All ETL tool comparison

Airbyte vs. Fivetran

Airbyte is an open-source data integration / ETL alternative to Fivetran. Compare data sources and destinations, features, pricing and more. Understand their differences and pros / cons.

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Airbyte
Airbyte
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Fivetran
Fivetran
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Airbyte

About Airbyte

Airbyte is the leading open-source ELT tool, created in July 2020. Airbyte has more than 300 data connectors, and have 40,000 companies using them to sync data, syncing more than 1PB per month. Their ambition is to commoditize data integration by addressing the long tail of connectors through their growing contributor community. Airbyte released a Cloud offer in April 2022 with a new pricing model distinguishing database from APIs and files.

About Fivetran

Fivetran is a closed-source, managed ELT service that was created in 2012. Fivetran has about 200 data connectors and have over 5,000 customers. They are considered a reliable choice and have a large customer base. Fivetran charges on monthly active rows (in other words, the number of rows that have been edited or added in a given month).

Feature Comparison: Airbyte vs. Fivetran

Focus

ELT as a first step.
Reverse-ETL coming in 2024.

ELT.

Sources

More than 300, 2 years from inception.

More than 300.

Destinations

30+ data warehouses, lakes, databases, and more.

10 data warehouses and databases.

Customizability of connectors

User can edit any pre-built connectors and build new ones within 30 minutes with Airbyte’s Connector Development Kit.

Limited through Fivetran’s Cloud functions.

Database replication

Full table and incremental via change data capture.

Pricing adapted for this use case.

Full table and incremental via change data capture.

Pricing is indexed on rows. 

Integration with data stack

Integrate with Kubernetes, Airflow, Prefect, Dagster, and dbt. 

Integrate with Airflow, Prefect, Dagster, and dbt. 

Support SLAs

Available

Available

Security certifications

SOC 2, ISO 27001, GDPR

HIPAA, GDPR, SOC 2

Vendor lock-in

Airbyte Core and Connectors are open-source.

Same as any Cloud product.

Purchase process

Self-service for Airbyte Cloud.

Open-source edition deployable in minutes.

Self-service.

Pricing

Volume-based pricing differentiating APIs from databases. Credits are rolled over. 

Free tier limited to 500k MARs (monthly active rows). Volume-based pricing with MARs above this. 

API

Available. CLI also available in Open Source (coming soon on Airbyte Cloud) 

Available.

 

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Key Distinctions Between Airbyte & Fivetran

1. Connectors

Pre-built connectors are the primary way to differentiate ETL / ELT solutions, as they enable data teams to focus only on the insights to build

Airbyte

Within 3 years from inception, Airbyte already offers connectors for more than 300 data sources, and 50 destinations including all major data warehouses, lakes and databases. 

All Airbyte connectors are open-sourced and can be edited to address any custom needs the customers have. Airbyte users can leverage these connectors through the open-source edition or the Cloud offer. 

Airbyte’s no-code Connector Builder also enables their users to build custom connectors in a standardized way within 10 minutes (instead of 2 days), and the Airbyte team and community can help in their maintenance. 

More than 50% of the connectors have been contributed by the growing community. Airbyte will provide a SLA for the certified connectors, but Airbyte’s ambition is also to provide a SLA for other connectors through the community and its participative model on the long tail of connectors, and to reach 1,000+ connectors in the next few years. 

Airbyte will offer reverse-ETL connectors in 2024. 

Fivetran

Fivetran offers connectors for about 200 data sources. It supports the major data warehouses and databases as destinations. However, Fivetran doesn’t support any data lakes.

Customers can pay extra and request that Fivetran build a new data source, but no one outside the Fivetran team can build new data sources or make improvements to existing sources. 

Fivetran’s customers often end up having to build and maintain custom connectors in-house with their own data engineering teams to address all their custom needs.

2. Transformation

Airbyte

Airbyte is an ELT tool, and does not transform data prior to loading. Airbyte offers two options to get your data out of the box: a serialized JSON object and the normalized version of the record as tables. 

Airbyte also offers custom transformations via SQL and through deep integration with dbt, allowing their users and customers to trigger their own dbt packages at the destination level right after the EL. 

Fivetran

Fivetran is an ELT tool, and does not transform data prior to loading, either. It offers its own opinionated normalization out of the box, and recently added support for post-load transformations via copy-and-paste SQL and dbt.

