What it is, why it matters, and best practices. This guide provides definitions and practical advice to help you understand and establish modern change data capture for SQL Server.
SQL Server CDC (change data capture) is the process of recording changes in a Microsoft SQL Server database and then delivering those changes to a downstream system. More specifically, it is a technology built into Microsoft SQL Server that records insert, update, and delete operations applied to a user table and then delivers those changes in real-time to a downstream process or application such as SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS).
Simply put, change data capture keeps your systems in sync. And if like many companies today, you have a high-velocity data environment and your teams need to make time-sensitive decisions, keeping data in sync is critical.
CDC SQL Server helps you integrate data faster and use fewer system resources. This is because log-based CDC is a highly efficient approach for limiting impact on the source extract when loading new data. You no longer need to deal with batch windows and bulk load updating. Instead, you can enable incremental loading or real-time streaming of data changes into your target.
SQL Server table CDC supports key use cases such as:
Learn how to modernize your data and analytics environment with scalable, efficient and real-time data replication that does not impact production systems.
Users of SQL Server may be familiar with Microsoft's CDC for SQL Server feature. However, this native change data capture feature is not the only option for CDC in SQL Server environments. Today there are innovative third-party solutions for both SQL change data capture and database replication that offer significant advantages over Microsoft's built-in SQL Server CDC functionality.
First, these solutions can easily capture data changes from other types of source systems. This means your IT teams don't have to learn, configure, and monitor separate CDC tools for each type of database system you use.
Second, the newest generation of log-based CDC tools are fully integrated. They can ingest data seamlessly from most ETL tools and many source and target systems such as CDC SQL Server and CDC for Oracle. These third-party tools can also replicate data to cloud targets such as Snowflake and Azure.
So, you can leverage your existing SQL Server licenses and expertise with log-based, non-invasive CDC technology in software solutions that fully integrate with SSIS and Business Intelligence Development Studio. These powerful data replication solutions enable you to stream changed data across your enterprise data sources and implement real-time BI and data warehousing. Intuitive wizards simplify and accelerate deployment while helping you create replication solutions that are lightweight and easy to maintain.
See how these third-party tools can better accelerate data replication, ingestion and streaming across a wide variety of heterogeneous databases, data warehouses, and big data platforms.
The most efficient way to implement CDC, and by far the most popular, is by using a transaction log to record changes made to your database data and metadata. Your CDC tool scans database transaction logs to capture changed data by utilizing a background process. This way, transactions are not affected, and the impact on your source servers performance is minimized.
When new transactions come into one of your databases, they're logged into a log file with no impact on the source system. Those changes are then moved from the log to your target system.