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October 7, 2010

Should ETL Support HTML?

Filed under: ETL — Tags: , — Katherine Vasilega @ 3:57 am

While ETL stands for Extract, Transform, and Load, the most important and useful function of the tool is to transform the data so it can be properly structured.

Traditional ETL vendors are most effective for extracting and loading data from sources which can be accessed in traditional ways through SQL, XML, or program APIs. Their ETL products are not very functional when it comes to transforming data from applications that are Web-based. Meanwhile, when accessing data from the Web, the transforming capability is crucial since the data is typically unstructured there. Remember, the more structure you can add to your data, the higher the value you will get.

This is one of the reasons you have to identify your technical criteria and business parameters before deploying the ETL tool. You have to consider the following:

• Do you need support for Web services?
• How scalable is the tool?
• Does it provide a trial version?
• Does it run the required transactions at the speed you need?
• What will the total cost of ownership be?
• Is there a community behind the ETL tool to fix bugs, develop new connectors, and create data maps?

Whether you are using ETL processes for data warehousing, business intelligence, or legacy systems integration initiatives, it’s a good idea to choose the tool that allows users to extract and load data to and from all the data sources, including the Web. It is important, because the data we need for business analysis and decision making changes more rapidly. It is a good idea to access the up-to-date information to be able to respond to the ever changing business needs.

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