Feeds

Sorting the ETL men from the boys

Diverging paths

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Comment The ETL (extract, transform and load) market, far from commoditising, is diverging. To begin with, ETL is no longer an appropriate term to use, both because operations are no longer limited to the order indicated but also because the technology encompasses far more than just moving data into a warehouse. However, I don't like the alternatives such as "data movement" and "data transfer" much, while "data integration" is too broad, so I guess we are stuck with ETL. However, this is by no means the only area of divergence.

Perhaps the most obvious change in the market is the growth in code generating products and there is now a clear split in the market between black box solutions and code generating approaches. While the former saw off the previous generation of code-based products a decade ago, it is by no means clear cut that they will do so again: SQL and Java are much more portable than the Cobol-based products of the early nineties.

Code-based approaches are also helped by the many ISVs that want the ability to embed specific ETL capabilities within their own products, and there are a number of newer ETL suppliers specifically targeting this market either directly or in a complementary fashion. For example, Baycastle focuses on doing things like moving data into contact management systems.

Another major change has been the advent of Open Source (Clover and Kinetic Networks' KETL) products and even shareware products (DB Software), which should help to drive user acceptance of the "don't hand code" message and which can only benefit everybody.

However, returning to the established players versus the new entrants discussion, the big advantage that the former have is that they provide lots of complementary functionality, notably with data quality, enterprise information and application integration and so on, though this is not limited to black-box solutions (witness Sunopsis).

Finally, the latest area of divergence is in the ability to support the extraction, transformation and loading of unstructured and semi-structured content. Of course, the concept of unstructured content is a nonsense – if it was really unstructured it would collapse into a heap – but, for the purposes of this discussion I mean Word and pdf documents and the like on the one hand (unstructured) and HIPAA, EDIFACT, SWIFT and similar documents (semi-structured on the other).

Of course, this is not entirely new: Ascential has had abilities in the area of semi-structured data ever since it bought Mercator (now DataStage TX), while Hummingbird has offered the ability to extract unstructured content for some time, largely because it is the only ETL vendor that is also a major content/document management provider. However, Informatica has now added this capability as generic functionality and other vendors are likely to follow suit.

If the ability to build applications that combine content and data is to be the major growth area that many suspect that it will be, then the ability to support ETL functions against content as opposed to data is likely to be a defining factor and will sort out the ETL men from the boys.

Copyright © 2005, IT-Analysis.com

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.