SQL Server RDS snapshot

Release status Released Supported by Stitch
Availability Free Supported Versions n/a
SSL connections Supported VPN Connections Unsupported
Data selection Tables and columns View Replication Unsupported
Destination
incompatibilities
None

Connecting SQL Server RDS

SQL Server RDS Setup Requirements

To set up SQL Server RDS in Stitch, you need:

  • Permissions in Amazon Web Services (AWS) that allow you to:

    • Create/manage Security Groups, which is required to whitelist Stitch’s IP addresses.
    • View database details, which is required for retrieving the database’s connection details.
  • Permissions in SQL Server RDS that allow you to create/manage users. This is required to create the Stitch database user.

  • A database that uses case-insensitive collation. More info about collation can be found here in Microsoft’s documentation.


Step 1: Whitelist Stitch's IP addresses

For Stitch to successfully connect with your RDS instance, you’ll need to add our IP addresses to the appropriate database security group via the AWS management console. To do this, an inbound security rule must be created for each of our IP addresses.

The IP addresses can be added to an existing group or you can create a new one. The important thing is that the group is authorized to access the instance you want to connect to Stitch.

  1. Log into your AWS account.
  2. Navigate to the Security Group Management page, typically Services > Compute > EC2.
  3. Click the Security Groups option, under Network & Security in the menu on the left side of the page.
  4. Click Create Security Group.
  5. In the window that displays, fill in the fields as follows:
    • Security group name: Enter a unique name for the security group. For example: Stitch
    • Description: Enter a description for the security group.
    • VPC: Verify that the selected VPC is the same VPC your database is in.
  6. In the Inbound tab, click Add Rule.
  7. Fill in the fields as follows:
    • Type: Select Custom TCP Rule
    • Port Range: Enter the port your database uses. (1433 by default)
    • CIDR, IP or Security Group, enter one of the IP addresses listed below:

      • 52.23.137.21/32

      • 52.204.223.208/32

      • 52.204.228.32/32

      • 52.204.230.227/32

  8. Add another rule by clicking the Add Rule button.
  9. Repeat steps 6-8 until all the IP addresses above have been added:

  10. When finished, click Create.

Step 2: Create a Stitch database user

Next, you’ll create a dedicated database user for Stitch. This will ensure Stitch is visible in any logs or audits, and allow you to maintain your privilege hierarchy.

  1. Log into your database.
  2. Create a SQL login for the Stitch database user:

    CREATE LOGIN [stitch_username] WITH PASSWORD=[password]
    go
    
  3. Grant the Stitch user access to the database:

    USE [database]
    go
    
  4. Create the Stitch database user and map them to the database:

    CREATE USER [stitch_username] FOR LOGIN 
    go
    
  5. Grant the Stitch user SELECT privileges.

    To grant SELECT privileges to all tables in the database, run this command:

    GRANT SELECT to [stitch_username]
    go
    

    If you wish to limit the Stitch user to specific tables, run this command instead:

    GRANT SELECT ON [schema_name].[table_name] TO [stitch_username]
    go
    

See the Privileges list tab for an explanation of why these permissions are required by Stitch.

In the table below are the database user privileges Stitch requires to connect to and replicate data from a SQL Server RDS database.

Privilege name Reason for requirement

Step 3: Locate RDS connection details in AWS

Next, you’ll retrieve the connection details required to complete the setup in Stitch. This info can be found on the Instance Details page in AWS.

If you don’t still have this page open, click Instances and then the instance you’re connecting to Stitch.

  1. On the Instance Details page, scroll down to the Connect section.
  2. Locate the Endpoint and Port fields, which are highlighted in the image below:

    Amazon RDS Instance Details page with the Endport and Port fields highlighted

Leave this page open for now - you’ll need it to complete the setup in the next step.


Step 4: Connect Stitch

  1. Sign into your Stitch account, if you haven’t already.
  2. On the Stitch Dashboard page, click the Add Integration button.
  3. Click the Microsoft SQL Server icon.
  4. Fill in the fields as follows:

In addition, click the Connect using SSL checkbox if you’re using an SSL connection. Note: The database must support and allow SSL connections for this setting to work correctly.


Step 5: Create a replication schedule

In the Replication Frequency section, you’ll create the integration’s replication schedule. An integration’s replication schedule determines how often Stitch runs a replication job, and the time that job begins.

