Unveiling the Magic of Change Data Collection Patterns: Exploring Full Snapshot, Delta, CDC, and Event-Based Approaches

25 Jul 2023 | Blog, What is


AgileData mission is to reduce the complexity of managing data.

In the modern data world there are many capability categories, each with their own specialised terms, technologies and three letter acronyms, We want managing data to be simply magical, so we share articles that explain these terms as simply as we know how.

In this article we describe the different patterns to collect change data .

ADI - AgileData.io

Greetings, esteemed data magicians!

Today, we embark on a fascinating journey into the world of change data collection patterns.

Imagine having the power to capture and track data changes in real-time, enabling you to stay up-to-date with the evolving data landscape. Change data collection patterns are the enchanted tools that make this magic possible.

So, gather around as we explore the captivating realm of change data collection patterns and discover their differences, use cases, and benefits.

Understanding Change Data Collection Patterns: The Key to Real-Time Data Updates

Change data collection patterns are like mystical lenses that allow you to see and capture data changes as they happen. They provide different approaches to track modifications to your data, ensuring you have accurate and timely information.

Let’s dive deeper into the secret patterns behind the magic of change data collection patterns.

Full Snapshot

The full snapshot pattern is like taking a complete picture of your data at specific intervals. It involves capturing the entire dataset and storing it as a snapshot. Each snapshot represents the state of the data at a particular point in time. By comparing different snapshots, you can identify changes and track historical trends. It’s like having a magical photo album that lets you explore the evolution of your data over time.


The delta pattern focuses on capturing only the changes that occur between two snapshots. It involves identifying the additions, modifications, and deletions in the data since the last snapshot. By capturing and storing only the deltas, you can minimise storage requirements and processing overhead. It’s like keeping a magical diary that records only the updates and modifications to your data.

Change Data Capture (CDC)

Change Data Capture is a real-time pattern that captures and propagates data changes as they happen. It involves monitoring and capturing the individual data modifications, such as inserts, updates, and deletes, as they occur in the systems of capture. By capturing these changes, you can propagate them to downstream systems or data platform in near real-time. It’s like having a magical mirror that reflects the current state of your data in near real-time.


The event-based pattern focuses on capturing data changes triggered by specific events or actions. It involves monitoring events such as user interactions, system events, or API calls, and capturing the associated data changes. By capturing and processing these events, you can track changes and trigger actions based on the event-driven architecture. It’s like wielding a magical wand that responds to specific events and captures the ensuing data transformations.

Differentiating the Patterns

Now that we’ve explored the individual change data collection patterns, let’s understand their differences and unique characteristics:


The full snapshot pattern provides a complete view of the data at a specific point in time, while the delta, CDC, and event-based patterns capture granular changes as they occur.

Storage and Processing

The full snapshot pattern requires storage for each snapshot taken, resulting in higher storage requirements. The delta pattern stores only the changes, reducing storage needs. CDC and event-based patterns capture real-time changes, requiring ongoing monitoring and processing.

Real-Time Updates

The CDC and event-based patterns provide real-time updates, allowing you to stay up-to-date with data changes as they happen. The full snapshot and delta patterns may have a delay between updates since they are taken at specific intervals.

Unveiling the Best Pattern: Balancing Benefits and Costs

As we’ve explored the enchanting world of change data collection patterns, it becomes evident that each pattern possesses its own unique set of benefits and costs. Each change data collection pattern offers distinct advantages that cater to different data requirements and use cases. Deciding on the best pattern for your data platform requires careful consideration of your specific needs, technology infrastructure, and long-term goals.

As the number of systems of capture you need to collect data from grow and evolve, you may find that a single change data collection pattern may not suffice. In many scenarios, adopting multiple patterns becomes necessary to address different data use cases and requirements effectively.

For instance, you might employ the full snapshot pattern for historical analysis and reporting from legacy systems while utilising the CDC pattern for near real-time data synchronisation from new systems. Additionally, you could integrate the event-based pattern to trigger specific actions based on real-time data events.

Embrace agility: Adopt the Patterns that match your Context

The key to harnessing the true magic of change data collection patterns lies in understanding that each pattern brings its own set of benefits and costs. Choosing the best pattern is a delicate balance between the advantages it offers and the challenges it may present in your specific technological landscape.

As your systems of capture evolve and expand, it’s not uncommon to adopt multiple change data collection patterns to cater to diverse data requirements. By combining the strengths of different patterns, you can create a powerful and versatile data environment that aligns with your business objectives and ensures timely and accurate data updates.

Embrace the potential of each change data collection pattern, and let your data magic flourish as you leverage the most suitable patterns to unveil insights, optimize resources, and achieve real-time synchronization. With your expertise in balancing benefits and costs, you have the ability to design a dynamic and efficient data ecosystem that drives your organisation’s success.

Let the change data enchantment continue!

Keep making data simply magical

AgileData is all about removing the complexity of managing your data.

The AgileData Platform can collect data based on Full Snapshot, Delta, Change Data Capture or Event based patterns


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