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November 3, 2010

How to Evaluate an ETL Tool

Filed under: ETL — Katherine Vasilega @ 8:44 am

Before making a decision about purchasing commercial software or downloading an open source ETL tool, you need to research the market. What are the features you should look for in the ideal ETL software? Here is a list of steps to help you decide if a certain ETL tool suits your requirements.

    • Which operating systems the ETL tool supports
    • What amount of data within a certain period the tool is capable of processing
    • What types of data sources have connectivity with this ETL tool
    • Check the data format that you are going to use with this tool: Text, CSV, XML, Databases (Oracle, MySQL, SQL Suite, DB2, Sybase), EDI, HIPAA, ACORD AL3, any fixed-length file format, or any other format
    • Is the ETL tool desktop or Web-based?
    • Find out about the process of enforcing the data validation rules. Are they user-friendly?
    • Does it offer comprehensive data mapping rules?
    • What are the logging features?
    • You also have to check the loads and find out how the ETL tools handles error conditions

It is also helpful to obtain a customer reference from each ETL vendor, or search community forums (if it is an open source tool) to get the reviews written by a company that needs the same functionality as your organization. You have to focus on key technical and business needs to make sure that the customer reference is helpful for the ETL evaluation process.

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