With Open Source ETL, Talend Is a Fashionable Choice
October 27, 2009 Alex Woodie
Better business decisions are in the forecast for Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, a Southern California college that recently implemented the Smart i Appliance, which is based on IBM‘s DB2 Web Query. A key element of the System i-based business intelligence solution is Talend‘s Integration Suite, an extract, transform, and load (ETL) tool that was updated last week to include change data capture for DB2/400, among other new features.
Several years ago, Talend set out to prove that the commercial open source development model can work for ETL tools. After all, the business model was proving successful for many other elements of the modern-day enterprise IT stack, such as operating systems (see Linux) databases (see MySQL), Web application servers (see Redhat‘s JBoss), Web development tools (see PHP), and CRM software (see SugarCRM). So why shouldn’t it work for ETL tools, a product niche closely tied to the booming BI market?
The company’s core offering is Open Studio, an open source ETL offering that is developed on SourceForge and distributed with a GPL license. On top of this free platform, Talend also develops an enterprise-level product called Integration Suite, which is not free, and adds features such as enterprise-level monitoring and workflow control, in addition to professional tech support.
Talend first introduced support for i5/OS and DB2/400 with Integration Suite version 2.2, which shipped two years ago. Since then, the software has been adopted by a handful of System i shops, including the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), which has won two System i Innovation Awards for its aggressive pursuit of cutting-edge System i solutions.
With its implementation of the Smart i Appliance earlier this year, FIDM is once again in the spotlight. The school adopted the Smart i Appliance, which was put together by a pair of Southern California IBM business partners, Key Information Systems and Systech Solutions, to expand its business intelligence reporting functionality.
As part of that work, Talend’s ETL technology was brought in to replace a competing ETL solution. The school uses the subscription-based Talend Integration Suite to move data among the various systems, as well as for managing the overall flow of data within the BI implementation.
According to Roxanne Reynolds-Lair, FIDM’s chief information officer, the Talend ETL component of the Smart i Appliance runs two to three times faster than the old ETL tool. “This is a huge benefit for us, and it enables our team to retrieve accurate, timely reports that make a significant business impact,” Reynolds-Lair says in a press release. The accessibility to technical service and the fact that Talend is located in the U.S., whereas the old ETL tool vendor was located overseas, also influenced FIDM’s decision.
Now, Talend is releasing an updated version of its Integration Suite that should provide even faster ETL processing for its System i customers like FIDM, as well as customers running Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle databases.
Talend Integration Suite version 3.2 introduces support for changed data capture (CDC) functionality on DB2/400, SQL Server, and Oracle. Talend is using log-based CDC to speed the process of identifying parts of a database that have been updated, which should translate into even faster processing.
The new release also supports a new embedded rules engine. The new engine is based on Red Hat’s JBoss Rules technology and should make it easier for users to view and change integration workflows.
Talend customers will also be able to create recovery checkpoints, thanks to the new error recovery management feature. This will make it easier to resume integration processes following errors.
Data replication tasks should be easier as the result of new features that automatically create migration or replication processes, based on metadata that already exists in a user’s environment.
Talend Integration Suite version 3.2 is available now. The software is available in team, professional, and enterprise editions. The software is also available as a service (SaaS) over the Internet. For more information visit www.talend.com.
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