQL as an Airbyte destination.
  5. Create an Airbyte connection that syncs data from Db2 to PostgreSQL.

If you liked this tutorial, you might also consider browsing Airbyte’s blog or other tutorials. You can also participate in conversations on Airbyte's discourse, join our community Slack channel, or subscribe to our newsletter. Additionally, you may test out Airbyte Cloud if you're interested in Airbyte as a fully managed service!

Frequently Asked Questions

What data can you extract from IBM Db2?

IBM Db2 provides access to a wide range of data types, including:  

1. Relational data: This includes tables, views, and indexes that are organized in a relational database management system (RDBMS).  

2. Non-relational data: This includes data that is not organized in a traditional RDBMS, such as NoSQL databases, JSON documents, and XML files.  

3. Time-series data: This includes data that is collected over time and is typically used for analysis and forecasting, such as sensor data, financial data, and weather data.  

4. Geospatial data: This includes data that is related to geographic locations, such as maps, satellite imagery, and GPS coordinates.  

5. Graph data: This includes data that is organized in a graph structure, such as social networks, recommendation engines, and knowledge graphs.  

6. Machine learning data: This includes data that is used to train machine learning models, such as labeled datasets, feature vectors, and model parameters.  

Overall, IBM Db2's API provides access to a diverse range of data types, making it a powerful tool for data management and analysis.

What data can you transfer to PostgreSQL Destination?

You can transfer a wide variety of data to PostgreSQL Destination. This usually includes structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data like transaction records, log files, JSON data, CSV files, and more, allowing robust, scalable data integration and analysis.

What are top ETL tools to transfer data from IBM Db2 to PostgreSQL Destination?

The most prominent ETL tools to transfer data from IBM Db2 to PostgreSQL Destination include:

  • Airbyte
  • Fivetran
  • Stitch
  • Matillion
  • Talend Data Integration

These tools help in extracting data from IBM Db2 and various sources (APIs, databases, and more), transforming it efficiently, and loading it into PostgreSQL Destination and other databases, data warehouses and data lakes, enhancing data management capabilities.