Monday, March 31, 2008

IBM FastTrack for Source To Target Mapping for DataStage

Vincent McBurney was first to report IBM FastTrack for Source To Target Mapping, and he has been followed up by Philip Howard's note "the business face of data integration" at IT-Director.

I find it interesting that releasing a simple attribute mapping tool is seen as a major breakthrough for the DataStage/Information Server family; Constellar had more or less exactly that 12 years ago (no glossary though); the UI may not have been quite so business-user friendly, but certainly supported point and click, plus simple integration with metadata repositories.


vmcburney said...

There is really nothing special about a source to target mapping tool, most data modelling tools can do it, Excel can do it. I've seen several implementations in MS Access that do it.

The difference here is not the mapping interface but the access to metadata. Since it's plugged into the Metadata Server it can access metadata from the 100+ MITI metadata bridges, it can access metadata already imported and profiled by the Information Analyzer profiling tool and it can access metadata already being used by DataStage and can share that same version of metadata with DataStage.

So it cuts out a lot of metadata cutting and pasting and data entry that you get with the other tools.

It has some nice auto mapping features where you can map on the physical names or the logical names (from the business glossary). When you type in a business name and term definition in FastTrack it gets saved into the glossary and appears across your ETL, DQ and profiling tools. So you save time by entering mappings and definitions once and using them many times over.

So I agree with you that a mapping tool is no big deal but putting one into a data integration suite with shared metadata makes it a better proposition.

Nigel said...

Vincent, my amazement was that after around 15 years in the marketplace, Ascential's suite only just got around to this degree of metadata integration; never having been a DataStage user I had just assumed it did that already.

However I do accept that what we did in the 90s was less ambitious than FastTrack's current state ...