Things to Consider When Buying Data Warehouse Tools
By Brian May
Summary: Data warehousing tools are the tools that support data warehouse functions in different stages. These are basically software applications needed for the ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) process. These tools extract and transform data from operational systems and then help load that data into the data warehouse that further assists managers or users of an organization in the business decision-making process. The ETL process involves very complex activities. In order to facilitate the ETL process it is important to employ the right data warehouse tools.

Companies that consider having their data warehouses may buy data warehouse tools from third parties or they can develop their own tools. For this job they often engage in-house programmers. However, when data transformation requirements seem challenging companies are recommended to seek the help of third party tools that would be more advantageous. But when buying data warehousing management tools a few things should be kept in mind. Below are a few aspects that need your attention:

– Functional capability: The tools that you choose should be able to handle both the transformation as well as cleansing part of a data-warehousing project. If a tool has strong capability for both the tasks, then you may consider buying it. It is very important for a data warehouse tool to have strong capability.

– Ability to read directly from data source: A tool should have the ability to read directly from the data source. As we all know a data warehouse gets its data from varied sources and when a tool has this ability it would make the processing faster and more efficient.

– Metadata support: A warehouse management tool must have the capability to handle metadata. This aspect is very important because metadata of a data warehouse is used to map the source data to its destination.

There are plenty of data warehouse management tools developers in the market. To make your search for ETL tools easier below is a piece of information about popular ETL tools:

– The IBM WebSphere DataStage is an ETL tool, formerly known as Ardent DataStage and Ascential DataStage. This is a part of the IBM WebSphere Information Integration suite and the IBM Information Server, which is very easy to use, thanks to its visual interface. The tool is available in many versions including the Server Edition and the Enterprise Edition.

– Business Objects is a French company known for its enterprise software products. Its Data Integrator, integration and ETL tool is a popular product that was previously known as Acta. The ETL tool features the Data Integrator Job Server and the Data Integrator Designer.

– The Ab Initio is software developed by Ab Initio Software Corporation. It is a fourth generation data analysis, data manipulation, batch processing, GUI-based parallel processing ETL tool that comes as a suite of products which include the Co-Operating System, The Component Library, Graphical Development Environment, Enterprise Meta Environment and Data Profiler.

– SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) is an ETL tool that provides a good platform to build data integration, workflow applications and data warehouse management. It is a component of Microsoft SQL Server.

This article was written by Brian May who has worked with companies that offer data warehousing consultants. He truly understands the value that a data warehousing can offer.