Saturday, April 28

Sybase late to the party

Pretty much every vendor has a tool to move information into a data warehouse - an ETL (extract, transform, load) tool. More recently with Oracle and Sunopsis, they have a competing offering with E-L-T tools. And some vendors offer ETLT, like Microsoft's SSIS.

So isn't Sybase late to this party by announcing they are adding to their suite an ETL tool? Unfortunately it does look similar to Oracle's approach of an embedded ETL tool within their database. I'm sure there are technical differences and I'm sure some would say the Sybase IQ ETL tool is separate from and can be used independantly from their Sybase ASE database.

But what's the point?!?

The question if I were a company or IT department looking for ETL is, "if I don't have the Sybase database, why would I look at Sybase ETL tools?" Oracle has a similar problem. I have never heard of Oracle's ETL tools (or any Oracle BI tools) being used with anything but Oracle databases.

It's one of the major drawbacks of having an integrated database with BI/DW tools. Yes, there are advantages to being tightly coupled but aren't they just technical. Are there "true" advantages for companies having an all Oracle or Sybase or Microsoft shop?

Their mantra: the synergy of our single vendor offering is in the overall value, where the value is more than the sum of the pieces (one plus one is three).

But what about doing a 'mix and match' by taking the best tools from the best vendors? Our society wants choice, your company should also have choice. Choosing the tools that meet your company's critieria, such as price, functionality, and ease of use, would reduce your risks of relying on one vendor.
The moral: Purchase tools based on your specific meaningful criteria and don't be caught up with the 'we have that tool as well' sales game.

At least having a choice will ensure you get what you asked for. And you never know, that may be from one vendor afterall.


Vincent McBurney said...

The problem for Sybase is that they started building a data integration suite with integrated metadata, replication, federation and search - but without an ETL tool it's a bit of a lame duck. So they acquired Solande last year and this is the first release with the rebranded product.

It is an inevitable move as Sybase IQ is a BI database and the most popular and useful data integration production tool for BI implementations is ETL. It should earn more revenue than the rest of the DI suite combined. It generates new revenue as they add premium functions such as the expensive encrypted column write support (data quality next?). Business Objects and Informatica both reported huge profit hikes from this same type of software in the last financial reports.

I'm afraid mix and match in data integration is almost gone as this field has evolved from specialist vendors with oustanding tools to very large vendors with patched together suites. They are betting that a suite that seamlessly shares metadata works better than a mix and match approach where each tool can't easily leverage the metadata and functions of other tools.

This suite approach looks good on paper but breaks down if any of the products are weak or poorly integrated. For vendors like Sybase who have acquired tools for a suite they are struggling with the latter.

Anonymous said...

each vendor is providing their own tool because of customer pressure. Customers want db vendors to provide all-up solutions in one box.

This is not to build a new market but to keep their customers happy and satisifed


Cynthia said...

I'm looking for someone who actually uses the Sybase ETL tool in a production environment. My company is considering buying it, but is having a lot of problems getting it to work.