SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) vs. Stitch
ETL software comparison
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 two such tools, head to head.
SSIS is a Microsoft tool for data integration tied to SQL Server.
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.
|Focus||Microsoft-centric ETL||Data ingestion, ELT|
|Database replication||Full table; incremental via change data capture or based on custom SELECT query||Full table; incremental via change data capture or SELECT/replication keys|
|SaaS sources||None||More than 100|
|Ability for customers to add new data sources||Yes||Yes|
|Connects to data warehouses? Data lakes?||Yes / Yes||Yes / Yes|
|Purchase process||Options for self-service and talking with sales||Options for self-service or talking with sales. Also available from the AWS store.|
|Compliance, governance, and security certifications||None||HIPAA, GDPR, SOC 2|
|Data sharing||Yes, with SQL Server||Yes, through Talend Data Fabric|
|Vendor lock-in||SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) is strongly tied to Microsoft SQL Server||Month to month or annual contracts. Open source integrations|
|Developer tools||SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT)||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.
SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) provides about 30 built-in preload transformations, which users specify in a graphical user interface. Transformations fall into several categories: split and join data, row data, rowsets, audit, and business intelligence. Developers can write their own custom transformations in Visual Basic.
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.
Try Stitch for free for 14 days
Each of these tools supports a variety of data sources and destinations.
SSIS supports 26 built-in integrations via Connection Managers. Many of the integrations are with other Microsoft tools and platforms, but there are also Connection Managers for files, Hadoop, and SAP Business Warehouse.
Stitch supports more than 100 database and SaaS integrationsas 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.
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.
Microsoft provides several levels of support for SQL Server, of which SSIS is a component. Documentation is comprehensive. Microsoft provides digital training resources. Many third parties provide both digital training and classroom training services.
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.
SSIS is part of SQL Server, which is available in several editions, ranging in price from free (Express and Developer editions) to $14,256 per core (Enterprise). On the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, pricing for SSIS integration runtime nodes starts at $0.84 per hour.
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.
Which tool is better 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.