Feeds

Oracle rebuilds Warehouse

New OWB merits serious consideration

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Unsurprisingly, Oracle has announced a whole bunch of new products at Oracle OpenWorld this week. Some of these, like the new version of 11i, will get lots of media attention. One that will not is the new release of Oracle Warehouse Builder (OWB), code-named Paris. However, in its own right it is pretty significant and it merits some serious consideration.

Perhaps the first and most obvious new feature that will be available in the Paris release (which is scheduled to be available by the end of the year) is that you will be able to send data to third party databases as targets. You will, however, have to use Oracle Transparent Gateways to do this, which presumably means that you have to go via an Oracle database. However, as OWB uses the database as its engine this shouldn't be a hardship.

The second major new facility is data profiling. Just how clever this is I do not yet know (I am arranging a detailed briefing) but my guess would be that it is on a par with, or better than, the other ETL vendors that have introduced comparable capabilities over the last year, but not as advanced as the specialised product's from companies like Trillium Software.

There is some other nice stuff in OWB. For example, it understands OLAP and has support for such things as slowly changing dimensions; the cleansing and matching capabilities provided can be integrated with data mining algorithms for enrichment purposes; there is a mapping debugger for transformations; there are extensive new metadata features and expert capabilities; and so on and so forth.

Of course, OWB is about the commoditisation of ETL processes. That is, Oracle wants OWB to be the standard for moving data into an Oracle database (not necessarily a data warehouse) and for ensuring the quality of that information. Microsoft is doing the same with its DTS product and IBM is also pursuing the same path. However, previously the capabilities offered by these vendors have been small beer when compared to the specialist products from the likes of Informatica and Ascential. With the Paris release of OWB this product is starting to look grown up and I expect the same to apply to other database-based products as they reach new releases.

So, the question arises as to how successful these commoditisation efforts will be? The answer probably depends more on the success of Oracle, say, at persuading its users to consolidate on Oracle as opposed to the heterogeneous environments that most companies have. If we make the reasonable (but not always valid) assumption that users only want one ETL tool, then OWB can only become a commodity when the environment itself is dominated by Oracle.

However, there is another major issue. Most users still rely on hand coding for data movement and transformation rather than on ETL tools but, as products such as OWB become more feature-rich and easy to use, Oracle and its counterparts should be able to pick up many new users from their various existing communities. My brief look at OWB suggests that the product has now reached that stage. All Oracle shops should have a serious look at it.

Copyright © 2004, IT-Analysis.com

Related stories

Oracle's biz suite lumbers on stage
Oracle waves goodbye to NetSuite
Oracle closes year with modest revenue run

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
Whistling Google: PLEASE! Brussels can only hurt Europe, not us
And Commish is VERY pro-Google. Why should we worry?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.