For organizations using SQL Server databases, SQL Server CDC (change data capture) is a preferable data integration method when efficiency is of critical importance. In the past, companies relied on bulk load updates to keep their databases and data warehouses in sync. However, as available batch windows shrink in the face of round-the-clock production business operations, data-driven firms are now turning to technologies like SQL Server CDC to offload queries to non-production analytics platforms as non-intrusively as possible.
SQL CDC enables you to keep data consistent and up-to-date across the enterprise without having to rely on bulk data transfers, which can be costly, inefficient, and disruptive to business operations. With SQL Server CDC, you can perform incremental updates and even carry out real-time data integration.
For those wondering what is change data capture, the SQL Server Change Data Capturefeature is one of two DML change tracking features built into SQL Server. SQL Server CDC is typically used with SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) to deliver changed data to another database or data warehouse.
Once enabled on the database and on the tables selected for tracking, SQL Server CDC works by capturing insert, update, and delete operations applied to tracked user tables via transaction logs, making details of DML changes available in an easy-to-consume format. For every table tracked, a change table is created in the source database and used to store changes and additional metadata.
Microsoft's log-based SQL Server CDC technology is beneficial in so far as it avoids more intrusive and time-consuming methods of change data capture (such as triggers or time-stamps), and eliminates the need for bulk data transfers. Microsoft's native CDC for SQL Server functionality does place overhead on the source database due to internal change tables, the lack of a transport mechanism, and the inability to accommodate DDL changes made to tracked tables.
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