Most businesses have data stored in a variety of locations, from in-house databases to SaaS platforms. To get a full picture of their finances and operations, they pull data from all those sources into a data warehouse or data lake and run analytics against it. But they don't want to build and maintain their own data pipelines.

Fortunately, it’s not necessary to code everything in-house. Here's an comparison of three such tools, head to head.

About Azure Data Factory

Azure Data Factory is a cloud-based data integration service for creating ETL and ELT pipelines. It allows users to create data processing workflows in the cloud,either through a graphical interface or by writing code, for orchestrating and automating data movement and data transformation.

Stitch and Talend partner closely with Microsoft. While this page details our products that have some overlapping functionality and the differences between them, we're more complementary than we are competitive. Microsoft Azure offers lots of products beyond what's mentioned on this page, and we have thousands of customers who successfully use our solutions together.

About MuleSoft

The MuleSoft Anypoint Platform includes several components:

  • Anypoint Design Center provides tools to build connectors and implement data and application flows, including the Anypoint Studio desktop IDE.
  • Anypoint Security defends the APIs and integrations users build.
  • Mule runtime engine powers the platform's connections to applications, data, and devices.
  • Anypoint Management Center lets users manage APIs and users, analyze traffic, monitor SLAs, and fix integration flows.
  • About Stitch

    Stitch Data Loader is a cloud-based platform for ETL — extract, transform, and load. More than 3,000 companies use Stitch to move billions of records every day from SaaS applications and databases into data warehouses and data lakes, where it can be analyzed with BI tools. Stitch is a Talend company and is part of the Talend Data Fabric.

    Competitors stitch
    Focus ETL Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), application integration Data ingestion, ELT
    Database replication Full table; incremental via custom SELECT query Incremental replication depends upon manually written SELECT statements Full table; incremental via change data capture or SELECT/replication keys
    SaaS sources About 20, with several more in preview About 70 More than 100
    Ability for customers to add new data sources No Yes Yes
    Connects to data warehouses? Data lakes? Yes / Yes No / Yes Yes / Yes
    Transparent pricing Yes No Yes
    G2 customer satisfaction 4.6/5 4.5/5 4.8/5
    Support SLAs Yes Yes Available
    Purchase process Options for self-service or talking with sales Requires a conversation with sales Options for self-service or talking with sales. Also available from the AWS store.
    Compliance, governance, and security certifications HIPAA, GDPR, ISO 27001, others HIPAA/HITRUST, GDPR, Level-1 PCI-DSS, SOC 2, FIPS HIPAA, GDPR, SOC 2
    Data sharing No Yes Yes, through Talend Data Fabric
    Vendor lock-in Annual contracts. Mule Kernel is available as open source, licensed under the Common Public Attribution License (CPAL). Month to month or annual contracts. Open source integrations
    Developer tools REST API, .Net and Python SDKs Runtime Manager REST API, CloudHub API Import API, Stitch Connect API for integrating Stitch with other platforms, Singer open source project

    Let's dive into some of the details of each platform.

    Transformations

    Azure Data Factory

    Azure Data Factory supports both pre- and post-load transformations. Users apply transformations either by using a GUI to map them, or in code using Power Query Online. Azure Data Factory supports a wide range of transformation functions.

    MuleSoft

    MuleSoft specializes in application integration — moving data from one application or platform to another. Each application has defined data structures, so MuleSoft often has to transform data from a source to fit the destination schema. MuleSoft comes with more than 20 prepackaged "transformers," and gives developers the ability to write their own custom processors in scripting languages such as JavaScript and Groovy.

    Stitch

    Stitch is an ELT product. Within the pipeline, Stitch does only transformations that are required for compatibility with the destination, such as translating data types or denesting data when relevant. Stitch is part of Talend, which also provides tools for transforming data either within the data warehouse or via external processing engines such as Spark and MapReduce. Transformations can be defined in SQL, Python, Java, or via graphical user interface.

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    Connectors: Data sources and destinations

    Each of these tools supports a variety of data sources and destinations.

    Azure Data Factory

    Azure Data Factory integrates with about 80 data sources, including SaaS platforms, SQL and NoSQL databases, generic protocols, and various file types. It supports around 20 cloud and on-premises data warehouse and database destinations.

    MuleSoft

    Like other application integration platforms, MuleSoft typically replicates data changes one at a time between multiple systems, as events happen, rather than pushing batches of data to a single central repository. MuleSoft supports almost 300 connectors to databases, SaaS platforms, storage resources, and network services. It supports Amazon S3 data lakes, but no cloud data warehouses.

    Stitch

    Stitch supports more than 100 database and SaaS integrations as data sources, and eight data warehouse and data lake destinations. Customers can contract with Stitch to build new sources, and anyone can add a new source to Stitch by developing it according to the standards laid out in Singer, an open source toolkit for writing scripts that move data. Singer integrations can be run independently, regardless of whether the user is a Stitch customer. Running Singer integrations on Stitch’s platform allows users to take advantage of Stitch's monitoring, scheduling, credential management, and autoscaling features.

    Support, documentation, and training

    Data integration tools can be complex, so vendors offer several ways to help their customers. Online documentation is the first resource users often turn to, and support teams can answer questions that aren't covered in the docs. Vendors of the more complicated tools may also offer training services.

    Azure Data Factory

    Azure Data Factory provides support via online forums and an online support request form. Email and phone support are available. Documentation is comprehensive. Digital training materials are available.

    MuleSoft

    MuleSoft provides online, email, and telephone support. Documentation is comprehensive. Digital training materials are available.

    Stitch

    Stitch provides in-app chat support to all customers, and phone support is available for Enterprise customers. Support SLAs are available. Documentation is comprehensive and is open source — anyone can contribute additions and improvements or repurpose the content. Stitch does not provide training services.

    Pricing

    Azure Data Factory

    Pricing for Azure Data Factory's data pipeline is calculated based on number of pipeline orchestration runs; compute-hours for flow execution and debugging; and number of Data Factory operations, such as pipeline monitoring.

    MuleSoft

    MuleSoft provides a 30-day free trial. Pricing isn't disclosed.

    Stitch

    Stitch has pricing that scales to fit a wide range of budgets and company sizes. All new users get an unlimited 14-day trial. Standard plans range from $100 to $1,250 per month depending on scale, with discounts for paying annually. Enterprise plans for larger organizations and mission-critical use cases can include custom features, data volumes, and service levels, and are priced individually.

    Get started now

    Which tool is best overall? That's something every organization has to decide based on its unique requirements, but we can help you get started. Sign up now for a free trial of Stitch.