Subseting a MySQL table by Year into SQL Server

February 2021
Enzo DataZen

In this blog we are going to demonstrate how to subset a MySQL table into a SQL Server database using ENZO DataZen in order to improve report performance. Many reports execute complex SQL commands against very large tables, which tend to slowdown over the years because of data growth. However, since many reports do not need to pull records beyond the last two or three years, some organizations are subsetting existing databases into a secondary database for reporting purposes, carrying only a few years of information.

DataZen allows you to easily subset a database table from any source system into any target database, quickly allowing you to create smaller replicated databases. In addition, DataZen can automatically delete past data over the years so that your target reporting database only contains the number of reporting years desired.

ENZO DataZen Overview

DataZen is a replication technology that can detect changes made to any source system through a proprietary Change Data Capture (CDC) engine. Because the CDC engine built into DataZen is universal by design, it can detect changes (adds, updates, and deletes) regardless of the source system (relational, no-sql, or any API exposed through ENZO Server or an ODBC driver).

Job Types

There are three kinds of Sync jobs in DataZen: Jobs Readers, Job Writers, and Direct Jobs.

  • Job Readers: A Job Reader runs a SQL command against the source system, and creates a universal Sync File (also called a Change Log) that can be applied to any target system at a later time. The Sync File may contain all the records (the first time the job is run), or only records that have changed since the last run.

  • Job Writers: A Job Writer reads one or more Sync Files and applies them to a target system. Multiple Job Writers can consume the same Sync Files, allowing the replication of a source system to multiple target systems. It is also possibly to replay past Sync Files at any time. Separating the Job Writer from the Job Reader also allows replication to take place across networks and data centers, or even between two corporations through a shared cloud drive.

  • Direct Jobs: A simple job types that combines a Job Reader and a Job Writer. Direct Jobs also create temporary Sync Files, but these files are deleted as soon as they have been applied to the target system. As a result, Direct Jobs do not allow multicasting nor replay capabilities.

ENZO DataZen replicates data using an eventual consistency model. This means that the data at the target system will eventually match data at the source.

Source Systems

DataZen can natively connect to any relational database through an ODBC driver. In addition, certain scripts can be automatically generated for some of the well-known database platforms (Oracle, MySQL, Teradata, and SQL Server).

In addition to using ODBC drivers, DataZen can also access virtually any platform directly using SQL commands through Enzo Server without the need for an ODBC driver. For example, if you currently have ENZO Server configured to access SharePoint Online, you can instantly replicate SharePoint list data to any other system with DataZen.

Subsetting a MySQL Table

We will be using MySQL as the source system, and will demonstrate how to setup a Direct Job replication. As discussed previously, Direct Jobs combine both a Job Reader and a Job Writer into a single operation for simpler replication topologies. The SQL command used will select data from a MySQL table using a WHERE clause that automatically filters prior year data.

To create a Direct Job, start DataZen, click on the desired Agent (at least one agent must be registered), and select NEW -> Direct Data Sync Job from the context menu.

Configure the Data Source

Enter a Job Name, and specify a connection string to the source system. You can click on build... to help construct a valid connection string. Enter the SQL statement below for MySQL and click on preview. In this example, we will select records from the sakila.customer table, which is a sample database available in MySQL.

SELECT * FROM sakila.customer 
WHERE year(last_update) >= year(now()) - 1

The WHERE clause provided will select the records that were modified within the last two years. This technique allows you to leverage the power of the SQL language to choose the desired timeframe window and add other conditions based on your objectives.

If the above command returns 0 records, you may need to manually update the last_update field in the sakila.customer table so that the above SELECT operation returns data.

As years pass, the SELECT operation will automatically filter out the prior years; DataZen can treat the missing records as being deleted by checking the "Identify and Propagate Deleted Records" checkbox in the Replication Settings tab.

Configure Replication Settings

Click on the Replication Settings tab and select customer_id, which is the key field in the sakila.customer table. Because we want DataZen to automatically remove prior year records, check the Identify and propagate deleted records and leave the default heuristic method option. For improved performance, select the last_update field as the Timestamp column.

Note that the last_update field is used both as the filtering mechanism that feeds the subset database, and the field that limits how many records are retrieved on a daily basis.

Choose a replication schedule (as a Cron expression), and select a folder in which the Sync files will be created.

Configure the Target System

Click on the Target System tab and specify a connection string. In this example, we are using a SQL Server Native connection; as a result the High Performance MERGE Operation option is available (this operation offers signficant performance advantages for SQL Server).

In this example we are specifying the following table name:[mysql].[customer].

To minimize any errors in the creation of the target table, including possible data type convertion issues, click on the View/Run Table Script button. A screen will allow you to review the SQL command used to create the target table and execute the command that will create the target table. Enzo will automatically select the correct data type for the selected target system.

Click on Execute Command Now to create or recreate the target table.

Click Close and then click OK to create the Direct Job.

Monitor the Job

If you have selected a Schedule (Cron Expression) the job will start immediately; otherwise you will need to click on the Start icon for the job. The example provided selects records from a small table in Oracle (107 records in all), so the complete operation takes just a few seconds.

You can see the details of the operation (read and write) from the Output Log at the bottom of the screen.

Now that the replication job has been setup the following will take place automatically:

  • Daily: New, updated, and deleted records will be replicated once a day
    Any new records added to, or any record updated in, the sakila.customer table will be replicated as long as the last_updated field is set to the current date/time. In addition, any record deleted from the source table will also be deleted in the target database.

  • Yearly: Records that have not been updated within the last 2 years will automatically be purged from the target database
    This operation will take place the first time the DirectSync Job runs on the new year; in this scenario, records will likely be purged from the target database at midnight on December 31st.


This blog shows you how you can build a Database Subset using DataZen and replicate a portion of a database table to a secondary database for reporting and analytics purposes, with automatic record purging over time. The ability to filter source records, and further limit replication by using a timestamp allows you to build an efficient replication mechanism between various database platforms.

To try DataZen at no charge, download the latest edition of DataZen on our website.




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