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MattCasters
10-14-2008, 12:50 PM
Belgian consultancy company Element 61 (http://www.element61.be) has just posted an opinion piece (http://www.element61.be/eng/default.asp?WebpageId=52) under the disguise of a review on open source ETL.
What a load of utter nonsens. Try reading this:

Instead of using SQL statements to transform data, an Open Source ETL tool gives the developer a standard set of functions, error handling rules and database connections. The integration of all these different components is done by the Open Source ETL tool provider. The straightforward transformations can be implemented very quickly, without the hassle of writing queries, connecting to data sources or writing your own error handling process. When there are complex transformations to make, Open Source ETL tools will often not offer out-of-the-box solutions.
Well Mr Jan Claes, we’re perfectly capable of handling quite complex transformation with high performance too. If Kettle isn’t capable of handling your ETL needs, neither is Informatica, DataStage, OWB or BODI. If you prefer Oracle Warehouse builder because it allows you to squeeze PL/SQL or SQL into your ETL tool, than that’s fine, just don’t use false arguments to dis open source ETL tools. ETL tools should allow you to write LESS code and make it easier to maintain your transformations, not more. Being open source has nothing to do with that fact.

Most reputed ETL-vendors provide an extensive amount of connections to all sorts of data sources. This is a problem with Open Source ETL tools: most of them are based on Java architecture and need JDBC to connect to a database. In the basic license, a few connections are available but when there is a need for extra connections, the customer has to pay an extra fee and/or for some platforms (like mainframe sources) nothing might be available.
You have to be kidding, right? Kettle supports 34 database types + generic ODBC, OCI and JNDI connections out the box for free. On top of that we connect to legacy systems like SAP/R3 and obviously your mainframe as well if needed (very few people ever do). The painful truth is that we’re doing better, not worse.

Java & XML knowledge required for complex transformations.
This comment just made the article provably false since you never need any Java or XML knowledge to use Pentaho Data Integration. (I’m sure the same goes for Talend by the way)

Lack of skills, knowledge & resources.
Pentaho has plenty of partners , even in Belgium. (Cronos (http://www.cronos.be) for example) We also have the lead developer of Pentaho Data Integration (me) working in Belgium as well as Davy Nys our Sales Representative. Professional support, training (on site if needed) is offered as well.
In these turbulent financial times, open source ETL it exactly the answer to constantly shrinking budgets and that is why Pentaho is doing better than ever before despite the credit crunch.
Element 61 in the mean time needs to get hit with a clue stick. It’s one thing to accept money from the big boys, it’s a completely different thing to spread demonstrable lies.
Until next time,
Matt


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