Survey Gives What, Why and Where on Open Source Data-Integration Tools

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Open source integration and middleware solutions are generating a lot more interest these days, in part because of the economy and in part because several European governments-and possibly the Obama adminstration - are pursuing open source solutions.


Most recently, there's been a lot of coverage of a survey on the use of open source data-integration tools. The survey was conducted by the open source data-integration company Talend.


It seems to be generating more attention in the UK than the United States-again, probably because European governments are actively studying open source - even though the survey respondents came primarily from the U.S. at 56.5 percent.


There were two items I found particularly interesting about this survey:


  1. Nearly a third, or 31 percent, of more than 1,000 respondents say they use open source data-integration tools in addition to proprietary offerings-a finding that Computerworld focused on in its coverage of the survey.
  2. Surprisingly, the free license wasn't at the top of the list when respondents were asked about the advantages of open source data-integration tools, according to IT Pro's report. Instead, ease of use, at 59 percent, and the performance, at 54 percent, were the primary advantages cited. In fact, the licensing issue ranked fourth, behind "no vendor lock." Go figure.


There are a lot of little interesting findings in the survey, such as where companies are deploying open source tools. Batch operational data integration and data loading topped the list of ways companies used open source tools, for instance.


In its white paper on the survey, Talend gave its opinion on why IT managers should give open source tools another look in this economy:

"The global economy is imposing cost controls on IT Managers, both in terms of staff and software, at a time when data integration represents an increasingly larger percentage of the enterprise IT budget. Asked to do more with less, IT personnel would better off spending cycles on tasks other than the time consuming manual scripting needed to meet custom requirements. And software resources with lower acquisition and operation costs allow IT Managers to deploy more easily enterprise-grade solutions."


But if you really want the skinny on Talend and the adoption status of open source tools, I'd check out what James Governor, aka Redmonk, had to say on the topic. Governor chatted last month with Talend's VP of Marketing, Yves de Montcheuil, when Monteuil acknowledged that CIOs have not traditionally viewed open source offerings as ready for the big league. He contends that's changed, of course.


Governor takes a look at Monteuil's argument-much of which he doesn't seem to view as adequate proof, but some of which he does-and then wrote up his own assessment of why he thinks companies should take a look at open source, and Talend in particular.


"What struck me clearly is that Talend has a solid momentum story, and in this economy pretty much every software license should be reassessed in light of open source alternatives," Governor wrote.


He was also impressed with Talend's client list, which includes eBay, Yahoo and Virgin Mobile, as well as Talend's multiligual support and 400 connectors, created largely by the community.


And if Governor's opinion isn't enough for you, consider this impressive bit of news: Talend recently raised $12 million in Series C funding.

If you'd like to read Talend's full report on the survey, it's available online for free download, but you'll have to hand over some basic contact information first. The download page includes other reports, so you'll want to make sure you're downloading, "Usage Landscape Enterprise Open Source Data Integration."


For a look at using open source ESBs (enterprise service bus) in particular, check out my recent Q&A with Java architect Tijs Rademaker, co-author of "Open Source ESBs in Action."