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 build everything in-house. We put together this ETL tool comparison guide to help you choose the product that’s the best fit for your business.

Overview

SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), MuleSoft, and Stitch are all popular platforms. Here's a side-by-side look at how they stack up against each other.

Focus Microsoft-centric ETL Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), application integration Data ingestion, ELT
Database replication Full table; incremental via change data capture or based on custom SELECT query Incremental replication depends upon manually written SELECT statements Full table; incremental via change data capture or SELECT/replication keys
SaaS sources None About 70 More than 100
Ability for customers to add new data sources Yes Yes Yes
Connects to data warehouses? Data lakes? Yes / Yes No / Yes Yes / Yes
Transparent pricing Yes No Yes
Support SLAs Available Yes Available
Purchase process Options for self-service and 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 None HIPAA/HITRUST, GDPR, Level-1 PCI-DSS, SOC 2, FIPS HIPAA, GDPR, SOC 2
Data sharing Yes, with SQL Server Yes Yes, through Talend Data Fabric
Vendor lock-in SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) is strongly tied to Microsoft SQL Server 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 SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) 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

SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS)

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.

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.

SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS)

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.

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.

  • 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.

    SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS)

    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.

    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

    SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS)

    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.

    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. After the trial, there's a free plan for smaller organizations and nonproduction workloads. 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.