Who's In, Who's Out in Gartner's New Data Integration Magic Quadrant

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In November, Gartner released a fourth-quarter "refresh" of its "Magic Quadrant for Data Integration Tools," and guess what? I've found free copies of the $1,995 report.


Informatica and Talend are offering a free download of the Nov. 25 update. As you might expect, both companies performed well in this quarter's magic quadrant.


If you're not familiar with the Magic Quadrant, it's a four-square box that evaluates vendors based on completeness of vision and ability to execute. Leaders "execute well today and are well-positioned for tomorrow." Other rankings are "Challengers," companies with a more complete vision but don't understand market direction; "Visionaries," which understand market direction, but rank lower in ability to execute; and "Niche" players, which fall along the lower parts of both scales.


IBM, Informatica and SAP Business Objects returned in the leader's quadrant, where they were joined by a 2008 "Challenger" company, Oracle.


The Magic Quadrant shows Informatica maturing along the completeness of vision scale, but it still trails behind IBM in this regard. On the other hand, in 2008, IBM seemed more on par with Informatica in terms of ability to execute, but this year, it's obviously situated below Informatica. The report briefly mentions Informatica 9, which CTO Edge's Mike Vizard says "transforms middleware," but the new platform doesn't seem to have factored into this year's rankings. It'll be interesting to see how Informatica 9's release affects the company's position next year.


Microsoft is the only player listed in the Challenger quadrant this year, though it, too, is edging ever closer to the leader quadrant.


SAS/DataFlux, Pervasive Software, iWay Software, Sybase and Talend ranked as Visionaries, while Syncsort, Pitney Bowes Business Insight, ETI and Open Text fell into the Niche quadrant, although Deloitte manager Vincent McBurney points out ETI and Open Text "are in free fall and won't be staying in the quadrant much longer."


McBurney's post on the topic also includes a nice graph showing how companies shifted from last year's rankings-although, personally, I liked the graph he used in 2008 better.


Significantly, this is the first time an open source vendor, Talend, has ranked in the Data Integration Magic Quadrant. It's actually something of a sore spot among the open source community, which has accused Gartner of only including companies who "paid" to be in the quadrant.


In fact, last year, Talend's VP of Marketing, Yves de Montcheuil, wrote a pretty disgruntled post criticizing Gartner's Data Integration Magic Quadrant, which, in turn, led to a defense and explanation of the selection process by Gartner's Andreas Bitterer. (A lawsuit on such claims has been thrown out.)


So, it's fun (for me, at least) to note that the 2009 report actually includes a hefty paragraph addressing why it is just now including an open source vendor:

In prior analyses, none of the open-source offerings met the functional inclusion criteria, nor did providers offering solutions based on open-source models gain adoption in the market substantial enough to satisfy the quantitative inclusion criteria (revenue and/or number of maintenance-paying customers). During 2009 this situation changed, with Talend delivering the necessary product capabilities and also reaching a significant state of adoption with its subscription offering.

Naturally, de Montcheuil's was much happier with the Quadrant this year, and moved to put to rest rumors that companies pay to be included:

I have seen many implications amounting to "you have to pay to be included.' Well, I can affirm loud and clear that this is not true. At the time I write this post, Talend has never paid a penny to Gartner.

Politics and tiffs aside, the report includes a great deal of information about the strengths and possible weaknesses of each integration vendor. It also includes a list and summary of unranked solutions.


It also explains the absence of Sun Microsystems and Tibco from this year's quadrant. Sun Microsystems was removed because it's shifted away from data integration and lacked "demonstrated market adoption of bulk/batch-oriented data delivery functionality." Tibco has simply ceased to offer data integration technology for bulk/batch data delivery.