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December 7, 2009

Choosing ETL That Fits Your Business Requirements II: Consider Open Source

Filed under: Data Integration, ETL, Open Source — Tags: , — Olga Belokurskaya @ 1:49 am

I suppose this posting to be a kind of a continuation of the previous one. Here I’m again about ETL and data integration solutions selection, but I’d like to concentrate on open source ETL. I won’t make any discovery if, again, repeat that today’s open source solutions are good enough for ETL operations, and  data integration and BI experts are expecting them to develop into solutions for master data management.

But today, open source ETL provides alternative to proprietary solutions which are usually costly and supposed to be used for more complex data integration processes, apart from mere ETL. However, for mid-sized and small businesses that, as a rule, have smaller budgets and smaller open source ETL solutions are a means to address their data integration needs.

But I was about business requirements, or rather how open source ETL tools may address company’s business requirements for data. Here I see several ways:

First, if a company by chance has a couple of their own developers, they could make necessary customization to company’s ETL, thanks to the availability of the code.

Then, as a rule, open source solutions are supported by developers’ communities, some of which are really powerful. So, the community behind the open source ETL that a company uses may help with needed functionality or customization of existing ones to meet company’s business requirements.

And don’t forget about the vendor itself. A company may address directly to the vendor of their open source ETL and require additional functionalities that meet company’s peculiar needs.

And, as a rule, any of the actions described above will cost less and the result will take less time to deliver than in case with proprietary data integration tools.

Well, though the posting sounds so bright, there still may be issues with open source, such as vendors that stop supporting their solutions, etc. However with the communities behind, and thanks to the openness of the code, the chances to overcome those issues seem to me higher than in case with proprietary solutions.

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