Shopify to PostgreSQL: 2 Easy Methods

• February 27th, 2020

Shopify to PostgreSQL

The advent of the internet and the cloud has paved the way for SaaS companies like Shopify to simplify the cumbersome task of setting up and running a business online. The businesses that use Shopify have crucial data about their customers, products, catalogs, orders, etc. within Shopify and would often need to extract this data out of Shopify into a central database and combine this with their advertising, ads, etc. to derive meaningful insights.

PostgreSQL has emerged as a top ORDBMS (object-relational database management system) that is highly extensible with technical standards compliance. PostgreSQL’s ease of set up and use has made it a very lucrative option to host data from systems like Shopify. In this blog, we are going to learn how to move data from Shopify to PostgreSQL.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Shopify

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Shopify is an e-commerce platform that helps businesses to create online stores and sell their products. They also have an online retail point of sale system (Shopify POS) where merchants can sell their products in person. It is designed for all businesses regardless of their sizes. Shopify provides a set of tools and services such as payment gateways, shipping, marketing, and customer engagement so that users can grow their business easily.

Shopify has built-in capabilities that allow users to analyze customers’ data. However, businesses/organizations need to store this data in a database because it allows them to gain in-depth insights by combining other organizational data with Shopify. This allows them to leverage the power of a full-fledged database (or sometimes a data warehouse) and overcome the limitation of Shopify analytics. 

Various products or services that you can sell on Shopify:

  • Physical Products: Shopify supports door-step delivery of your manufactured products such as jewelry, t-shirts, mugs, etc. You can schedule the delivery of various products using Shopify.
  • Digital Products: With Shopify, you can provide digital services such as e-books, audio files, course materials, etc. to your customers.   
  • Services and Consultation: If you provide services like Life consultation, home-cooked delicacies, event planning, or anything else, Shopify has got you covered.
  • Memberships: Various memberships such as gym memberships, yoga classes memberships, event memberships, etc. can be sold to the customers using Shopify.
  • Experiences: Event-based experiences like adventurous sports and travel, mountain trekking, wine tasting, events, and hands-on workshops. You can use Shopify to sell tickets for these events as well.
  • Rentals: You can also promote and advertise various types of rental services such as rental taxis, furniture, gadgets, etc. using Shopify and engage with customers in a better and more efficient way.
  • Classes: You can advertise online tutorials on Shopify, allowing customers to subscribe to various online courses such as studies, fitness, yoga, etc. 

Introduction to PostgreSQL

Postgres Logo
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PostgreSQL is an open-source and powerful object-relational database system. It not only uses SQL language but also extends it with many features that stores and scale very complicated data workloads. It has a strong reputation due to its proven architecture, data integrity, reliability, extensibility, robust feature set and dedication to a rich open-source community. 

Key features of Postgres

  • ACID-Compliant: Postgres is ACID-compliant and so ensures that your transactions are handled in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Open Source: Postgres is fully open-source and has an active community to help with efficiency tips, bug resolution, etc.
  • Extensibility: Postgres is very customizable and so can more readily incorporate new functionality into its system.

Method of moving data from Shopify to PostgreSQL

Data can be moved from Shopify to PostgreSQL in two methods:

Method 1: Using Custom ETL Scripts to Connect Shopify to PostgreSQL

This is a simple 4-step method that utilizes custom ETL code to connect Shopify to PostgreSQL.

Method 2: Using Hevo Data to Connect Shopify to PostgreSQL

A fully managed, No-code Data Pipeline platform like Hevo Data, helps you load data from Shopify (among numerous free data sources) to MySQL in real-time, in an effortless manner. Hevo with its minimal learning curve can be set up in a matter of minutes making the users ready to load data without compromising performance. It helps transfer data from Shopify to a destination of your choice for free.

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Its strong integration with various sources such as databases, files, analytics engines, etc gives users the flexibility to bring in data of all different kinds in a way that’s as smooth as possible, without having to write a single line of code.

The above two methods will be covered in detail in this blog. In the end, you will have an option to choose the best based on your needs.

Understanding the Methods to Connect Shopify to PostgreSQL

Here are the methods you can use to connect Shopify to PostgreSQL in a seamless fashion:

Method 1: Using Custom ETL Scripts to Connect Shopify to PostgreSQL

The Shopify platform is completely exposed to developers through the Shopify API. Businesses can extract data from Shopify using the API endpoints exposed by Shopify. 

The Shopify API can be accessed using HTTP/CURL/Postman as the API follows RESTful architecture principles. Here are the steps involved in this method:

Step 1: Shopify API Authentication

Shopify has two types of applications: private and public apps. Based on the type of application, the means to authenticate the API call would change. 

For example, you don’t need to authenticate private apps with Oauth because they will only function on individual apps. For us to get data from Shopify, we would only need access to private apps. As a next step, you would need to login to your  Shopify admin or Partner dashboard to get private app credentials. You can use this API key to extract data from your Shopify account. 

