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We are making a decision about selecting which ETL tools we should use.

    Ask The Experts published in DMReview.com
December 1, 1999
  By David Marco


We are making a decision about selecting which ETL tools we should use. Currently, we have a few choices: ETI, Informatica, Neon and UDI. Could you please give me some suggestions about how we can pick the right product and what we should consider? Are there are other companies that have the same environment we have that you can share how they selected their ETL tools? Our source system is OS/390 IBM (DB2 V4.1), Vsam, flat files and other systems, PC, Unix, etc. The target system will be OS/390 IBM DB2 V6.1. We are a commercial banking company. Can you please give some suggestions?


David Marco's Answer: The subject of comparing ETL products could take a lot of time to walk through. However, I'll give you a couple of advanced tips. First, anytime I talk with a software vendor, I always tell them that I will feel very uncomfortable if I don't walk away from the discussion with three problems with the tool. I say this because no tool does everything you want it to do. If you are not seeing the challenges with the tool then all you're getting is "marketing speak." Second, as with all software, ETL tools come with high learning curves. These learning curves have sunk more then one project. What will greatly reduce your risk of failure is to have a person that understands how to architect with the specific ETL tool. On the other hand, be prepared to pay a hefty fee for this person. Top-of-the-line people are in high demand, but they are worth the investment because of the amount of time and pain they can save. As a result, before the software is purchased, I interview the proposed architect and we make that person's time a condition of the sale.

Sid Adelman's Answer: The first thing you need to do is establish criteria for selection (e.g., platform), ease of use, learning curve, price, outside consultants required, performance and vendor characteristics. An easy way to get started would be to attend one of Pieter Mimno's seminars.


For more information on related topics visit the following related portals...
Financial Industry and ETL.

David Marco is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of enterprise architecture, data warehousing and business intelligence and is the world's foremost authority on meta data. He is the author of Universal Meta Data Models (Wiley, 2004) and Building and Managing the Meta Data Repository: A Full Life-Cycle Guide (Wiley, 2000). Marco has taught at the University of Chicago and DePaul University, and in 2004 he was selected to the prestigious Crain's Chicago Business "Top 40 Under 40."  He is the founder and president of Enterprise Warehousing Solutions, Inc., a GSA schedule and Chicago-headquartered strategic partner and systems integrator dedicated to providing companies and large government agencies with best-in-class business intelligence solutions using data warehousing and meta data repository technologies. He may be reached at (866) EWS-1100 or via e-mail at DMarco@EWSolutions.com.

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