Talend have released a new version of their Open Studio ETL tool. Not as full featured as Pentaho Kettle; only supports a limited number of databases and file formats – no SQLite support shock-horror! The press release promises More than 100 Native Connectors and promises connectors to ERP and CRM tools but I couldn’t find them (maybe they meant the ODBC support – well I guess I managed to connect the SQLite using this ODBC driver so maybe there’s an ODBC driver for SAP!). Compared to Kettle the design GUI runs much slower (built on an Eclipse platform, say no more).
But two things impressed…
Talend Open Studio is not an ETL engine as such, it’s a code generator. When I last looked at it, it generated Perl code but this release now also generates Java and not only that, it packages the resulting code ready to be deployed on any Windows or *nix platform, no Talend installation required. This could be an alternative to my Ruby/SQLite micro ETL idea, especially as SQLite support appears to be in the works.
The XML and CSV import components are excellent, especially the XML functionality. The Kettle equivalents work but they never felt like they provided a productivity gain and for me that’s what matters. Once I have data within either a database or an Excel environment I don’t need any other tools, it’s how well and how cost effectively an ETL tool handles the parsing, scheduling, provisioning, distribution and logging of external (usually XML,CSV and Excel) data that matters to me. Talend is now definitely a contender.