This page provides you with instructions on how to extract data from Sage Intacct and load it into Azure Synapse. (If this manual process sounds onerous, check out Stitch, which can do all the heavy lifting for you in just a few clicks.)
What is Sage Intacct?
Sage Intacct provides accounting and financial management software with automation and controls around billing, accounting, and reporting. Components include accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash management, general ledger, order management, and purchasing.
What is Azure Synapse?
Azure Synapse (formerly Azure SQL Data Warehouse) is a cloud-based petabyte-scale columnar database service with controls to manage compute and storage resources independently. It offers encryption of data at rest and dynamic data masking to mask sensitive data on the fly, and it integrates with Azure Active Directory. It can replicate to read-only databases in different geographic regions for load balancing and fault tolerance.
Getting data out of Sage Intacct
Sage Intacct provides an API that lets developers retrieve data stored in the platform. Intacct also has a Data Delivery Service (DDS) that enables companies to extract data from the platform and send it to a cloud storage location.
Loading data into Azure Synapse
Azure Synapse provides a multi-step process for loading data. After extracting the data from its source, you can move it to Azure Blob storage or Azure Data Lake Store. You can then use one of three utilities to load the data:
- AZCopy uses the public internet.
- Azure ExpressRoute routes the data through a dedicated private connection to Azure, bypassing the public internet by using a VPN or point-to-point Ethernet network.
- The Azure Data Factory (ADF) cloud service has a gateway that you can install on your local server, then use to create a pipeline to move data to Azure Storage.
From Azure Storage you can load the data into Azure Synapse staging tables by using Microsoft's PolyBase technology. You can run any transformations you need while the data is in staging, then insert it into production tables. Microsoft offers documentation for the whole process.
Keeping Sage Intacct data up to date
You can code up a script or written a program to get the data you want and successfully moved it into your data warehouse. But how will you load new or updated data? It's not a good idea to replicate all of your data each time you have updated records. That process would be painfully slow and resource-intensive.
The key is to build your script in such a way that it can identify incremental updates to your data. Once you've taken new data into account, you can set your script up as a cron job or continuous loop to keep pulling down new data as it appears.
Other data warehouse options
Azure Synapse is great, but sometimes you need to optimize for different things when you're choosing a data warehouse. Some folks choose to go with Amazon Redshift, Google BigQuery, PostgreSQL, Snowflake, or Panoply, which are RDBMSes that use similar SQL syntax. Others choose a data lake, like Amazon S3. If you're interested in seeing the relevant steps for loading data into one of these platforms, check out To Redshift, To BigQuery, To Postgres, To Snowflake, To Panoply, and To S3.
Easier and faster alternatives
If all this sounds a bit overwhelming, don’t be alarmed. If you have all the skills necessary to go through this process, chances are building and maintaining a script like this isn’t a very high-leverage use of your time.
Thankfully, products like Stitch were built to move data from Sage Intacct to Azure Synapse automatically. With just a few clicks, Stitch starts extracting your Sage Intacct data via the API, structuring it in a way that's optimized for analysis, and inserting that data into your Azure Synapse data warehouse.