Informatica is amongst the popular ETL tools used by the common public. ETL stands for extraction, transformation and load process. It is the common method used for the data warehousing projects. Each function of the tools performs a different and the necessary function required for the completion of the project effectively. The ‘E’ stands for the extraction function. Extraction of the data from the outside sources in data warehousing is what the extraction of the data is meant for. The ‘T’ stands for the transformation of the data. The data in most of the cases is needed to be transformed well for its best fit in to the operational working of the software. The transformation function can even include the quality levels in it. Finally, the ‘L’ stands for the loading process. The extracted and the transformed data is finally loaded to the concerned and the relevant position. The data is loaded on to the data warehouse or the data base, which ever is the end target assigned. Hence, this is what ETL tools are meant for.
The ETL tools enable the project to be completed in a well prescribed and correct manner. There is an ETL cycle which the tools follow in the real market situations. The execution strategies or the steps involved in a practical ETL cycle are as follows:
- Cycle initiation
- Reference data build up
- Source extraction of the data
- Validation of the data
- Transformation of the data
- Data integrity and the data clearances
- Loading the data into stages, if needed
- Audit reports
- Publishing the data into concerned tables
- Archive the data
- Cleaning up the data.
The ETL tools consist of the three step process of data integration. The purchase of the ETL tools depends highly upon the three major points:
Firstly, the complexity of the data is analyzed which further determines the need of the ETL tools. The higher the range of the complexity, the more are the extraction, transformation and the load tools required. The tools play a major role in dealing with the complexity of the data.
Besides, the cleansing is required in the data. If the data requires a huge amount of cleansing, the tools are a must to be purchased. Tools consisting of strong and better cleansing functions are to be acquired in such a case.
The ETL tools consist of features which eventually speed up the movement of the data. Hence, the tools consisting of such features are highly preferred in case of transferring huge data.
On purchasing effective ETL tools, certain key points and few characteristics are to be taken care of for better functioning of the informatica software. The right selection of the ETL kit or components is highly recommended for the better functioning of the software. Although, it is to be noted that purchasing ETL components is not a necessity.
The functional capability of the component must be measured effectively on the purchase of the component. It must be capable enough to deal with the extraction and the transformation process. Moreover, the ETL component you purchase must have the ability to connect directly to the source data for effective functioning. The ETL components must offer a high metadata support for the effective mappings of the data.