Decision at FundsCorner about Zappa, AWS Lambda, SQLAlchemy, Python, Amazon SQS, Node.js, MongoDB Stitch, PostgreSQL, MongoDB

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Recently we were looking at a few robust and cost-effective ways of replicating the data that resides in our production MongoDB to a PostgreSQL database for data warehousing and business intelligence.

We set ourselves the following criteria for the optimal tool that would do this job: - The data replication must be near real-time, yet it should NOT impact the production database - The data replication must be horizontally scalable (based on the load), asynchronous & crash-resilient

Based on the above criteria, we selected the following tools to perform the end to end data replication:

We chose MongoDB Stitch for picking up the changes in the source database. It is the serverless platform from MongoDB. One of the services offered by MongoDB Stitch is Stitch Triggers. Using stitch triggers, you can execute a serverless function (in Node.js) in real time in response to changes in the database. When there are a lot of database changes, Stitch automatically "feeds forward" these changes through an asynchronous queue.

We chose Amazon SQS as the pipe / message backbone for communicating the changes from MongoDB to our own replication service. Interestingly enough, MongoDB stitch offers integration with AWS services.

In the Node.js function, we wrote minimal functionality to communicate the database changes (insert / update / delete / replace) to Amazon SQS.

Next we wrote a minimal micro-service in Python to listen to the message events on SQS, pickup the data payload & mirror the DB changes on to the target Data warehouse. We implemented source data to target data translation by modelling target table structures through SQLAlchemy . We deployed this micro-service as AWS Lambda with Zappa. With Zappa, deploying your services as event-driven & horizontally scalable Lambda service is dumb-easy.

In the end, we got to implement a highly scalable near realtime Change Data Replication service that "works" and deployed to production in a matter of few days!

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Jeyabalaji Subramanian

CTO at FundsCorner