Amazon Microsoft SQL Server RDS feature snapshot

A high-level look at Stitch's Amazon Microsoft SQL Server RDS (v1.0) integration, including release status, useful links, and the features supported in Stitch.

STITCH
Release Status

Released

Supported By

Stitch

Stitch Plan

Free

Supported Versions

2012 through 2017

CONNECTION METHODS
SSH Connections

Supported

SSL Connections

Supported

REPLICATION SETTINGS
Anchor Scheduling

Supported

Advanced Scheduling

Unsupported

Table-level Reset

Supported

Configurable Replication Methods

Supported

REPLICATION METHODS
Log-based Replication

Supported

Key-based Replication

Supported

Full Table Replication

Supported

DATA SELECTION
Table Selection

Supported

Column Selection

Supported

View Replication

Supported

TRANSPARENCY
Extraction Logs

Supported

Loading Reports

Supported

Connecting Amazon Microsoft SQL Server RDS

Amazon Microsoft SQL Server RDS setup requirements

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

  • Privileges 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.
  • Privileges in Amazon Microsoft SQL Server RDS that allow you to create/manage users. This is required to create the Stitch database user.

  • A database running Amazon Microsoft SQL Server RDS version 2012 through 2017. Amazon Microsoft SQL Server RDS 2012 is the miminum version that Stitch supports for this type of integration.

  • If using Log-based Incremental Replication, you’ll need:

    • The ALTER DATABASE privilege in Microsoft SQL Server. This is required to complete the setup for Log-based Incremental Replication.

Step 1: Configure database connection settings

In this step, you’ll configure the database server to allow traffic from Stitch to access it. There are two ways to connect your database:

  • A direct connection will work if your database is publicly accessible.
  • An SSH tunnel is required if your database isn’t publicly accessible. This method uses a publicly accessible instance, or an SSH server, to act as an intermediary between Stitch and your database. The SSH server will forward traffic from Stitch through an encrypted tunnel to the private database.

Click the option you’re using below and follow the instructions.

For Stitch to successfully connect with your database instance, you’ll need to add our IP addresses to the appropriate Security Group via the AWS management console.

Security Groups must reside in the same VPC as the instance. Use the instructions below to create a security group for Stitch and grant access to the VPC.

  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: Select the VPC that contains the database you want to connect to Stitch. Note: The Security Group and database must be in the same VPC, or the connection will fail.
  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. Click Add Rule to add an additional Inbound rule.
  9. Repeat steps 6-8 until all the IP addresses above have been added:

    Whitelisting Stitch IP addresses through Inbound Security Group rules

  10. When finished, click Create to create the Security Group.
  1. Follow the steps in the Setting up an SSH Tunnel for a database in Amazon Web Services guide to set up an SSH tunnel for Amazon Microsoft SQL Server RDS.
  2. Complete the steps in this guide after the SSH setup is complete.

Step 2: Enable Log-based Incremental Replication with Change Tracking

While Log-based Incremental Replication is the most accurate and efficient method of replication, using this replication method may, at times, require manual intervention or impact the source database’s performance. Refer to the Log-based Incremental Replication documentation for more info.

You can also use one of Stitch’s other Replication Methods, which don’t require any database configuration. Replication Methods can be changed at any time.

Step 2.1: Verify database compatibility

In this step, you’ll verify the database’s database’s compatibility level. This setting sets some database behaviors to be compatible with a specified version of SQL Server. To use Change Tracking, your database must have a compatibility level greater than 90.

  1. Log into your database:

    USE <database_name>
    GO
    
  2. Run the following query to retrieve the database’s current compatibility level:

    SELECT compatibility_level
    FROM sys.databases WHERE name = '<database_name>';
    GO
    

    According to Microsoft’s documentation, this value must be greater than 90 or the CHANGETABLE function (used to obtain change tracking info during replication) will return an error.

  3. If the result is less than 90, you’ll need to increase it to enable Change Tracking.

    Note: Before changing this setting, you should understand how doing so could impact your database. Refer to Microsoft’s documentation for more info.

    Use the following command to set the database compatibility level:

    ALTER DATABASE <database_name>
    SET COMPATIBILITY_LEVEL = 100;
    GO
    

Step 2.2: Enable change tracking for the database

In this step, you’ll enable Change Tracking at the database level. Use the following command to enable Change Tracking, replacing <database_name> with the name of the database:

ALTER DATABASE <database_name>  
SET CHANGE_TRACKING = ON  
(CHANGE_RETENTION = 3 DAYS, AUTO_CLEANUP = ON)

This command also defines the CHANGE_RETENTION and AUTO_CLEANUP settings:

  • CHANGE_RETENTION - This specifies the time period for which change tracking information is kept. Change tracking information older than the specified time period is periodically removed by Amazon Microsoft SQL Server RDS. Stitch recommends a minimum of 3 days.
  • AUTO_CLEANUP - This controls the cleanup task that removes old change tracking information. When OFF, the task will be disabled and old change tracking information will not be removed.

