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Learn ClickHouse

Replicating PosgreSQL Tables to ClickHouse

Duration: 15 minutes

Audience: Anyone who wants to replicate Postgres data to ClickHouse

Issues/Questions: Contact us at [email protected]

Overview: In this lesson, you will use Docker to startup a ClickHouse container and Postgres container, define a Postgres table, then replicate it to a ClickHouse database.

Let’s get started!

Prerequisites: You will need Docker installed if you want to follow along.

1. Startup Postgres and ClickHouse

You will startup a docker-compose.yml file that has ClickHouse 21.10 and a uses the latest postgres image.

Show instructions
  1. Let’s start by creating a local folder to work in (feel free to name the folder anything you like):

    mkdir ~/postgres
    cd ~/postgres
  2. Create a new file named docker-compose.yml, and copy-and-paste the following into it:

    version: '3.7'
            image: learnclickhouse/public-repo:clickhouse-server-21.10
            container_name: clickhouse-server
            hostname: clickhouse-server
                - "9000:9000"
                - "8123:8123"
                - "9009:9009"
            restart: always
            tty: true
                    soft: -1
                    hard: -1
                    soft: 262144
                    hard: 262144
                        memory: 2g
                - IPC_LOCK
            image: postgres
            container_name: postgres
            hostname: postgres
                - "5432:5432"
            restart: always
                POSTGRES_PASSWORD: password
            command: [ "postgres", "-c", "wal_level=logical", "-c", "max_replication_slots=4"]    
  3. From a terminal, run the following command from the ~/postgres folder where you created docker-compose.yml:

    docker-compose up

Notice that the startup command for postgres sets wal_level to logical, which is required for replication to work. The value of max_replication_slots must also be greater than or equal to 2.

2. Define and populate the Postgres table

Let’s define the table in Postgres to be replicated…

Show instructions
  1. On Linux or Windows, run the following command to connect to Posgres using psql:

    docker run -it --rm postgres psql -h localhost -U postgres

    On a Mac, use the following command:

    docker run -it --rm postgres psql -h host.docker.internal -U postgres
  2. The password is password (as defined in the docker-compose.yml file).

  3. Define the following orders table, which is a simple table that was specifically chosen to demonstrate mapping a few data types to ClickHouse:

    CREATE TABLE orders (
        id serial NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY, 
        order_date TIMESTAMP NOT NULL,
        description varchar(120) NOT NULL, 
        price float,
        quantity integer,
        shipped boolean
  4. Now insert a few rows:

    INSERT INTO orders (order_date, description, price, quantity, shipped) VALUES ('2021-10-24', 'iPhone 13', 1299.95, 1, false);
    INSERT INTO orders (order_date, description, price, quantity, shipped) VALUES ('2021-10-23', 'Galaxy S21', 1379.95, 1, true);
    INSERT INTO orders (order_date, description, price, quantity, shipped) VALUES ('2021-10-24', 'Google Pixel 6', 499.00, 2, false);

When you define the ClickHouse database, it will perform an initial data dump - so these initial rows will be inserted into ClickHouse automatically.

  1. Leave the psql prompt open - you will use it again later.

3. Define a MaterializedPostgreSQL database

You have two options for replicating Postgres tables to ClickHouse:

We will take a look at the database engine, but both are configured similarly.

Show instructions
  1. In a new terminal, run the following command to connect to your ClickHouse container:

    docker exec -it clickhouse-server /bin/bash
  2. Startup the clickhouse-client:

  3. The MaterializedPostgreSQL database engine is experimental, so you will need to set the following property in order to use it:

    SET allow_experimental_database_materialized_postgresql=1
  4. Run the following command to create the MaterializedPostgreSQL database:

    CREATE DATABASE orders_replicated
    ENGINE = MaterializedPostgreSQL(
    SETTINGS materialized_postgresql_max_block_size =65536,
             materialized_postgresql_tables_list ='orders'

The MaterializedPostgreSQL engine parameters are:

  • host:port
  • database
  • username
  • password
  1. Asynchronously, the data in the orders table of Postgres is being inserted into a new table in the orders_replicated database. Verify it worked by running the following commands:

    SELECT * FROM orders_replicated.orders

    You should see the same three rows that were in the Postgres table!

  2. Let’s see how ClickHouse mapped the data types from Postgres:

    DESCRIBE orders_replicated.orders

4. Add rows to the Postgres table

Let’s see what happens when you add data to the Postgres table…

Show instructions
  1. From the psql prompt, add two new rows to the orders table in Postgres:

    INSERT INTO orders (order_date, description, price, quantity, shipped) VALUES ('2021-10-25', 'iPhone X', 600.00, 3, false);
    INSERT INTO orders (order_date, description, price, quantity, shipped) VALUES ('2021-10-25', 'Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3', 999.99, 1, true);
  2. Back at the clickhouse-client prompt, verify that these two new rows appear in the orders_replicated.orders table:

    SELECT * FROM orders_replicated.orders

    Notice the new rows are automatically replicated over to the corresponding ClickHouse table.

What’s next: Well done! Notice how easy replication is achieved - the MaterializedPostgreSQL is doing all the work for you. Check out the following lessons to continue your journey:

We hope you found this learning module helpful and informative! Please feel free to contact us at [email protected] with any issues, questions, feedback, or ideas for future learning modules.