Migrate GAE Datastore to SQL using Golang

Feb 08, 2016 Go

Some time ago, I’ve started developing the backend for my Pregnancy app. To run everything pretty fast :rocket:, cheap :heavy_dollar_sign: and having the option to change the db schema anytime without much pain :pill:, datastore was a great solution for me. Later, I wanted to start learning from data and running some queries. The basic ‘select’ queries worked fine, but trying to create more interesting queries which required few joins, was almost impossible mission. Datastore doesn’t support join and nested queries. After making some checks with loading part of the query results into memory and joining programmatically, I found out that this is a really bad approach. The final decision was leaving Datastore and migrating all the data into Google Cloud SQL.


  1. Prepare storage bucket
  2. Export datastore to the bucket
  3. Download the backup
  4. Unmarshal and load to model
  5. Example

1. Prepare storage bucket

  1. Open Developer Console
  2. Go to Storage section
  3. Create bucket and give it a unique name. For example: my-migrated-datastore
  4. Click on created bucket and press Create Folder. Let’s call it: data

2. Export datastore to the bucket

  1. Go to Datastore section
  2. Click on Admin and Enable Datastore Admin if it’s disabled

  3. Click on Open Datastore Admin

  4. Select entities you want to export

  5. Click on Backup Entities

  6. Under Google Cloud Storage bucket name write: /gs/my-migrated-datastore/data. Click on Backup Entities

    The format of this: /gs/{bucket-name-you-created}/{folder-in-bucket}

  7. Click on Back to Datastore Admin and you will see the pending and completed backups. Refresh page from time to time to see the changed status.

    If you open the folder data in bucket you’ve created, you will see *.backup_info files and folders per entity.

3. Download the backup

  1. Make sure you have gsutil installed.
  2. Download the files from bucket to your machine: gsutil cp -R gs://my-migrated-datastore/data .

    The syntax is: gsutil cp -R gs://your_bucket_name/folder /local_target

4. Unmarshal and load to model

The script is combined of:

  1. Part of original datastore package with some little changes like making the method LoadEntity as exported (public) and removing all dependencies to internal appengine packages.

  2. The backup.go code will unmarshal and load the backup file into the model.

Run it yourself

go get -u github.com/sromku/datastore-to-sql/backup

Load the backup file into model

This script will load the backup file into ‘Profile’ model and print it

import (

func main() {
	backupPath := ".../output-0"
	backup.Load(backupPath, &Profile{}, nil,
		func(res interface{}) {
			profile, _ := res.(*Profile) // the loaded model

type Profile struct {
	Name   string `datastore:"name, noindex"`
	Email  string `datastore:"email"`
	Gender int `datastore:"gender, noindex"`

5. Example

  1. Clone https://github.com/sromku/datastore-to-sql
  2. Open example folder and run go run model.go main.go. The script will load backed up file which is located under ‘exported-data’ folder and print SQL script for importing it later.
  3. This is what will you see:

    INSERT INTO `users` VALUES ('Aindrea Tim','aindrea.tim@gmail.com',1);
    INSERT INTO `users` VALUES ('Alban Lestat','alban.lestat@gmail.com',0);
    INSERT INTO `users` VALUES ('Erik Erich','erik.erich@gmail.com',0);
    INSERT INTO `users` VALUES ('Luisita Karolina','luisita.karolina@gmail.com',1);

From this point, you can import it or do whatever you need. The main pain for me, was getting until this point. After having this script, I did all the needed adaptation to make the appropriate SQL script with all INSERTS, unique fields, Tables and etc.. I will leave it to you :)