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), StreamSets, 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 ETL, transformations, data prep Data ingestion, ELT
Database replication Full table; incremental via change data capture or based on custom SELECT query Full replication or change data capture Full table; incremental via change data capture or SELECT/replication keys
SaaS sources None Only Salesforce More than 100
Ability for customers to add new data sources Yes Yes Yes
Connects to data warehouses? Data lakes? Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes
Transparent pricing Yes No Yes
Support SLAs Available Available 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, GDPR HIPAA, GDPR, SOC 2
Data sharing Yes, with SQL Server No Yes, through Talend Data Fabric
Vendor lock-in SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) is strongly tied to Microsoft SQL Server Annual contracts. StreamSets Data Collector is open source, other parts of the platform are proprietary. Month to month or annual contracts. Open source integrations
Developer tools SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) Several APIs 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.

StreamSets

StreamSets comes with more than 50 pre-load transformation processors, which users can drag and drop onto a graphical workspace. Processors can look up, remove, convert, parse, and aggregate data from various sources. Developers can write their own custom processors in Java, Java Expression Language (EL), JavaScript, Jython, Groovy, and Scala.

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.

StreamSets

The StreamSets DataOps Platform includes five components:

  • Control Hub is the dashboard for building, deploying, and operating data flows.
  • Data Collector is an open source tool for designing streaming data pipelines with both a graphical UI and a command-line interface.
  • Data Collector Edge is a data ingestion and analytics tool for IoT and cybersecurity edge systems that runs via an ultralight agent.
  • Data Protector discovers and secures sensitive data as it moves through a pipeline, to aid compliance with GDPR, HIPAA, and other regulations.
  • DataFlow Performance Manager adds historical comparisons and data SLAs for availability, accuracy, and security.
StreamSets Data Collector (SDC) supports more than 40 storage and database sources, plus Kafka Streams and MapR Streams; no SaaS integrations are available other than Salesforce. Destinations include Google BigQuery, Snowflake, Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure SQL Data Lake, and more than 30 other database, storage, and streaming platforms.

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.

StreamSets

StreamSets provides support through a Zendesk ticketing system. 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.

StreamSets

StreamSets 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.