Monday, September 15, 2008

Coming Soon: Open Source ETL Conversion Tool

Last count their are about a dozen ETL vendors in the market. This includes Informatica, IBM, Talend, Apatar, Ab Initio, Expressor-Software, Business Objects/SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, Cognos/IBM, Pentaho (Kettle), SAS, Enhydra Octopus and probably more that I'm missing. The challenge? Nothing that you do in each one of these products is portable to migrate to another ETL tool. I can see why this is the case. It's about lock-in. Once you build an integration using an ETL tool, depending on the complexity, it is very difficult to swap out one for another. This certainly keeps the prices up in the proprietary vendor community. ASP's in this space are probably around 200K or more. For all the years that these products have been in the market, its amazing that nothing has been pursued to produce an ETL process standard like what has been in with BPEL (Business Process Execution Language). I guess my entrepreneurial instincts lean towards thoughts of creating an open source ETL Conversion tool for the market. Although very difficult to build, thus a barrier to entry, I suppose that building it as an open source solution might be the best approach. No one really owns it and it would benefit customers as they will have an option to jump out of one ETL product to another without feeling locked in forever.

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