This post was contributed by Skyvia.
Cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools, like ActiveCampaign, have become crucial for many businesses – but many companies still need to store some of their data locally. Some do this because of security concerns, while others want a centralized data storage for data coming from different sources.
In most cases the data is stored in a relational (SQL) database. This post covers:
- What SQL databases are
- Why you may need to use an SQL server
- How you can load ActiveCampaign data to a database without coding and the need of technical knowledge
What is an SQL database?
A relational (or SQL) database is a collection of data organized in a table using columns and rows.. SQL here stands for Structured Query Language – a language used to query and manage data and administer the database server.
One of the most popular database servers on the market is Microsoft SQL Server. It’s often used to store on-premises business data and provide data to other software applications. The Microsoft SQL Server is popular because it’s highly compatible with many third-party apps and clients. It also offers high reliability and performance as well as a wide set of bundled tools – such as analysis and reporting services.
Why should you use an SQL server?
There are 3 main reasons to use databases:
- Personal copy of data. While cloud apps, like ActiveCampaign, are reliable when it comes to storing data, a user still can mass delete or modify important data by mistake. Keeping an always accessible copy of data won’t hurt.
- Centralized data storage. Consolidating data from different sources in one place – like marketing data from your campaigns in ActiveCampaign, sales data from your e-commerce solution, or customer support data from your support system – can give you a 360 degree view of your customers.
- Data analysis and reporting. While good data and reporting can be easily obtained from ActiveCampaign remotely via their API, SQL databases are much more optimized for analysis, and support a wide range of data analysis and reporting tools. Microsoft SQL Server even offers native reporting and analysis solutions.
How Skyvia can help ActiveCampaign users
ActiveCampaign plays an important role in many businesses. It’s crucial for:
- Automating your email marketing
- Communication with clients
- Managing your contact and lead lists
(Just to name a few things).
ActiveCampaign stores information about your lead scoring, segmentation, deal pipeline history – the information without which your view of your customers and leads cannot be complete.
If you need to enrich the information in your database with data from ActiveCampaign, Skyvia is a perfect tool to use.
ActiveCampaign+Skyvia Replication to a Database
Skyvia is a cloud data integration solution, which can easily copy data from ActiveCampaign and a number of other cloud applications to SQL Server as well as a few other database servers and cloud data warehouses.
Skyvia offers several tools that you can use to get ActiveCampaign data to a database. The easiest tool is Skyvia’s replication that creates an exact copy of cloud data in a database.
Setting up replication in Skyvia is an easy, no-coding process that takes under 5 minutes. It doesn’t require any coding skills or software installation. You don’t even need to prepare the corresponding database tables – Skyvia can perform replication to an empty database and create tables for you.
Once you set up replication, it can run automatically, on a schedule and update your database with fresh data from ActiveCampaign without any user interaction. Thus, you will always have fresh ActiveCampaign data in your SQL Server database – which is particularly important for data analysis and making right decisions.
Incremental updates feature allows loading only added/modified records, so you don’t need to reload all the records every time. This makes replication faster and uses less ActiveCampaign API calls.
How to configure replication
To configure replication, first you need to create connections to ActiveCampaign and the database. To connect to ActiveCampaign, you need to specify your account name and API key.
For SQL Server, you also need to specify the corresponding connection parameter – the server’s IP to connect, username and password, and the database to replicate data to.
Please note, however, that your SQL Server should be available from the Internet and allow TCP/IP connections at least from Skyvias’ IPs. Alternatively, you may install our Agent application on a computer which has both Internet access and access to this SQL application and use Agent connection. This Agent serves as a secure tunnel for loading data between Skyvia and your database without the need to open SQL Server for the Internet.
After this, you may continue the replication itself. Here you only need to select the corresponding connections and then select check boxes for the ActiveCampaign objects (Skyvia presents ActiveCampaign data as tables with records and columns, and we call these tables “objects” – like Contacts object, Deals object) that you want to replicate. If you want, you may tweak replication in more details by excluding some fields from replication and setting filters for replicated data.
Finally, you may configure the schedule for your replication to run automatically. Flexible scheduling settings allow you to configure almost any schedule you need. You may run replication every day or on specific weekdays or more often than once per day – up to every few minutes.
Other scenarios for ActiveCampaign data integration
Skyvia’s Replication is a perfect solution for an empty database. But what if you already have an existing database for your leads, contacts, deals, and other information? They may have structures different from ActiveCampaign objects. The case can be especially complex if the database is already partially filled, and some records are already present both in the database.
In this case you may use Skyvia Import. This is a far more advanced tool than replication. It provides powerful mapping settings that allow loading data between tables of different structures. They include lookups for preserving source data relations and expressions that allow complex data transformations.
Filter settings allow you to load only new records or records matching some other criteria. Besides, Skyvia’s Import supports the UPSERT operation that allows loading data without creating duplicates.
Skyvia Import can be used not only for loading ActiveCampaign data to databases, but (unlike Replication) it also supports loading data from different data sources – including databases and CSV files, to ActiveCampaign. However, Import configuration is a bit more complex than Replication. But no worries, it is still done visually, without any coding, and Skyvia’s documentation covers every setting and every mapping kind.
Skyvia is a freemium solution. It’s pricing is based on a volume of data loaded, and it allows loading a certain amount of data per month even on a free pricing plan. If you need to get a copy of your ActiveCampaign data in a database or import data from other sources to ActiveCampaign, feel free to try Skyvia for these tasks.