How to load data from ActiveCampaign to MS SQL Server

Access your data on ActiveCampaign

The first step in loading ActiveCampaign data to any kind of data warehouse solution is to access them and start extracting it.

ActiveCampaign has a well-designed API that is structured around REST, HTTP, and JSON, sufficient for interacting with the platform programmatically. API endpoint URLs are organized around resources, such as connections or deals. The available resources include the following:

  • Users
  • Deal
  • Pipelines
  • Deal Stages
  • Deal Tasks
  • Deal Task Types
  • Organizations
  • Connections
  • E-commerce Customers
  • E-commerce Orders

In addition to the above, the things that you have to keep in mind when dealing with the ActiveCampaign API, are:

  1. Rate limits. There is no restriction regarding rate limits in v3 of the API, which is currently in beta. However, the older version describes the rate limits as 5 requests per second per account.
  2. Authentication. You can authenticate on ActiveCampaign with simple token authentication using the user’s API key in the request header.
  3. Pagination. API endpoints that return a collection of items are always paginated. The number of results to display can vary with a maximum value of 100.

Transform and prepare ActiveCampaign’s data for MS SQL Server

After you have accessed data on ActiveCampaign, you will have to transform it based on two main factors,

  1. The limitations of the database that is going to be used
  2. The type of analysis that you plan to perform

Each system has specific limitations on every data types and data structure that it supports. If for example, you want to push data into Google BigQuery, then you can send nested data like JSON directly.

Of course, when you are dealing with tabular data stores, like Microsoft SQL Server, this is not an option. Instead, you will have to flatten out all data, just as in the case of JSON, before loading into the database.

Also, you have to choose the right data types. Again, depending on the system that you will send the data to and the data types that the API exposes to you, you will have to make the right choices. These choices are important because they can limit the expressivity of your queries and limit your analysts on what they can do directly out of the database.

Load your ActiveCampaign data into Microsoft SQL Server

So, after you have managed to access data on ActiveCampaign and you have also figured out the structure that data will have on your database, you need to load data into the database, in our case into a Microsoft SQL Server.

As a feature-rich and mature product, MS SQL Server offers a large and diverse set of methods for loading data into a database. One way of importing data into your database is by using the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard. With it and through a visual interface you will be able to bulk load data from a number of data sources that are supported.

Another way for importing bulk data into an SQL Server, both on Azure and on premises, is by using the bcp utility. This is a command line tool that is built specifically for bulk loading and unloading of data from an MS SQL database.

Finally and for compatibility reasons, especially if you are managing databases from different vendors, you can you BULK INSERT SQL statements.

In a similar way and as it happens with the rest of the databases, you can also use the standard INSERT statements, where you will be adding data row-by-row directly to a table. It is the most basic and straightforward way of adding data in a table but it doesn’t scale very well with larger datasets.

Updating ActiveCampaign data on MS SQL Server

As you will be generating more data on ActiveCampaign, you will need to update your older data on an MS SQL Server database. This includes new records, together with updates to older records that for any reason have been updated on ActiveCampaign.

You will need to periodically check ActiveCampaign for new data and repeat the process that has been described previously while updating your currently available data if needed. Updating an already existing row on a SQL Server table is achieved by creating UPDATE statements.

Another issue that you need to take care of is the identification and removal of any duplicate records on your database. Either because ActiveCampaign does not have a mechanism to identify new and updated records or because of errors on your data pipelines, duplicate records might be introduced to your database.

In general, ensuring the quality of data that is inserted in your database is a big and difficult issue and MS SQL Server features like TRANSACTIONS can help tremendously, although they do not solve the problem in the general case.

The best way to load data from ActiveCampaign to MS SQL Server

So far we just scraped the surface of what you can do with MS SQL Server and how to load data. Things can get even more complicated if you want to integrate data coming from different sources.

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