Best PostgreSQL ETL Tools: Pros, Cons, Features, Pricing

Ethan
CEO, Portable

PostgreSQL is a leading choice for data teams that want an open-source, on-premises data warehouse platform.

PostgreSQL, commonly known as Postgres---is a robust, reliable platform with unique features that have stood the test of time.

But to move your data into a PostgreSQL data warehouse, you'll need an ETL tool.

Today, we'll review the top ETL tools for every use case so you can choose one that works best for your organization.

Using ETL on PostgreSQL

  • PostgreSQL is an online transaction processing (OLTP), row-oriented, open-source database platform.

  • A PostgreSQL database is best for frequent writes, like real-time eCommerce transactions, as opposed to an OLAP database that's best for frequent reads.

  • You can use PostgreSQL as a data warehouse, offering some unique advantages over other platforms.

  • Because it's open-source, it's free to run. It's also platform-agnostic and works with major cloud providers or even on-premises with macOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux, BSD, and Solaris.

  • But if you're going to use Postgres for data warehousing, you'll need an ETL tool.

  • An ETL (extract, transform, load) tool is how you'll move data in and out of PostgreSQL.

  • Most ETL tools have integrations for working with Postgres, and many can work both on-premises and in the cloud.

Why PostgreSQL is a smart choice for ETL

Postgres has stayed relevant in the age of big data as a tool for on-premises data warehousing, despite major competition from cloud platforms like Snowflake, Amazon Redshift, and Google BigQuery.

But Postgres sets itself apart from those managed warehouses in several ways. It's open-source and can run in the cloud or on-premise. It also uses an OLTP, row-oriented database instead of the OLAP, column-oriented structures of most managed data warehouses.

Pricing

Postgres is open-source and completely free to run. The only costs are the architecture you use, which can range in price from servers you already own to space on a cloud platform.

Key features

  • On-premise, cloud, and hybrid deployments.

  • OLTP database structure that's best for frequent writes.

  • Single server architecture without clusters, unlike other platforms.

  • Generous open-source license meaning anyone can use, copy, and modify the software at no cost---even for enterprise uses.

  • Access through the command line and third-party GUI tools.

  • Renown official documentation with detailed tutorials and clear docs.

Advantages

  • Infrastructure-agnostic and available through all major cloud providers, including Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services, plus all major on-premise platforms.

  • Open-source software that's completely free. The only cost is the infrastructure you use to run it.

  • Object-relational architecture which offers superior support for advanced data types, making PostgreSQL better than Redshift or SQL Server for handling pipelines with more complex raw data.

  • Unique schema system for defining metadata like access control and data types within a database.

Disadvantages

  • Not ideal for frequent querying of large datasets. These processes are better suited to a column-oriented OLAP database.

  • Scaling Postgres can be a challenge since the user needs to increase the available memory of the database manually. If you choose a managed service this isn't a problem.

  • Security depends on your infrastructure, so there's more responsibility and work than through a managed service.

Who is Postgres best suited for?

PostgreSQL is the best option for teams that want an open-source, infrastructure-agnostic data warehouse built for frequent transaction processing. Teams that want complete control over their data storage and have the resources and technical know-how to maintain their own infrastructure will benefit most from Postgres.

How to choose a PostgreSQL ETL tool

You'll need a tool to manage the ETL process to extract data, clean and transform it, and load it into PostgreSQL.

You can then use that PostgreSQL data for visualization, business intelligence, and more.

But here's what to consider when looking for the right Postgres ETL tool.

Data sources

You won't get much use from a data integration tool that won't integrate your most important data. Choose a tool that can ingest data from all the apps you need.

Extensibility

Chances are, no single platform supports all the sources you need now and in the future. Choose a tool that lets you create new connectors or will create them for you.

Built for Postgres

Nearly every ETL supports Postgres---but many of them only support it as a data source. Ensure your tool integrates with Postgres not only as a data source for extraction but also as a destination for loading.

Customer Support

If something goes wrong, you need hands-on help to fix any problems. Make sure you choose an ETL tool with quality support. And remember that many tools force you to upgrade for personalized assistance.

Pricing

Most ETL tools use one of two pricing models: by consumption or per data pipeline. Choose one that works for your budget, and remember that consumption-based models can vary wildly in cost from one month to the next.

Top 5 Postgres ETL tools

  1. Portable
  2. Stitch
  3. Fivetran
  4. Blendo
  5. Airbyte

1. Portable.io

Portable is the best PostgreSQL ETL tool for teams with long-tail data sources. It has built-in connectors for 300+ hard-to-find data sources and adds more regularly.

Even better, the Portable team develops new data connectors upon request with turnarounds in as little as a few hours. And they maintain those connectors if APIs change or datasets are no longer supported.

Pricing

  • Portable offers a free plan for manual data workflows with no caps on volume, connectors, or destinations.

  • For automated data flows, Portable charges a flat fee of $200/month.

  • For enterprise requirements and SLAs, contact sales.

