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Rudderstack vs Airbyte: Which One is Better?

Here's a detailed comparison of Rudderstack vs Airbyte.

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Data-driven organizations collect huge amounts of data from multiple sources, including applications, APIs, and customer interactions. Migrating and analyzing this data becomes a challenge that requires time and effort. 

That's where tools like Airbyte and Rudderstack come into play. Both tools have their own use cases, features, and functionality. Airbyte is the leading tool that helps you in migration, and Rudderstack is a platform that allows you to analyze data.

In this article, you'll learn about both the tools in detail from their overviews, key differences, and comparisons. So let's get started!

Rudderstack Overview

Rudderstack is an open-source Customer Data Platform (CDP) that allows you to collect, store, and unify customer data from disparate sources to a centralized repository. This centralization helps in the deep analysis of software. 

With Rudderstack, you can: 

  • Build customer data pipelines that fully connect with the customer data stack. 
  • Transfer event data captured in real-time for 180+ business tools and load it to your data warehouse/lake on configurable schedules. 
  • Create smarter pipelines by triggering enrichment and activation in customer tools based on analysis in your data warehouse. 
  • Make custom sources and destinations. 

Key features of Rudderstack include: 

  • Warehouse First Architecture: Most modern organizations are building CDP over data warehouses. With Rudderstack, you can do the same, as it treats your data warehouse with the most priority among your destinations. It provides advanced features and configurable real-time sync to safely collect and route your events (each user interaction) to your data warehouse. 
  • User-specified Event Transformation: Rudderstack provides a powerful Javascript-based transformation framework. This framework lets you transform and enhance your in-transit events before routing them to a data warehouse or other preferred destinations. 

Airbyte Overview

Airbyte is not a CDP but a fully-fledged data integration platform that allows you to synchronize multiple sources to destinations. The tool follows ELT, a modern approach to data ingestion tasks. Airbyte is designed to automate, scale, and modernize data migration using its cutting-edge features. The features include scheduling, monitoring, robust security measures, and a library of over 350+ pre-built connectors. Its intuitive graphical user interface makes data ingestion accessible to both technical and non-technical users. In addition, its cloud-based infrastructure allows you to collaborate with team members across different regions seamlessly. Major companies that use Airbyte in their tech stack include Accenture, Salesforce, and Cognizant. 

Key features of Airbyte include: 

  • Open-Source: Airbyte has a vibrant open-source ecosystem that actively participates in making new updates and documenting issues related to data integration. You can leverage this community as guidelines.
  • Diverse Data Formats: Airbyte supports structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data for diverse data integration needs. This feature ensures you can consolidate information from multiple sources in different data formats, whether neatly organized rows and columns or JSON files.
  • Security And Compliance: Airbyte offers robust security measures to protect your data. Its features include technical logs, encryption at rest and transit, and access controls. Additionally, Airbyte complies with international rules and regulations by providing ISO 27001, CCPA, and GDPR. 

Rudderstack vs. Airbyte: Key Differences

Here are some of the key differences between the tools:

Attributes Rudderstack Airbyte
Platform CDP ELT
Integration Types Rudderstack focuses on event streaming, offering data routing and collection in real-time. Airbyte specializes in batch streaming, providing a platform for moving data from sources to destinations.
Data Transformation Rudderstack includes transformation capabilities within its pipeline to perform real-time data manipulation. Airbyte provides seamless integration with advanced transformations like dbt for these tasks.
GitHub Stars 3.8k+ 13k+
Solutions Cloud-based and open-source.  Cloud-based and open-source.


Rudderstack vs. Airbyte: Comparision

Since Rudderstack and Airbyte are different tools, they have different use cases, features, and functionalities. Let's compare both of them: 

Use Cases

The choice between Airbyte and Rudderstack largely depends on your specific use cases. 

Rudderstack is mainly used to deal with customer data. Below is a list of its use cases: 

  • Customer Analytics: Rudderstack offers advanced analytics on customer behavior and interaction to enhance customers' understanding of their journeys and preferences.
  • Event Streaming: With Rudderstack, you can leverage real-time event streaming for immediate access to actionable insights like monitoring user interactions and responding to customer behavior.