Step 2.3: Enable change tracking for tables

For every table you want to replicate using Log-based Incremental Replication, you will need to enable change tracking. When change tracking is enabled, change tracking information will be maintained for all rows in the table affected by a DML operation.

Run the following command to enable change tracking for a table:

ALTER TABLE <schema_name>.<table_name>  
ENABLE CHANGE_TRACKING  
WITH (TRACK_COLUMNS_UPDATED = ON)

Repeat this step for every table you want to replicate using Log-based Incremental Replication.

Step 3: 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. Create the Stitch database user, replacing <database_name> with the name of the database and <password> with a secure password:

    USE <database_name>
    CREATE LOGIN <stitch_username> WITH PASSWORD='<password>'
    CREATE USER <stitch_username> FOR LOGIN
    
  2. Grant the Stitch user SELECT privileges. To grant SELECT privileges to all tables in the database, run this command:

    GRANT SELECT to <stitch_username>
    

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

    GRANT SELECT ON <schema_name>.<table_name> TO <stitch_username>
    

    Note: Column-level permissions are not supported for use with Log-based Incremental Replication. Restricting access to columns will cause replication issues.

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 Amazon Microsoft SQL Server RDS database.

Privilege name Reason for requirement
SELECT

Required to select rows from tables in a database.

VIEW CHANGE TRACKING

Required to use Log-based Incremental Replication. Required to obtain change tracking information from tables where change tracking is enabled.

Step 4: Connect Stitch

In this step, you’ll complete the setup by entering the database’s connection details and defining replication settings in Stitch.

Step 4.1: Locate RDS connection details in AWS

  1. Sign into the AWS Console, if needed.
  2. Navigate to the RDS option.
  3. On the RDS Dashboard page, click the Databases option on the left side of the page. This will open the RDS Databases page.

  4. In the list of databases, locate and click on the instance you want to connect to Stitch. This will open the Database Details page.

Step 4.2: Define the database connection details

  1. If you aren’t signed into your Stitch account, sign in now.
  2. On the Stitch Dashboard page, click the Add Integration button.

  3. Locate and click the Microsoft SQL Server icon.
  4. Fill in the fields as follows:

    • Integration Name: Enter a name for the integration. This is the name that will display on the Stitch Dashboard for the integration; it’ll also be used to create the schema in your destination.

      For example, the name “Stitch Amazon Microsoft SQL Server RDS” would create a schema called stitch_amazon_microsoft_sql_server_rds in the destination. Note: The schema name cannot be changed after the integration is saved.

    • Host (Endpoint): Paste the Endpoint address from the Amazon Microsoft SQL Server RDS Details page in AWS into this field. Don’t include the port number, if it’s appended to the end of the endpoint string - this will cause errors.

    • Port: Enter the port used by the instance. The default is 1433.

    • Username: Enter the Stitch Amazon Microsoft SQL Server RDS database user’s username.

    • Password: Enter the password for the Stitch Amazon Microsoft SQL Server RDS database user.

    • Database: Optional: Enter the name of the default database Stitch will connect to. Stitch will ‘find’ all databases you give the Stitch user access to - a default database is only used to test and complete the connection.

Step 4.3: Define the SSH connection details

If you’re using an SSH tunnel to connect your Amazon Microsoft SQL Server RDS database to Stitch, you’ll also need to define the SSH settings. Refer to the Setting up an SSH Tunnel for a database in Amazon Web Services guide for assistance with completing these fields.

  1. Click the Encryption Type menu.
  2. Select SSH to display the SSH fields.

  3. Fill in the fields as follows:

    • Remote Address: Paste the Public DNS of the SSH sever (EC2 instance) into this field. Refer to the Amazon SSH guide for instructions on retrieving this info.

    • SSH Port: Enter the SSH port of the SSH server (EC2 instance) into this field. This will usually be 22.

    • SSH User: Enter the Stitch Linux (SSH) user’s username.

Step 4.4: Define the SSL connection details

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 4.5: 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.

Amazon Microsoft SQL Server RDS integrations support the following replication scheduling methods:

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

Step 4.6: Save the integration

When finished, click Save Integration.

Stitch will perform a connection test to the Amazon Microsoft SQL Server RDS database; if successful, a Success! mesage will display at the top of the screen. Note: This test may take a few minutes to complete.

Step 5: Select data to replicate

The last step is to select 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 select 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 Settings page will display. Note: When you track a table, by default all columns will also be tracked.

  6. In the 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 Amazon Microsoft 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.



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