Stitch offers two methods of creating a replication schedule:

  • Replication Frequency: This method requires selecting the interval you want replication to run for the integration. Start times of replication jobs are based on the start time and duration of the previous job. Refer to the Replication Frequency documentation for more information and examples.
  • Anchor scheduling: Based on the Replication Frequency, or interval, you select, this method “anchors” the start times of this integration’s replication jobs to a time you select to create a predictable schedule. Anchor scheduling is a combination of the Anchor Time and Replication Frequency settings, which must both be defined to use this method. Additionally, note that:

    • A Replication Frequency of at least one hour is required to use anchor scheduling.
    • An initial replication job may not begin immediately after saving the integration, depending on the selected Replication Frequency and Anchor Time. Refer to the Anchor Scheduling documentation for more information.

    • You’ll need to contact support to request using an Anchor Time with this integration.

To help prevent overages, consider setting the integration to replicate less frequently. See the Understanding and Reducing Your Row Usage guide for tips on reducing your usage.


Step 6: Select data to replicate

The last step is to select the tables and columns you want to replicate. When you track a table, you’ll also need to define its Replication Method and, if using Key-based Incremental Replication, its Replication Key.

You can track tables and columns by:

  1. In the Integration Details page, click the Tables to Replicate tab.
  2. Locate a table you want to replicate.
  3. Click the checkbox next to the object’s name. A green checkmark means the object is set to replicate.
  4. If there are child objects, they’ll automatically display and you’ll be prompted to select some.
  5. After you set a table to replicate, the Table Settings page will display. Note: When you track a table, by default all columns will also be tracked.
  6. In the Table Settings page, define the table’s Replication Method and, if using Key-based Incremental Replication, its Replication Key.

  7. Repeat this process for every table you want to replicate.

Initial and historical replication jobs

After you finish setting up SQL Server RDS, its Sync Status may show as Pending on either the Stitch Dashboard or in the Integration Details page.

For a new integration, a Pending status indicates that Stitch is in the process of scheduling the initial replication job for the integration. This may take some time to complete.

Free historical data loads

The first seven days of replication, beginning when data is first replicated, are free. Rows replicated from the new integration during this time won’t count towards your quota. Stitch offers this as a way of testing new integrations, measuring usage, and ensuring historical data volumes don’t quickly consume your quota.


Extracting data from SQL Server RDS

When you connect a database as an input, Stitch only needs read-only access to the databases, tables, and columns you want to replicate. There are two processes Stitch runs during the Extraction phase of the replication process: a structure sync and a data sync.

Structure syncs

This is the first part of the Extraction process. During this phase, Stitch will detect any changes to the structure of your database. For example: A new column is added to one of the tables you set to replicate in Stitch. Structure syncs are how Stitch identifies the databases, tables, and columns to display in the Stitch app.

Stitch runs the following queries on SQL Server RDS databases to perform a structure sync:

  • SELECT [database_name] FROM sys.sysdatabases
  • SELECT [table_name] FROM [database_name].information_schema.tables

Data syncs

This is the second part of the Extraction process. During this phase, Stitch extracts data from the source and replicates it. The method Stitch uses is the same for all databases, but differs depending on the Replication Method that each table uses.

The tabs below contain info about the queries Stitch runs during the data syncs for each type of Replication Method supported for SQL Server RDS integrations.

Data syncs for tables using Key-based Incremental

Initial (historical) replication jobs

During the initial replication job for a table using Key-based Incremental Replication, Stitch will replicate the table in full by running a SELECT query and read out of the resulting cursor in batches:

  SELECT column_a, column_b <,...>
    FROM table_a
ORDER BY replication_key_column
Ongoing replication jobs

During subsequent jobs, Stitch will use the last saved maximum value of the Replication Key column to identify new and updated data.

Stitch will run the following query and read out of the associated cursor in batches:

  SELECT column_a, column_b <,...>
    FROM table_a
   WHERE replication_key_column >= 'last_maximum_replication_key_value'
ORDER BY replication_key_column

Data syncs for tables using Full Table

For tables using Full Table Replication, Stitch runs a single query and reads out of the resulting cursor in batches:

SELECT column_a, column_b <,...>
  FROM table_a

This query will be run for each table using Full Table Replication during every replication job, whether it's the initial historical job or a subsequent job.

Recommendations

While we make every effort to ensure the queries that Stitch executes don’t impart significant load on your databases, we still have some recommendations for guaranteeing database performance:

  • Use a replica database instead of connecting directly. We recommend using read replicas in lieu of directly connecting production databases with high availability and performance requirements.
  • Apply indexes to Replication Key columns. We restrict and order our replication queries by this column, so applying an index to the columns you’re using as Replication Keys can improve performance.

Questions? Feedback?

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