Dev Diary - Pushing down data extraction logic to the operational system environment

Written by Roelant Vos on 3.6.2022

TAGS: BimlFlex


In some scenarios, when a 'source' operational system shares the technical environment with the data solution, it can be efficient to make sure all processing occurs on this environment. This way, the data does not have to 'leave' the environment to be processed.

In most cases, operational systems are hosted on different environments than the one(s) that host the data solution, which means that data first needs to be brought into the data solution for further processing.

If, however, the environment of an operational system is the same as that of the data solution, this initial 'landing' or 'staging' step does not require the data to be processed via an external route. In other words, it becomes possible to 'push down' data staging logic to this shared environment. This way, the delta detection and integration of the resulting data delta into the data solution all occurs in the environment, and not by using separate data transformations in for example SQL Server integration Services (SSIS) or Azure Data Factory (ADF).

Pushdown is sometimes referred to as 'ELT', (Extract, Load and then Transform) as opposed to the 'ETL' (Extract, Transform and then Load) paradigm. While these terms may not always be clear or helpful, generally speaking ELT / pushdown means that most code is directly running on the native environment whereas ETL signals most code is running as part of a separate transformation engine not directly related to the environment.

Currently in BimlFlex, the source-to-staging processes that follow the ELT paradigm always use either a SSIS or an ADF Copy activity to move the data onto the data solution environment before the processing can start. In the scenario outlined above, when the operational system is hosted on the same environment as the data solution, this landing step can be skipped.

With the 2022 R2 release, it will now be possible to use the new Pushdown Extraction feature to deliver this outcome, and make sure the integration of data in the solution can be achieved without requiring the additional landing step or Copy Activity.

Enabling Pushdown Extraction at Project level will direct BimlFlex to generate Stored Procedures that replace the initial landing of data using SSIS and/or ADF.