If you’re curious about data virtualization tools, you can now tinker for free: Denodo is offering a free version of its data virtualization platform, along with access to a support community.
Trimmed-down, free or limited-use versions of integration tools are nothing new to the industry. For years, vendors have given developers a version of their tool for free download. This allowed companies to learn and test the solution, then quickly scale up to the full version if they liked it.
Though free or trial tools are common, this is the first time a data virtualization vendor has offered one, according to Denodo SVP Suresh Chandrasekaran.
“Since it’s free for life and there’s no risk, Denodo Express is especially valuable for users who want to try data virtualization but may not have the budget or the authority to get started,” Chandrasekaran told Sand Hill when the tool first launched. “They can get started virtually in minutes and begin integrating data assets from disparate heterogeneous sources, regardless of their location.”
By structuring the free offering as unlimited (with a free license that does require yearly renewal), you’ll be able to use it for smaller projects without worrying about unexpected fees. Of course, if you want to scale to the enterprise level, you’ll have to buy the full Denodo Platform 5.5.
In addition to the free tool, registered users gain access to a Denodo Express community, which includes online tutorials, how-tos and support from more established Denodo users.
Chandrasekaran said the company did a “soft launch” in September to target specific user groups and build up the developer community. It’s now established enough for broader promotion, he added.
Let’s get to the nitty gritty, though: What do developers and data architects get to play with by downloading the tool?
To download Denodo Express, you’ll need to register for a one-year, free, renewable license and go — there are no plans to charge for this tool. The tool is limited in scale to 10,000 results per query, so you’re actually getting a complete data virtualization tool, including:
- Data connectors for integration to a variety of sources, including Salesforce.com data, small databases or spreadsheets
- A batch scheduler for ETL
- Ability to securely publish data services via SOAP or REST, XML, JSON, or widgets
- Real-time query optimization
- Web and unstructured semantic structuring
- GUI-based studio
Even though Denodo Express launched earlier this year, a Denodo spokesperson said it’s based on the enterprise-scale Denodo Platform 5.5, which released Dec. 15.
If you’re interested in the full platform, it’s worth noting that the Denodo 5.5 Platform includes support for more data types, bigger data volumes, as well as data and metadata discovery. Among 5.5’s new features:
- Additional adapters to connect to data sources from Netezza, SAP BW, Excel and SaaS applications. It also improves connectivity by incorporating enhanced support for advanced features such as geospatial data types and introspection of stored procedures. It also supports a wider range of connectivity options to NoSQL data repositories, the press release notes.
- An enriched execution engine and more workload management options.
- More support for self-serve BI and analytics through data discovery, metadata searches and tighter integration with self-service BI tools such as Tableau and Microstrategy.
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.