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April 14, 2009

Open Source Tools - Good Choice For ETL

Filed under: ETL, Open Source — Tags: , — Olga Belokurskaya @ 2:14 am

According to Ted Friedman, an analyst with Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc., more and more companies start considering open source IT technologies as the economy continues sliding down. Surely, it’s done to keep costs down, which is a major driver of open source technologies of all kinds including open source data integration software.

However, one should take into account that open source data integration tools are not absolutely cost-free.  You don’t have to buy licenses from open source software providers, what you certainly have to do dealing with their commercial counterparts. Customers still must pay for support and maintenance and for internal manpower to run and monitor the software.

There is one more thing one should take into account with regards to open source software. According to Friedman:

 ”We definitely are seeing an increased interest in open source tools in the data integration space. But open source solutions are not nearly as well proven in large-scale, mission-critical implementations.”

Most open source data integration software is geared to traditional extract, transform and load (ETL) methods. As for data virtualization and enterprise information integration, real-time data integration methods like change data capture – they are not well represented, at least at this point, in the open source community. Open source metadata management capabilities are also “lighter” than most on-premises variants.

There is a continuous growth of interest in open source ETL and other open source technologies, as the recession continues to put pressure on IT departments to do more with fewer resources.

Friedman’s recommendation for companies is to consider open source data integration software to reduce costs “when your requirements map well to the level of maturity of the open source solution,” which, as he reiterated, are mostly geared to standard ETL.

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