Contrary to many studies that evaluate ETL tools based only on their current market share and functionality, our study (the ETL Tools & Data Integration Survey) also attempts to evaluate ETL tools based on their expected future performance.
The market is changing quickly
With the market changing as quickly as it is today, market share is about the past, and says little about the future. Many products, including WordPerfect, Lotus 123, and Harvard Graphics once had a huge market share, but proved to have very little future potential. The growth potential as defined within the confines of this ETL study looks at how frequently a vendor releases new, valuable features; an important indicator for innovation and the strategic importance of the product to the vendor.
Can you calculate the growth rate?
Originally we looked at the number of features a product had and compared that with the number of years the product had been on the market to calculate a growth rate. We have stopped doing that for two reasons; firstly there are a number of relatively new products on the marketplace with a broad functionality who would score unreasonably highly if we calculated this way. Secondly, many of the products have been acquired and given a new name, allowing the suppliers to claim that they have only recently entered the market.
How much functionality has been added in the last 3 years?
The growth potential looks at a combination of how complete a product is, i.e. the total number of features (including ease-of-use, connectivity, and platform support) and how much functionality has been added in the last three years. This gives some indication of the investment that can be expected in the product and is an important issue when choosing a product. It is best to avoid products that are still coasting on past glories and not investing in the future.
Which ETL tools will dominate the market in the coming years?
Can we look ahead and measure which of the products will still be strong and which will not? We have made an attempt to do just that. When reading the chart below we should point out that not all the vendors complete our information requests at the same time, as an example we have just re-evaluated both CloverETL release 3.1.2 and Talend’s new release of Open Studio for Data Integration 5.2, this means that they may score higher on future prospects at the moment because the new developments in that release have just been taken into account.
Oracle ODI & PowerCenter
Oracle’s ODI product has been added, but since it was based on the old Sunopsis product, which we had evaluated in the past, we used that data when calculating improvements. It has been noticeable in the last three years that the products that have been withdrawn from the marketplace have all scored badly in this category. When using this measure, it is important to take account of the functionality that was already in the product in the past. PowerCenter Informatica, for example, has always had a very high level of functionality. As a percentage their improvement over the last three years has been relatively small because of where they started, but we are not suggesting that their future prospects are anything but good.
Only a few surprises
The graph ‘Future prospects’ in our ETL Tools & Data Integration Survey produces only a few surprises. In the Pure ETL category, Talend does well because the product was very poor and has been very substantially improved, and Oracle Data Integrator does well partly because it was based on the Sunopsis product, which was originally fairly weak, and partly because the new product is rich in functionality.
Earn a good return on investment
Clover ETL has scored highly for a product just entering the report. These companies all have the resources to invest in new functionality and the reputation in the marketplace to earn a good return on investment, but their investment has a price: four of these six products top the list of the most expensive products as well. As we have already stated it is almost impossible to compare prices on a general basis because of the different ways in which the price lists are structured, it is however possible to give broad indications and with the exception of Oracle Warehouse Builder and Talend they are all in the luxury range; very good value for money, but still in the luxury price range.
OWB includes most of their very broad ETL functionality in the price of their database – but their database is not cheap either, and given the functionality nobody would expect it to be. It is clear that Oracle Data Integrator is going to be an important product in this market space, as is BusinessObjects Data Services, particularly among existing SAP users.