Tuesday, June 12, 2007

ETI offers data integration projects as a built-to-order service

(Disclosure: I worked for Constellar, a competitor, from 1995 to 2001, and worked with - or perhaps I should say against - ETI*Extract at an Oracle customer site as long ago as 1994).

Bloor's Philip Howard reports that ETI is offering a 'built to order' service for data migration / integration, based on ETI Solution (formerly ETI*Extract). Just enter your requirements into their integration portal, or send them a Word document, and they claim to be able to deliver a generated solution at an average price of $25,000 - and they claim to guarantee a delivery time (usually just 2-4 weeks). For more info, see ETI Built To Order Integration.

In my opinion, ETI's products suffered poor sales in the past from being pricey and (compared to products like Informatica) difficult to use. The template-based generation (by no means unique to ETI - Constellar took a similar approach, as does Oracle Data Integrator) was too hard for most clients to customise. However, the fact that it is a pure generator (there's no runtime engine) helped ETI establish a niche supporting all kinds of legacy/mainframe data sources and targets, and now makes it possible for them to deliver generated code without leaving their IP behind.

Offering BTO seems like a good way to exploit the tool's underlying capabilities, and the skills ETI's own consultants have accumulated, without having to make the tool itself more (dare I say) user friendly.

One question - most integration projects don't know what their requirements really are until they start development and testing. How will this service deal with iterative development? What about late 'clarifications' - "oh, did I mention that the NOTES field got used to distinguish customer types during the early 80s; in the 90s it was used to hold foreign currency information for certain services..."?

So now let's see how this works in real life!

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