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October 16, 2009

Data Integration: ETL vs. Hand-coding

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

I’d like again to touch upon the use hand-coding and ETL tools for data integration. There seem to be some misunderstanding about what is better and more productive way for data integration. The thing is, that many companies keep hand-coding which is, according to Rick Sherman, an outdated method. Here is why:

Hand-coding is complex, as the amount of data increases and tasks become more complex. Many pages of SQL code for each data source, multiple scripts on duty of gathering data from different sources are hard to keep up-to-date. Moreover, they become more and more expensive in the long term perspective, while the productivity decreases.

ETL tools, while may seem costly on the initial level, use most of common processes, have many possibilities for transformation, and pre-built options to meet different levels of data integration tasks. So, in the long term they turn more productive and cost-cutting, as programmers don’t waste their time and you budget.

Some more about the cost. The times of extremely expensive ETL tools have passed. Today various offerings are available for different budgets and needs. Moreover, there’s a range of open source data integration tools which are, according to experts from Gartner, are really good choice for standard ETL tasks.

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