Key features

  • 300+ built-in connectors for data sources you won't find with most other ETL tools.

  • Development and maintenance of custom connectors at no cost.

  • Premium support is included on all plans.

Disadvantages

  • Portable focuses on long-tail data connectors and doesn't support major enterprise applications like Oracle or Salesforce.

  • No support for data lakes.

  • Only available to users in the U.S.

Who is Portable best suited for?

Portable is best for teams that can't find Postgres connectors for one or more data sources and want a solution that just works.

2. Stitch

Stitch is an ETL tool that's part of the Talend ecosystem. It supports data transformations with Python, Java, SQL, or its no-code GUI. Stitch also supports change data capture and data replication.

Pricing

  • Standard plan starting at $100/month for up to 5 million active rows per month, one destination, and 10 sources (limited to "Standard" sources)

  • Advanced plan at $1,250/month for up to 100 million rows and three destinations

  • Premium plan at $2,500/month for up to 1 billion rows and five destinations

  • 14-day free trial available

Key features

  • Support for over 130 data sources.

  • Built-in integrations with Talend suite of data tools.

  • Compatible with scripted and GUI-based data transformations.

  • Automations for monitoring and notifications.

Disadvantages

  • Complex data transformations are not as well supported as on some other platforms.

  • On-premise deployments not available.

  • Limits on the number of data sources and destinations.

Who is Stitch best suited for?

Stitch is best for teams using widely used data sources and looking for a tool with basic transformation support.

3. Fivetran

Fivetran is a popular ETL tool with 160+ supported data sources.

It can load data to PostgreSQL databases hosted locally and on Amazon RDS, Amazon Aurora, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. 

Pricing

  • Standard select: Est. $60/month (limited to 1 user and 500k monthly active rows)

  • Starter: Est. $120/month (limited to 10 users)

  • Standard: Est. $180/month

  • Enterprise: Est. $240/month

  • Business critical: Contact sales

  • 14-day free trial available

Key features

  • Native warehouse transformations that work well even with complex data.

  • Support for change data capture for data replication jobs.

  • Real-time or near real-time data synchronization.

Disadvantages

  • Higher-priced tool than many competitors.

  • Consumption-based pricing models can be hard to predict month-to-month.

  • Only supports ELT workloads, not ETL.

Who is Fivetran best suited for?

Fivetran is best for large businesses looking for a solution that supports the most popular enterprise platforms.

4. Blendo

Blendo is a data integration tool with several automations to speed up the creation of ETL pipelines. It has scripts and predefined data models.

Pricing

  • Free plan limited to three sources

  • Pro plan starts at $750/month and includes transformations

  • Enterprise plans available with custom pricing

Key features

  • Supports 45+ data sources.

  • No-code platform that's ideal for nontechnical teams.

  • Built-in monitoring and alert features.

Disadvantages

  • Not as many data connectors as other Postgres ETL tools.

  • Limited data transformation functionality.

  • Teams can't create new data connectors on their own.

Who is Blendo best suited for?

Data teams with a small number of sources and no transformation needs looking for an easy-to-use platform.

5. Airbyte

Airbyte is an ETL platform that supports Postgres as both a data source and a destination.

You can deploy Airbyte's open-source version yourself or use its paid cloud plan.

Pricing

  • Open source: Free to use since you host the software yourself

  • Cloud: $2.50/credit (one million rows = 6 credits; 1 GB = 4 credits)

  • Cloud high volume: Custom pricing (for 5,000+ credits)

Key features

  • Support for 170+ data connectors (not all connectors available on cloud plan).

  • Large open-source community.

  • Warehouse-native data transformations.

Disadvantages

  • Consumption-based pricing model, which can be hard to predict from one month to the next.

  • Cloud plan is missing some data integrations.

Who is Airbyte best suited for?

Airbyte is best for teams with the technical ability to develop and maintain any additional connectors using the Airbyte CDK.

Runner-up Postgres ETL tools

Nearly every ETL tool will let you export data out of Postgres databases, but not all will help you import it. Here are a few of our runner-up choices for loading data into Postgres.

Pentaho

Pentaho is a platform owned by Hitachi Vantara that lets you import data into Postgres. It also includes business intelligence features to find insights using the same platform.

Integrate.io

Integrate is a no-code platform that supports 200+ data sources. It has pre-built templates to speed up creating new data flows.

Hevo

Hevo is a no-code ETL tool that supports 150+ data sources and ETL, ELT, and Reverse ETL workflows. It supports real-time data loading, replications, and transformations.

PostgreSQL ETL: The Bottom Line

As popular as cloud-based data warehouses are, Postgres might be the best solution if you're looking for a reliable database platform that gives you complete control with an on-premise deployment.

But you'll only get the most use from Postgres with a powerful ETL tool.

Most tools focus on major enterprise applications and won't pull in the critical data from your long-tail data sources. Portable does just that and handles the development and maintenance of new connectors, too.

Looking for the best PostgreSQL ETL tool? Get started with Portable.