Oracle announced the latest release of its Data Integrator for Big Data. So what’s new and unique about this offering? Well, frankly, that’s a bit confusing. You may have already seen the coverage of it; I’m not naming names, but a chunk of it has been downright confusing, if not outright misleading or wrong. For instance, much is being made of its ability to allow DBAs to use Big Data tools, thus making “any non-Hadoop developer instantly productive on Hadoop.”
That would be amazing — particularly if this were 2012, when Talend first announced that capability. And Informatica’s Power Exchange, which supports integration to Hadoop, has always been drag-and-drop and used by DBAs. By the way, Oracle first released its Data Integrator for Big Data in 2012.
So what’s the real value-add here?
It’s not so much that Oracle’s offering is the first on some of these capabilities, but more about Oracle helping its 400,000 customers continue to invest in … Oracle. As Cloudtimes points out (emphasis added):
These latest enhancements in Oracle Data Integration Portfolio make a major contender for companies interested in standardizing on Oracle across the spectrum of its infrastructure for big data, from data collection, integration, warehousing, discovery and analysis of big data.
And then there’s this comment by Charles Zedlewski, vice president, products, Cloudera, which was included in the Oracle press release (again, emphasis added):
"These latest enhancements in Oracle Data Integration make the portfolio a primary contender for enterprises interested in standardizing on Oracle across the full spectrum of their big data infrastructures, from data ingest and integration, to warehousing, to discovery and big data analytics.”
As Datanami points out, Oracle dominates the “multi-billion-dollar relational database market,” and that creates a lot of angst about open source Big Data tools. The article explores Oracle’s recent push into the Big Data stack. This kind of play doesn’t just keep Oracle in business. It also keeps Oracle specialists employed so they, presumably, can keep investing in Oracle.
When you come down to it, the big news is that Oracle Data Integrator for Big Data 12c supports Apache’s Pig, Scala and Oozie. Here, Oracle is bringing something new to the table, according to this widely used press release quote from Jeff Pollock, vice president of product management at Oracle:
“This is a significant milestone for big data tools. … In fact, Oracle is the only vendor that can automatically generate Spark, Hive and Pig transformations from a single mapping, which allows our customers to focus on business value and the overall architecture rather than multiple programming languages.”
Oozie is a workflow scheduler system that manages Apache Hadoop jobs. Pig is a platform for creating MapReduce programs on Hadoop, so it’s used to analyze Hadoop store. Scala is an object-oriented programming language. Oracle’s integration blog clarifies this point a bit, noting that the new release supports Spark and Pig, and includes orchestration using Oozie.
In addition, the new edition of Data Integrator for Big Data adds support for other data formats, both cloud and on-premise.
If you’re an Oracle shop and really want to dig into what’s new with this release, check out the company’s whitepaper, “Oracle Data Integrator 12c New Features Overview.”
Loraine Lawson is a veteran technology reporter and blogger. She currently writes the Integration blog for IT Business Edge, which covers all aspects of integration technology, including data governance and best practices. She has also covered IT/Business Alignment and IT Security for IT Business Edge. Before becoming a freelance writer, Lawson worked at TechRepublic as a site editor and writer, covering mobile, IT management, IT security and other technology trends. Previously, she was a webmaster at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and a newspaper journalist. Follow Lawson at Google+ and on Twitter.