On the other hand, Airbyte is mostly used for data ingestion needs with a focus on simplicity. 

Here are some of its use cases:

  • Data Integration: As mentioned above, the main use case of Airbyte is data ingestion using ELT. The platform allows you to integrate data from any source to the destination of your choice. 
  • Change Data Capture (CDC): Airbyte enables you to capture changes in the data source using its CDC feature. This ensures that your data sources are up-to-date with the latest data throughout the system. 


Airbyte has robust connectivity with a huge library of over 350+ pre-built connectors, including 300+ data sources and 50+ destinations. The platform offers two types of connectors: community and certified. The community connectors are built with the help of an open-source ecosystem, and certified connectors are built and managed by Airbyte. If you don't find connectors in Airbyte, you can also build custom ones using its Connector Development Kit

Rudderstack also supports connectivity with over 200 cloud destinations, but its focus varies from Airbyte. As a CDP, the platform focuses on activating data from marketing and other customer engagement tools. With Rudderstack, you can also build custom connections using its webhooks. 

Learning Curve

Airbyte is designed to minimize the need for technical expertise. You can automate almost all the data pipeline tasks using its intuitive user interface. The minimal learning curve of Airbyte makes it accessible to professionals with technical and non-technical backgrounds, including data analysts, marketing professionals, and even stakeholders.

Built specifically for marketing purposes, Rudderstack provides an easy-to-use graphical interface for its CDP that makes it accessible to all professionals. However, you have to go through a steep learning curve to understand the specialized features like real-time event streaming and segmenting customers.  


Airbyte offers three solutions, and the pricing differs according to that: open source, cloud, and enterprise. The open-source source version is free. The cloud version charges based on the pay-as-you-go model, where you are expected to pay only for credits you consume. Then, an enterprise solution is dedicated to dealing with data ingestion on a huge scale. The enterprise version has custom pricing, and you can ask customer care for its pricing from here.

Rudderstack provides four solutions: Free, Starter, Growth, and Enterprise. The free version is made for the basic use case. The Starter version offers 3 million events and costs over $600 monthly. The Growth version has custom pricing and is best for high-performance teams. Lastly, the Enterprise version is for large teams and has custom pricing too. Click here to find out all the different solutions and their pricing offered by Rudderstack. 

Using Rudderstack and Airbyte 

As you know, both tools are well-suited for different data management tasks. Therefore, choosing one over the other might not be the ideal solution. 

In this case, using both tools according to their use case is the best choice. Firstly, you can use Airbyte to centralize data from multiple sources to a destination, such as a data warehouse. Then, you can integrate Rudderstack with your data warehouse to leverage its CDP features. 

With this approach, Airbyte will allow you to automate the creation of data pipelines and streamline the whole data integration process. Rudderstack will do its thing and provide you with customer analytics. 

The key advantages of using this approach are as follows: 

  • Holistic Strategy: By combining the strength of Airbyte and Rudderstack in your data stack, you can make a unified strategy. This strategy will include near real-time analytics, customer engagement, data integration, and synchronization.
  • Tool Integrations: Airbyte has a huge library of connectors, which allows you to connect with any data source of your choice. Using this feature, you can integrate tools like CRMs, marketing systems, websites, and applications into your Rudderstack environment according to your requirements. 
  • Flexibility: Using Rudderstack and Airbyte in your data stack allows you to tailor your needs according to your needs. Whether integrating tools, adjusting data pipelines, building insights, or synchronizing data, you get the flexibility to align with organizational goals. 


Choosing the right tool for your data stack is a crucial decision that builds the foundation of your data management practices. In this article, you have learned the overview, key differences, and comparisons of Rudderstack and Airbyte. Rudderstack is ideal if you need a fully-fledged CDP to make informed business decisions. Airbyte is a good choice if you want to integrate between operational systems. 

We suggest using a hybrid approach to leverage the features of Rudderstack and Airbyte. This will allow you to harness the full potential of your data management practices.

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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.”