Step 2: Shopify Endpoints

All possible touchpoints of e-commerce are exposed by the 35+ Shopify API endpoints. Below are some of the most important resources covered by these endpoints: 

  • Order Details: These set of APIs allow you to extract data on orders placed, cart abandonments, refunds requested and more
  • Customer Details: These APIs allow you to retrieve customer data
  • Product Details: These APIs allow you to retrieve the details of the products listed on the Shopify store.

Click here for a complete list of endpoints available.

Let us now look at a sample API call to extract data on the products listed on your Shopify store. We need to make an API request to the like this:

GET /admin/api/2020-01/products.json

In response to the above API call, Shopify will return a JSON object with a list of all the products listed on your Shopify store.

Additionally, Shopify allows you to filter the results based on dates. Therefore, in a continuous data extraction process, it’s possible only to pull the new data available. This can be done by including created_at_min and created_at_max parameters in the GET request. 

Step 3: Preparing Shopify Data for PostgreSQL

Before loading data to PostgreSQL, you will need to define a data model or schema that describes the data you want to load. PostgreSQL is a relational database and organizes data in tables. Just like any other SQL database, it has a collection of different data types.

The best strategy to load data from Shopify to the PostgreSQL database is to create a schema that will map each API endpoint to a table. Map each key in the Shopify API to a column of the table. You should also ensure the right conversion of Shopify data to PostgreSQL data types. 

For example, if a string is returned from an API call, convert it to VARCHAR with a defined max size or a TEXT data type. If these cases are not handled, then the process can break, leading to loss of data. 

Step 4: Loading Data from Shopify to PostgreSQL

Data can be inserted to PostgreSQL using the INSERT command. This is the most straightforward way of inserting data into a PostgreSQL database. However, this loads the data row by row and does not scale with large volumes of data. 

The recommended way of loading large data sets into a PostgreSQL database is using the COPY command. It copies data from a file in a file system accessible to the PostgreSQL instance. This method loads large data sets into the PostgreSQL database in less time.

Limitations of using Custom ETL Scripts to Connect Shopify to PostgreSQL

  1. Infrastructure Maintenance: Shopify has rich APIs and may continuously update or change them. So, you will need to invest in time and an engineering team to update and maintain the ETL code regularly. 
  2. Real-time Data: The above approach works if you have data to be loaded in a batch fashion. Many times this is not what businesses need. If your use case is to bring data from Shopify and load to PostgreSQL in real-time, you would need additional lines of code to implement that. 
  3. Ability to Transform Data: The current method does not allow you to clean, transform or enrich the Shopify data. For example, let us say you would want to standardize time zones to effectively calculate sales or if you want to convert currencies to a specific denomination, these tweaks are not achievable using the above code. Also check out how you can export shopify orders.

The above limitations can be overcome by using a completely managed platform such as Hevo to move data from Shopify to PostgreSQL.  

Method 2: Using Hevo Data to Connect Shopify to PostgreSQL

Hevo Logo
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Hevo is a fully managed data integration platform. It will automate your data flow in minutes without writing any line of code. It helps transfer data from Shopify to a destination of your choice for free. Its fault-tolerant architecture makes sure that your data is secure and consistent. Hevo provides you with a truly efficient and fully automated solution to manage data in real-time and always have analysis-ready data at PostgreSQL.

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Data can be loaded from Shopify to PostgreSQL without having to write any code. This can be done in just two steps:

  • Step 1: Connect and configure your Shopify data source by providing the Pipeline Name, Shop Name, and the Admin API Password.
  • Step 2: Load data from Shopify to Postgresql by providing your Postgresql databases credentials like Database Host, Port, Username, Password, Schema, and Name along with the destination name.
Postgres Destination Configuration
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Advantages of Using Hevo:

  1. No Data Loss – Hevo has a  fault-tolerant architecture that ensures data is reliably moved from Shopify to PostgreSQL.
  2. 100’s of Out of the Box Integrations – In addition to Shopify,  Hevo brings data from other sources such as Databases, Cloud Applications, SDKs, and so on into PostgreSQL. This gives you the flexibility and scalability required to grow your business.
  3. Minimal Setup – Hevo is easy to set up and use. It has a visual point and click interface that will allow you to start moving data from Shopify to PostgreSQL in minutes.
  4. Automatic Schema Detection and Mapping – The schema of incoming Shopify data is scanned automatically by Hevo. Hevo handles any changes seamlessly by incorporating the change on PostgreSQL. 
  5. Exceptional Support –  Hevo provides 24/7 email and chat support so that you always have someone who can reliably navigate you through any issues you may face.

Conclusion

This blog talks about the two different methods you can use to establish a connection from Shopify to PostgreSQL in a seamless fashion, using Custom ETL Scripts and a third-party tool, Hevo. It helps transfer data from Shopify to a destination of your choice for free.

Visit our Website to Explore Hevo

Sign Up for a 14-day risk-free trial with Hevo. This will give you an opportunity to experience Hevo’s simplicity and start moving data from Shopify to PostgreSQL instantly. 

What are your thoughts on moving data from Shopify to PostgreSQL? Let us know in the comments. 

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