Pull data from MySQL and PG databases and consolidate it into a single target store.
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Square Dbsync

An extract and load system to shunt data between databases.

It uses timestamp based replication which is fast and easy to keep running, but has some caveats. Most notably, it does not handle deletes well (see documentation below for details).

This was useful to us at Square because we needed partial (only select columns), continuous replication from both MySQL and PostgreSQL databases to a single target database with some basic ETL logic along the way. None of the existing solutions were able to do this adequately.

At some point you will need to bite the bullet and implement a real ETL system, but sq-dbsync can tide you over until you get there.

dbsync is MySQL utf8mb4 clean: it will correctly handle four-byte UTF8 characters like emojis. Under JRuby, you'll need to have the server character set configured to utf8mb4. The specs include tests for this; they'll fail if you run them under JRuby against MySQL with different server character set.


gem install sq-dbsync
require 'sq/dbsync'

include Sq::Dbsync

# Config will typically differ per environment.
config = {
  sources: {
    db_a: {
      database: 'db_a_production',
      user:     'sqdbsync-ro',
      password: 'password',
      host:     'db-a-host',
      brand:    'mysql',
      port:     3306,
    db_b: {
      database: 'db_b_production',
      user:     'sqdbsync-ro',
      password: 'password',
      host:     'db-b-host',
      brand:    'postgresl',
      port:     5432,
  target: {
    database: 'replica',
    user:     'sqdbsync',
    password: 'password',

    # Only localhost supported, since `LOAD DATA INFILE` is used which
    # requires a shared temp directory.
    host:     'localhost',
    brand:    'mysql',
    port:     3306,

  # Optional configuration
  logger: Loggers::Stream.new,     # A graphite logger is provided, see source.
  clock: ->{ Time.now.utc },       # In test env it can be useful to fix this.
  error_handler: ->(e) { puts(e) } # Notify your exception system

# Write plans that specify how data is replicated.
DB_A_PLAN = [{
  table_name: :users,
  columns: [
    # You must replicate the primary key.

    # You must replicate a timestamp column, and it should be indexed on the
    # target system.

    # Then whatever other columns you require.

  indexes: {
    # Indexing it on the source system is optional
    index_users_on_updated_at: {:columns=>[:updated_at], :unique=>false},

  # Basic schema transformations are supported.
  db_types: {
    :account_type => [:enum, %w(
  table_name: :account_types,
  source_table_name: :user_account_types,
  columns: :all

plans = [
  [StaticTablePlan.new(DB_A_PLAN), :db_a],
  [AllTablesPlan.new, :db_b]

manager = Manager.new(config, plans)

# Run a batch load nightly

# Run an incremental load continuously

# You can load a subset of tables if necessary


Plan Options

  • batch_load whether or not to batch load this table in the default batch load. If the table is specifically requested, it will be loaded regardless of this setting. (default: true)
  • charset charset to use when creating the table. Passed directly through to Sequel::MySQL::Database#connect. MySQL only, ignored for Postgres. (default: 'utf8')
  • columns Either an array of columns to replicate, or :all indicating that all columns should be replicated. (required)
  • consistency Perform a basic consistency check on the table regularly during the incremental load by comparing recent counts of the source and target tables. Make sure you have a timestamp index on both tables! This was particularly useful when developing the project, but honestly probably isn't that useful now --- I can't remember the last time I saw an error from this. (default: false)
  • db_types A hash that allows you to modify the target schema from the source. See the example in usage section above. (default: {})
  • indexes A hash defining desired indexes on the target table. Indexes are not copied from source tables. See example in usage section above. (default: {})
  • refresh_recent Some table are too large to batch load regularly, but modifications are known to be recent. This setting will cause the last two days of data to be dropped an recreated as part of the nightly batch load. (default: false)
  • source_table_name Allows the source and target tables to be named differently. (default: table_name configuration option)
  • timestamp_table_name A hack to workaround the postgres query planner failing to use indexes correctly for MAX() on a view that uses UNION under the covers. If this describes your source view, and one of the underlying tables is guaranteed to contain the latest record you can set this value to that and it will be used for all timestamp related queries. If not, you must provide a custom view that supports a MAX query with a sane query plan. (default: nil)
  • table_name The name of the table to be replicated. If source_table_name is specified, this option defines the name of the table in the target database only.
  • primary_key Usually the primary key can be inferred from the source schema, but if you are replicating from a view you will need to specify it explictly with this option. Should be an array of symbols. (default: nil, will auto-detect from source schema)
  • timestamp The column to treat as a timestamp. Must be a member of the :columns option. (default: select updated_at or created_at, in that order)

Handling Deletes

The incremental load has no way of detecting deleted records. The nightly batch load will reload all tables, so there will be at most a one day turn-around on deletes. Some tables will be too big to batch load every night however, so this is not a great solution in that case.

If you have an "audit" table that contains enough data for you to reconstruct deletes in other tables, then you can provide a custom subclass to the incremental loader that will be able to run this logic.

class IncrementalLoadWithDeletes < Sq::Dbsync::IncrementalLoadAction
  def process_deletes
    if plan.table_name == :audit_logs
      ExampleRecordDestroyer.run(db, registry, :audit_logs, :other_table)

  # ...
  incremental_action: IncrementalLoadWithDeletes,

See lib/sq/dbsync/example_record_destroyer for a sample implementation.

Database Settings

If your target database is MySQL, we recommend that you ensure it is running under the READ COMMITTED isolation level. This makes it much harder for an analyst to lock a table and block replication. (Statements like CREATE TABLE AS SELECT FROM ... tend to be the culprit.)


bundle exec rake


Requires 1.9. Tested on CRuby 1.9.3 and JRuby.


Make a new github issue.


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