Ophir Prusak
DEC 1, 2022
4 min read
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Easily Load & Prep Data from Any Data Source into Azure SQL

Azure SQL provides a cloud based solution that’s built upon the familiar MS SQL Server engine, giving you all of the benefits of using SQL server without the downsides of managing the server infrastructure yourself.

What’s the easiest way to get your data into Azure SQL?

If you have a one time need, Azure SQL has quite a few options to import and export data from SQL Server and Azure SQL Database

This includes:

  1. Transact-SQL statements
    You can import data with the BULK INSERT or the OPENROWSET(BULK) commands. Typically you run these commands in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS).
  2. Using BCP from the command prompt
    You can import and export data with the BCP command-line utility.
  3. The Import Flat File Wizard
    If you don’t need anything fancy (like the advanced configuration options available in the Import and Export Wizard), you can import a text file into SQL Server by using the Import Flat File Wizard in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS).
  4. The SQL Server Import and Export Wizard
    You can import data to, or export data from, a variety of sources and destinations with the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard. To use the wizard, you must have SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) or SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) installed.

How can you automate loading data into Azure SQL?

But what if you have an ongoing need and want to automate the process on a regular basis – even once every five minutes?

And how do you support loading data from sources that are not supported out-of-the-box using Azure’s built-in solutions?

That’s where Rivery comes in.

With over 200 pre-built data connectors, Rivery allows you to instantly connect to key data sources and automatically ingest the data into Azure SQL with literally a few clicks!

Load Data from any SaaS application or API into Azure SQL
Rivery’s pre-built connectors cover the gamut of systems you need to connect to, including most SaaS applications such as Sales & CRMs, marketing & advertising, financial & HR systems,  file storage and more. Even if you have a unique data source which isn’t supported out-of-the-box, Rivery provides a generic REST API connector which can connect to just about any REST based API, using a Postman like interface.

Load data from databases into Azure SQL
Rivery also includes extensive support for syncing from databases using both Change Data Capture (CDC) and Standard SQL based extraction. When loading data specifically from SQL server, Rivery also supports a third method which is based on Change Tracking, which is more efficient than CDC, but does not cover all use cases that CDC covers.

Automatic table creation and schemas
Regardless of the data source, Rivery identifies the data structure of your source systems, and automatically defines and creates the data schemas (tables, columns and indexes) directly in your Azure SQL instance. If you want, you can of course override or modify any of the data structures before syncing the data.

Data workflow orchestration
Creating a data pipeline that extracts from a source and loads it into a target, is just the beginning. Multiple data pipelines can be orchestrated into a complete workflow that includes further data transformations as part of a full ELT pipeline

For example, with Rivery, you could extract and load data from an internal MS SQL server, join it with a MongoDB database and another dataset extracted from Shopify. All done using an efficient built-in incremental load solution, push down SQL queries, and even transform the data using your own custom Python scripts.

⬇️ See how easy it is with this interactive product tour ⬇️

Rivery ELT flow for Azure SQL as a target

The Benefits of Using Rivery to load data into Azure SQL

Using Rivery to ingest and prep data for Azure SQL is a game changer for data teams that want to move fast and eliminate unnecessary complexity when delivering data for their business. Here are the key reasons:   

  • Load data from any source in a few clicks
    Rivery can load data into Azure SQL from more than 200 data sources so you can regularly get the latest data you need, without having to worry about writing or managing API based integrations.
  • Zero overhead for your data pipelines infrastructure
    Like Azure SQL, Rivery is also a managed service. Companies using our technology don’t have to worry about installations, maintenance or scaling infrastructure to manage large data volumes.
  • Transform your data to form the perfect data model
    Once you ingest your data into Azure SQL, the next step is to model it. Rivery lets you orchestrate and run SQL queries or even Python scripts to shape your data exactly as needed. Rivery eliminates the need for you to define the schema and automatically handles schema drifts in your data, making sure it’s ready for downstream applications queries. 

Let’s recap

Rivery enables Azure SQL users to extract, load and transform all their data sources to be query ready with just a few clicks. With Rivery’s pre-built API connectors and modeling for Azure SQL, this process is accelerated and simplified so data teams can focus on business logic rather than plumbing. 

Ready to accelerate Azure SQL data integration needs?  Start for free here.
Want to learn more about what else Rivery can do for your data team? Talk to us.  

Rivery also supports Azure Synapse, Azure Blob storage, and many other target connections.

Minimize the firefighting.
Maximize ROI on pipelines.

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