3. Customizability

Every company has custom data architectures and, therefore, unique data integration needs. A lot of tools don’t enable teams to address those, which results in a lot of investment in building and maintaining additional in-house scripts.

Airbyte

Airbyte’s architecture modularity implies that you can leverage any part of Airbyte. For instance, you can use Airflow’s orchestrator to trigger Airbyte’s ELT jobs. 

You can also edit any pre-built connectors to your own specific needs, or even leverage the no-code / low-code Connector Builder to build your own custom connectors in a matter of minutes (instead of days) and have its maintenance shared with the community and the Airbyte team. 

Airbyte’s promise is to address all your ELT needs and the long tail of integrations.

Fivetran

Fivetran released cloud functions to let their customers edit connectors by writing small function to fetch data using Go, Java, Node.js, Python, C# or F#. Customers will need to host their functions on a serverless platform.

4. Support & docs

Data integration tools can be complex, so customers need to have great support channels. This includes online documentation as well as tutorials, email and chat support. More complicated tools may also offer training services.

Airbyte

Airbyte provides in-app chat support with an average time to respond of less than 1 hour. 

Their documentation is comprehensive and full of tutorials. Airbyte also has a Slack and Discourse community where help is available from the Airbyte team, other users or contributors. 

Airbyte does not provide any training services. 

Fivetran

Fivetran provides support through an in-app form, but does not offer chat support.

Their documentation is comprehensive, but Fivetran doesn’t offer a Slack or Discourse community. 

Fivetran does not provide any training services. 

5. Pricing

Airbyte

Airbyte provides a 14-day free trial or $1,000 worth of credits, whichever expires first. Airbyte’s pricing is credit-based, and you consume credits based on volume with a different price for APIs, databases and files, which enables it to adapt well to all use cases, including database replication. 

Airbyte doesn’t charge for failed syncs or normalization. 

Airbyte offers adapted pricing to customers with volume discounts.

Fivetran

Fivetran offers a free tier limited to 500 thousands monthly active rows,  i.e., rows that are added or edited in a given month. Fivetran also provides a 14-day free trial on any of their paid plan. It discloses a pricing based on monthly active rows.

Fivetran’s volume-based pricing doesn’t adapt well with database replication use cases that involve the replication of millions of rows. 

Benefits of using Airbyte

When comparing Airbyte to Fivetran, several benefits stand out:

  1. Open-Source Platform: Airbyte is an open-source platform, offering greater flexibility and customization options compared to Fivetran's proprietary solution. This openness allows users to tailor the platform to their specific needs and integrate with a wider range of data sources and destinations.
  2. Cost-Effectiveness: Airbyte's open-source nature often translates to lower costs for users, as there are no licensing fees associated with the platform. This can be particularly advantageous for smaller businesses or startups with limited budgets, making Airbyte a more cost-effective option compared to Fivetran.
  3. Community Support: With its open-source model, Airbyte benefits from a vibrant community of developers and users who contribute to its ongoing development and provide support through forums, documentation, and other resources. This community-driven approach can lead to quicker issue resolution and a more collaborative environment compared to Fivetran's support model.
  4. Flexibility and Customization: Airbyte offers greater flexibility and customization options, allowing users to adapt the platform to their unique data integration needs. This includes the ability to create custom connectors, define data transformations, and configure replication settings according to specific requirements. In contrast, Fivetran may have limitations in terms of customization and flexibility due to its proprietary nature.
  5. Scalability: Airbyte is designed to be highly scalable, allowing users to easily scale up or down based on their data integration needs. Whether handling small or large volumes of data, Airbyte can accommodate growing demands and ensure smooth operation without compromising performance. This scalability is essential for businesses experiencing rapid growth or fluctuations in data volume.

The benefits of using Airbyte over Fivetran include its open-source nature, cost-effectiveness, community support, flexibility, and scalability. These factors make Airbyte an attractive option for businesses looking for a customizable, cost-efficient, and scalable data integration solution.

