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Buyer's Guide
Data Integration Tools
September 2022
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CDE & BI Delivery Manager at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Connects to different databases, origins of data, files, and SFTP
Pros and Cons
  • "I can create faster instructions than writing with SQL or code. Also, I am able to do some background control of the data process with this tool. Therefore, I use it as an ELT tool. I have a station area where I can work with all the information that I have in my production databases, then I can work with the data that I created."
  • "I work with different databases. I would like to work with more connectors to new databases, e.g., DynamoDB and MariaDB, and new cloud solutions, e.g., AWS, Azure, and GCP. If they had these connectors, that would be great. They could improve by building new connectors. If you have native connections to different databases, then you can make instructions more efficient and in a more natural way. You don't have to write any scripts to use that connector."

What is our primary use case?

I just use it as an ETL. It is a tool that helps me work with data so I can solve any of my production problems. I work with a lot of databases. Therefore, I use this tool to keep information organized. 

I work with a virtual private cloud (VPC) and VPN. If I work in the cloud, I use VPC. If I work on-premises, I work with VPNs.

How has it helped my organization?

I can create faster instructions than writing with SQL or code. Also, I am able to do some background control of the data process with this tool. Therefore, I use it as an ELT tool. I have a station area where I can work with all the information that I have in my production databases, then I can work with the data that I created.

Right now, I am working in the business intelligence area. However, we use BI in all our companies. So, it is not only in one area. So, I create different data parts for different business units, e.g., HR, IT, sales, and marketing.

What is most valuable?

A valuable feature is the number of connectors that I have. So, I can connect to different databases, origins of data, files, and SFTP. With SQL and NoSQL databases, I can connect, put it in my instructions, send it to my staging area, and create the format. Thus, I can format all my data in just one process.

What needs improvement?

I work with different databases. I would like to work with more connectors to new databases, e.g., DynamoDB and MariaDB, and new cloud solutions, e.g., AWS, Azure, and GCP. If they had these connectors, that would be great. They could improve by building new connectors. If you have native connections to different databases, then you can make instructions more efficient and in a more natural way. You don't have to write any scripts to use that connector.

Hitachi can make a lot of improvements in the tool, e.g., in performance or latency or putting more emphasis on cloud solutions or NoSQL databases. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have more than 15 years of experience working with it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability depends on the version. At the beginning, it was more focused on stability. As of now, some things have been deprecated. I really don't know why. However, I have been pretty happy with the tool. It is a very good tool. Obviously, there are better tools, but Pentaho is fast and pretty easy to use. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. 

How are customer service and support?

Their support team will receive a ticket on any failures that you might have. We have a log file that lets us review our errors, both in Windows and Unix. So, we are able to check both operating systems.

If you don't pay any license, you are not allowed to use their support at all. While I have used it a couple of times, that was more than 10 years ago. Now, I just go to their community and any Pentaho forums. I don't use the support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used a lot of ETL data integrators, such as DataStage, Informatica, Talend, Matillion, Python, and even SQL. MicroStrategy, Qlik, and Tableau have instructional features, and I try to use a lot of tools to do instructions. 

How was the initial setup?

I have built the solution. It does not change for cloud or on-premise developments. 

You create in your development environments, then you move to test. After that, you do the volume and integrity testing, then you go to UAT. Finally, you move to production. It does depend on the customer. You can thoroughly create the entire product structure as well as all the files that you need. Once you put it in production, it should work. You should have the same structure in development, test, and production.

What was our ROI?

It is free. I don't spend money on it.

It will reduce a lot of the time that you work with data.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I use it because it is free. I download from their page for free. I don't have to pay for a license. With other tools, I have to pay for the licenses. That is why I use Pentaho.

I used to work with the complete suite of Pentaho, not only Data Integration. I used to build some solutions from scratch. I used to work with the Community version and Enterprise versions. With the Enterprise version, it is more than building cubes. I am building a BI solution that I can explore. Every time that I use Pentaho Data Integration, I never spend any money because it comes free with the tool. If you pay for the Enterprise license, Pentaho Data Integration is included. If you don't pay for it and use the Community version, Data Integration is included for free. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I used to work with a reseller of Pentaho. That is why I started working with it. Also, I did some training for Pentaho at the company that I used to work for in Argentina, where we were a Platinum reseller. 

Pentaho is easy to use. You don't need to install anything. You can just open the script and start working on it. That is why I chose it. With Informatica, you need to do a server installation, but some companies might not allow some installation in their production or normal environment.

I feel pretty comfortable using the solution. I have tried to use other tools, but I always come back to Pentaho because it is easier. 

Pentaho is open source. While Informatica is a very good tool, it is pretty expensive. That is one of the biggest cons for the data team because you don't want to pay money for tools that just only help you to work.  

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution as eight out of 10. One of the best things about the solution is that it is free.

I used to sell Pentaho. It has a lot of pros and cons. From my side, there are more pros than cons. There isn't one tool that can do everything that you need, but this tool is one of those tools that helps you to complete your tasks and it is pretty integrable with other tools. So, you can switch Pentaho on and off from different tools and operating systems. You can use it in Unix, Linux, Windows, and Mac.

If you know how to develop different things and are very good at Java, you can create your own connectors. You can create a lot of things. 

It is a very good tool if you need to work with data. There isn't a database that you can't manage with this tool. You can work with it and manage all the data that you want to manage.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Buyer's Guide
Data Integration Tools
September 2022
Get our free report covering Fivetran, Upsolver, and other competitors of Matillion Data Loader. Updated: September 2022.
635,162 professionals have used our research since 2012.