Microsoft SQL Server feature snapshot

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

STITCH
Release status

Released on July 12, 2019

Supported by

Stitch

Stitch plan

Standard

Supported versions

2012 through 2017

API availability

Available

Singer GitHub repository

singer-io/tap-mssql

CONNECTION METHODS
SSH connections

Supported

SSL connections

Supported

REPLICATION SETTINGS
Anchor Scheduling

Supported

Advanced Scheduling

Supported

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

Select all

Supported, with prerequisites

TRANSPARENCY
Extraction Logs

Supported

Loading Reports

Supported

Connecting Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server setup requirements

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

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

  • A database running Microsoft SQL Server version 2012 through 2017. Microsoft SQL Server 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.
  • A server that:

    • Allows connections over TCP/IP
    • Allows mixed mode authentication

Make sure your server is set up properly before continuing. If you need some help figuring out your hosting details, we recommend looping in a member of your engineering team.


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 the connection to be successful, you’ll need to configure your firewall to allow access from our IP addresses. Whitelist the following IPs before continuing onto the next step:

  • 52.23.137.21/32

  • 52.204.223.208/32

  • 52.204.228.32/32

  • 52.204.230.227/32

  1. Follow the steps in the Setting up an SSH Tunnel for a database connection guide to set up an SSH tunnel for Microsoft SQL Server.
  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 Microsoft SQL Server. 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.

Creating a user with SELECT privileges can either be done via a query or the Microsoft SQL Server UI. In this section, we’ll walk you through using the query method.

  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_login> WITH PASSWORD='<password>';
    CREATE USER <stitch_username> FOR LOGIN <stitch_login>;
    GO
    
  2. Grant the Stitch user SELECT privileges by running this command for every table you want to replicate:

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

    Limiting access to only the tables you want to replicate ensures that the integration can complete discovery (a structure sync) in a timely manner. If you encounter issues in Stitch where tables aren’t displaying, try limiting the Stitch database user’s table access.

    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 Microsoft SQL Server 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: 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 Microsoft SQL Server” would create a schema called stitch_microsoft_sql_server in the destination. Note: The schema name cannot be changed after the integration is saved.

    • Host (Endpoint): Enter the host address (endpoint) used by the Microsoft SQL Server instance. For example: This could be a network address such as 192.68.0.1, or a server endpoint like dbname.hosting-provider.com.

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

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

    • Password: Enter the password for the Stitch Microsoft SQL Server 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.

      Note: If this field is defined, Stitch will attempt to connect to only the database entered. If undefined, Stitch will attempt to connect to all of the databases the Stitch user has access to. To connect several specific databases, create an integration for each database you want to connect and define it in this field.

Step 4.2: Define the SSH connection details

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

  1. Click the SSH Tunnel checkbox.

  2. Fill in the fields as follows:

    • SSH Host: Enter the public IP address or hostname of the server Stitch will SSH into.

    • SSH Port: Enter the SSH port on your server. (22 by default)

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

Step 4.3: 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 4.4: Define Log-based Replication setting

In the Log-based Replication section, you can set this as the integration’s default Replication Method.

When enabled, tables that are set to replicate will use Log-based Incremental Replication by default. If you don’t want a table to use Log-based Incremental Replication, you can change it in the Table Settings page for that table.

If this setting isn’t enabled, you’ll have to select a Replication Method for each table you set to replicate.

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.

Microsoft SQL Server 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 Check and Save.

Stitch will perform a connection test to the Microsoft SQL Server database; if successful, a Success! message 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 the tables and columns you want to replicate.

Note: If a replication job is currently in progress, new selections won’t be used until the next job starts.

For Microsoft SQL Server integrations, you can select:

  1. Individual tables and columns

  2. All tables and columns (except views)

  3. Database views

Click the tabs to view instructions for each selection method.

  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 table’s name. A blue checkmark means the table is set to replicate.

  4. After you set a table to replicate, a page with the table’s columns will display. De-select columns if needed.

  5. Next, you’ll define the table’s Replication Method. Click the Table Settings button.
  6. In the Table Settings page:
    1. Define the table’s Replication Method.

    2. If using Key-based Incremental Replication, select a Replication Key.

    3. When finished, click Update Settings.

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

  8. Click the Finalize Your Selections button at the bottom of the page to save your data selections.
  1. Click into the integration from the Stitch Dashboard page.
  2. Click the Tables to Replicate tab.

  3. Navigate to the table level, selecting any databases and/or schemas that contain tables you want to replicate.

  4. In the list of tables, click the box next to the Table Names column.
  5. In the menu that displays, click Track AllTables and Fields (Except Views):

    The Track AllTables and Fields (Except Views) menu in the Tables to Replicate tab

  6. Click the Finalize Your Selections button at the bottom of the page to save your data selections.

Setting a database view to replicate is similar to selecting a table, with a few differences. Refer to the Replicating Database Views guide for detailed instructions.

At a high level, you’ll need to complete the following to select a database view:

  1. Verify the database user’s permissions
  2. Select the view
  3. Optional: Define the view’s Primary Key
  4. Define the view’s Replication Method
  5. Save the view’s settings

Initial and historical replication jobs

After you finish setting up Microsoft SQL Server, 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.


Questions? Feedback?

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