Limitations of using Fivetran

When comparing Fivetran to Airbyte, several limitations may arise:

  1. Proprietary Nature: Fivetran operates as a proprietary platform, limiting users' ability to access and modify the underlying code. This lack of openness may restrict customization options compared to open-source alternatives.
  2. Higher Costs: Fivetran typically involves higher costs due to licensing fees and subscription plans. While the platform offers advanced features and support, these expenses may not be suitable for organizations with limited budgets.
  3. Limited Connector Availability: While Fivetran provides a wide range of pre-built connectors for popular data sources, it may not support all sources or destinations required by users. Organizations with specific integration needs may find themselves limited by the available connectors.
  4. Less Community Support: Fivetran's proprietary nature may result in less community-driven support and collaboration compared to open-source solutions. While the platform offers customer support channels, the level of community engagement may be lower, potentially leading to longer resolution times for issues.
  5. Limited Customization Options: Due to its proprietary nature, Fivetran may have limitations in terms of customization options. Users may find it challenging to tailor the platform to their specific requirements beyond the provided features and functionalities.

FAQs

  1. How do the number and flexibility of connectors compare between Airbyte and Fivetran?
    Airbyte offers connectors for over 300 data sources and 50 destinations, including major data warehouses, lakes, and databases. All Airbyte connectors are open-sourced and customizable. Fivetran provides connectors for approximately 200 data sources, primarily supporting major data warehouses and databases but does not support data lakes.
  2. What are the data transformation capabilities of Airbyte and Fivetran, and how do they differ?
    Both Airbyte and Fivetran operate as ELT tools, meaning they do not transform data prior to loading. Airbyte offers output options like serialized JSON object and normalized records as tables, along with custom transformations via SQL and integration with dbt. Fivetran provides opinionated normalization out of the box and recently added support for post-load transformations via copy-and-paste SQL and dbt.
  3. Which platform offers more options for customizing integrations to suit unique data architecture needs?
    Airbyte offers high customizability, allowing users to edit pre-built connectors, build custom connectors using the no-code Connector Builder, and integrate with other tools like Airflow for orchestration. Fivetran offers some customizability through cloud functions, enabling users to edit connectors using various programming languages but requires hosting on a serverless platform.
  4. What level of support and documentation is available for users of Airbyte and Fivetran?
    Airbyte provides comprehensive support through in-app chat with an average response time of less than 1 hour, extensive documentation with tutorials, and active communities on Slack and Discourse. Fivetran offers support through an in-app form but lacks chat support. Its documentation is comprehensive but lacks a dedicated community platform.
  5. How does the pricing structure of Airbyte compare to Fivetran, and which platform offers better value for different use cases?
    Airbyte offers a 14-day free trial or $1,000 worth of credits, credit-based pricing adapted to different use cases, and volume discounts. It does not charge for failed syncs or normalization. Fivetran offers a free tier limited to 500,000 monthly active rows and a 14-day free trial for paid plans. Its pricing is based on monthly active rows, which may not adapt well to certain use cases involving the replication of millions of rows.

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"The cool thing with Airbyte is that there is this neutrality. With Airbyte there’s a push to do things outside of the warehouse. Fivetran and Stitch have a warehouse centric mentality."
Vivek Ayer
Vivek Ayer
Data Infrastructure at Skupos Inc.
"Airbyte is a very promising solution for the single point of data integration. We continuously migrate our connectors from our existing solution to Airbyte as they became available on Airbyte, and look forward to the release of Airbyte Cloud!"
Apostol Tegko
Apostol Tegko
Data Analyst at Fnatic
“I was blown away by how easy it was to get started with Airbyte. We were able to adapt a Singer tap for a missing integration in 25 mins. Because Airbyte is so simple to use, I was able to avoid a planned data engineer hire.​”
Jins Kadwood
Jins Kadwood
CTO at AgriDigital

What Airbyte users say

“Airbyte saved us two months of engineering time by not having to build our own infrastructure. We can count on the stability and reliability of Airbyte connectors. Plus, with Airbyte it’s simple to build custom pipelines.”
“With Airbyte, we don’t need to worry about connectors and focus on creating value for our users instead of building infrastructure. That’s priceless. The time and energy saved allows us to disrupt and grow faster.”
"I used Airbyte's connector builder to write 2 connectors. The experience was amazing, the setup was straightforward, and in almost no time I was able to develop a new connector and get it running.”
“Using Airbyte makes extracting data from various sources super easy! I don't have to spend time maintaining difficult data pipelines. Instead, I can use that time to generate meaningful insights from data.”
"Airbyte does a lot of things really well. We just had to set it up, and it ran from there. Even moving 40GB worth of data works just fine without needing to worry about sizing up.”