SQL Server CDC

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.

What is SQL Server CDC?

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).

Why it Matters

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:

  • Reliably replicating source data in real-time

  • Supporting real-time analytics and data science

  • Creating an operational data store

  • Moving data into a data warehouse or data lake

  • Supporting zero-downtime cloud migrations

  • Helping achieve overall data integrity.

  • Supporting fraud protection

  • Moving and synchronizing data across a wide area network and geographically distributed systems. This makes it perfect for modern cloud architectures. Microsoft SQL Server CDC is also well suited for moving data into a stream processing solution like Apache Kafka.

Streaming Change Data Capture

Learn how to modernize your data and analytics environment with scalable, efficient and real-time data replication that does not impact production systems.

Next-Generation CDC

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.

Learn More About Next-Generation CDC

Log-Based CDC

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.

Learn more about data integration with Qlik