AMB Hooks Data Quality Tool into IBM DataStage
July 8, 2008 Alex Woodie
AMB, a developer of data quality tools for i OS and other platforms, recently announced that its InfoPublish data quality tool now supports IBM‘s DataStage and Information Server extract, transformation, and load (ETL) tools. Thanks to AMB’s integration, InfoPublish users can load DB2/400 and DB2 z/OS files directly into IBM’s ETL tools, a process that delivers an extra layer of data cleanliness, the company says.
IBM’s DataStage software, which it obtained years ago with its acquisition of Ascential Software, is an enterprise-strength ETL tool often used for building data warehouses, or other activities that require moving and massaging large quantities of data. IBM Information Server was launched more than two years ago as part of IBM’s $1 billion information management initiative, and combines elements of DataStage with new code from IBM.
While these IBM products offer tremendous scalability and a wide breadth of platform support, their support for the i OS (formerly i5/OS) platform leaves something to be desired. That created a window of opportunity for AMB, a Chicago-based software company that specializes in data quality tools.
It was only two months ago that AMB introduced support for i OS (in addition to z/OS) across its entire Predictive Data Management (PDM) suite of products, in response to customer demand. Difficulty using IBM data quality tools to cleanse the data–IBM often requires users move the data off their big iron boxes–was one of the primarily causes cited by AMB customers.
In June, AMB made another announcement: support for the IBM ETL tools (DataStage and Information Server) within InfoExpose, a component of its PDM suite that’s designed to be a simple-to-use data quality tool that doesn’t require a PhD in mathematics.
With InfoExpose, users can profile their databases–including DB2/400, DB2 for z/OS, Oracle, SQL Server, and others–prior to loading the data into the IBM ETL tools. The results are then displayed within the IBM ETL tool, where the ETL developer will benefit from them.
AMB is complementary to DataStage, and is not intended to be a replacement for the product, according to AMB president Steven Meister. Nevertheless, it does bring several benefits.
First, the and foremost, the data profiling is conducted on the System i server itself, not a Windows or a Unix machine. The AMB software also offers the capability to modify i OS column heading names to fit the DataStage naming requirements, thereby avoiding potential conflicts in naming conventions.
Cost savings is another benefit. AMB’s software supports DataStage version 7, which is used by the bulk of DataStage customers, Meister says. If customers want to move to the newer Information Server software, it requires upgrading DataStage to version 8 and buying a separate component, called the Information Analyzer. By comparison, AMB’s products range from $6,000 to $35,000, which is considerably less than you’ll be paying for IBM’s enterprise-strength ETL and data quality tools.
Meister says profiling and publishing data from InfoExpose represents a big technological step forward for IBM shops. “It allows users to independently profile new sources of information and drop it into DataStage projects when needed,” he says. “ETL developers will have profiling information right in each stage. It’s a great collaborative tool.”