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# What is Incremental Synchronization?

Last updated Sep 23, 2022 - Edit Source

Incremental synchronization is a process which efficiently copies data to a destination system by periodically executing queries on a source system for records that have been updated or inserted since the previous sync operation. Only those records that have been recently inserted or updated will be sent to the destination, which is much more efficient than copying an entire data set on each sync operation. Incremental synchronization makes use of a cursor field such as updated_at (or whatever you wish to call the field) to determine which records should be propagated, and only records with an updated_at value that is newer than the updated_at value of the most recent record sent in the previous sync should be replicated.

However, without special consideration, records that have been deleted in the source system will not be propagated to the destination as they will never appear in the results from such a query. This may be addressed by  Soft Deletes or by making use of  CDC replication.

Read more on Incremental data synchronization between Postgres databases or see related Full Refresh Synchronization.