Feeds

Oracle rebuilds Warehouse

New OWB merits serious consideration

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.