IBM DataStage

Datastage is the IBM Infosphere ETL tool and is a big component of their overall BI and datawarehousing offering. Although its not directly in its Business Analytics branch, it could be considered part of its enterprise BI stack, especially when coupled with DB2 or other IBM data storage solutions.

Among the large BI vendors (SAP, IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft) IBM has arguably the most developed and universal tool. Oracle Warehouse Builder, SAP’s solutions are not as platform agnostic, and Microsoft SSIS certainly is not. Really, the main competitors in the space Informatica, Adeptia, and to some extent Ab Initio.

Along with DB2 and Cognos, Datastage is the extract, transform, and load component of their end to end BI stack. It gives them a one stop shop for end to end enterprise data integration, especially so if you also consider IBM’s point of sale systems.

For the most part, this is considered one of the more “premium” ETL products out on the market. Compared with some of the open source and cheaper smaller vendors, it offers quite a bit of scalability, as would be expected. This tool is designed to be robust with an enterprise data warehouse view. To that end, it supports massive parallel computing and symmetric multi-processing. While it does have a lot of support for different platforms and scaled processing, it can quickly get complex, especially for a complicated ETL implementation (aren’t they always). Still, at the high end of the market, I expect it to remain strong. It will be interesting to see if it is integrated more into the Cognos BI suite, but for the most part I expect it to remain separate as the processes are related but work on different time frames.

With the acquisition of Cognos, expect to see more of the BI projects using that solution now start using IBM ETL as well, especially larger scale implementations. The combined licensing abilities will make it more attractive.

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