Data Warehouse Management Tools are software applications that extract and transform data from operational systems and loads it into the data warehouse.
The area of data warehouse management is very complex as data captured from operational data sources such as those data coming from transactional business software solutions like Supply Chain Management (SCM), Point of Sale, Customer Serving Software and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and management software to undergo the ETL (extract, transform, load) process.
To facilitate data around the data warehouse, efficient ETL tools should be employed. Companies may either want to buy third party tools or develop their own ETL tools by assigning their in-house programmers to do the job. In general, the rule of thumb is that the more complex the data transformation requirements are, the more advantageous it is to just purchase third party ETL tools.
When deciding to buy a commercial data warehouse management tool, it is always good to consider the following aspects:
Functional capability – This means that the function to be considered is the way the tool handles both the "transformation" piece and the "cleansing" piece. When the tool has strong capability for both the "transformation" piece and the "cleansing" piece, then by all means buy it because in general, a typical data warehouse management tool can only have strong capability.
Ability to read directly from your data source – As mentioned earlier, data warehouse gets its data from various data sources and the ability to read directly from your data source make processing faster and more efficient.
Metadata support – A data warehouse management tool should be able to handle metadata, which is a very important aspect of data warehousing as metadata is used to map source data to its destination.
Some of the data warehouse management tools developers are:
Business Objects is a French company that develops enterprise software. It is the developer of Data Integrator, integration and ETL tool that was previously known as Acta. The Data Integrator product features the Data Integrator Job Server and the Data Integrator Designer.
The IBM WebSphere DataStage is an ETL tool and part of the IBM WebSphere Information Integration suite and the IBM Information Server. Formerly known as Ardent DataStage and Ascential DataStage, this tool is very popular for its ease of use and visual interface. It is available in many versions including the Server Edition and the Enterprise Edition.
The Ab Initio software was developed by Ab Initio Software Corporation and is a fourth generation data analysis, data manipulation, batch processing, GUI-based parallel processing ETL tool. This comes as a suite of products which include: Co-Operating System, The Component Library, Graphical Development Environment, Enterprise Meta Environment and Data Profiler.
SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) can provide for a good platform to build data integration, workflow applications and data warehouse management. In fact, this tool has been primarily designed from data warehousing and management and it features fast and flexible tools for data extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) engine. This tool is a component of Microsoft SQL Server having replaced Data Transformation Services.
Informatica Corporation is one of the most popular providers of data integration software tools services for a wide variety of industries. Some of its products include
- Informatica PowerCenter,
- Informatica PowerExchange,
- Informatica Unstructured Data (For extracting and transforming data from unstructured and semi-structured documents like pdf, excel, doc, etc.),
- Informatica PowerChannel (for secure and encrypted data transffer over WAN),
- Informatica Metadata Manager (Impact analysis and metadata reporting) and
- Informatica Data Explorer.
Other data warehouse management tools and developers include
- Data Profiler,
- Data Transformation Services,
- ETL Integrator,
- Pervasive Data Integrator,
- Sunopsis and
- Talend Open Studio.