There aren't a lot of vendors boasting of their ETL tools these days. Extract, transform and load seems so well, basic, in this age of Big Data, cloud and virtualization.
But whoa there, Silver. If you look a little closer, you'll see that ETL is actually the workhorse driving most of today's "hot" integration solutions, according to this year's Forrester Wave: Enterprise ETL, Q1, by Principal Analyst Noel Yuhanna. He writes:
Data Integration Remains a Major IT Headache
Study shows that data integration is still costly and requires a lot of manual coding.
Product marketers working for ETL vendors have worked feverishly to lose the ETL' from their product names, marketing collateral, and websites, instead positioning their solutions as comprehensive data integration platforms. And while the data integration platform' moniker is accurate for most of the vendors that have since added complementary capabilities like data profiling, data quality, metadata management, CDC, and data federation to complement their ETL core, the fact remains that many of their customers are only looking for an ETL solution.
In fact, Yuhanna predicts organizations will become more dependent on ETL than ever before, largely because ETL supports the "heavy lifting of data from transactional systems to operational data stores, data warehouses, BI platforms, MDM hubs, the cloud, and Hadoop platforms."
Yuhanna identifies all the "new" technologies where, if you wash off the paint, you'll find that old workhorse, ETL, driving the integration, including:
Social data is a big component of Big Data, too, so watch for ETL vendors to start promoting solutions that target the integration of social media. Informatica got the ball rolling on this use case at its recent analyst summit by demonstrating how its data management platform could be applied to social media tools such as LinkedIn and Facebook.
Ventana Research CEO and Chief Research Officer Mark Smith said Informatica had taken "the most progressive position of any vendor in data integration and information management toward social media" and social media is expected to play a big role in Informatica's push to become a $3 billion revenue company.
But with other ETL vendors offering connectors to Hadoop and Big Data solutions, I suspect Informatica will soon have competition in that space.
The Forrester Wave report is available for free download and definitely worth a quick read, particularly if you - like many organizations - are thinking about investing in an ETL tool. What's nice about the Wave - as compared to Gartner's Magic Quadrant on data integration tools - is that they look at a few more solutions and give you some perspective on when you might use less well-known solutions, including Pervasive, Pentaho, Talend and Syncsort. It also offers an assessment of Microsoft's SQL Server Integration Services, which will be tempting for many since it comes with SQL Server, but is typically used in addition to an enterprise-wide ETL tool, he says.
Forrester's Wave on ETL is available for $2,495 on the research firm's site or Pervasive Software is offering it as a free download, if you're willing to provide the usual registration information.