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informatica powercenter vs custom perl ETL job?

+3 votes
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Most of my company uses powercenter informatica for Extract-Transform-Load type data move jobs between databases.

However project I am on has a big custom Perl job with some Java thrown in for good measure to move data and trigger some other updates.

There is talk of rewriting the thing to use powercenter instead, what are people's experiences on such a project, does it make sense? Seems like you trade lot of flexibility in going to such a "off the shelf" solution, but do the ETL tools buy you much in terms of productivity for example?

posted Oct 27, 2014 by Sunil

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1 Answer

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Informatica is good for an operations team. It allows a non-technical person the ability to monitor and re-run jobs. However, it makes about any task much more complicated than it needs to be. It's a huge piece of software, and takes a while to learn, and it's limited in the transformations it can do without programming. I'd certainly use Perl or a programming language any day over an "Enterprise ETL" tool.

answer Oct 30, 2014 by Shweta Singh
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I have some files that I would like to consolidate into a single database table. The files have similar but different formats. The files look something like this:

FileOne:
•ColA : string
•ColB : string
•ColC : string

FileTwo:
•ColAA : string
•ColBB : string
•ColCC : string

FileThree:
•Col01 : string
•Col02 : string
•Col03 : string

The destination table looks like this:

TableDestination:
•ColFirst : string
•ColSecond : string
•ColThird : string

I want to develop a mapping that ETLs these three files into this one database, but because the column names are different, it looks like I'll have to develop three different mappings, or three different sources, or three different somethings. The problem is that my example is contrived: I actually have many different files that all have different formats and column names, but the data is all very similar.

I would like to develop a single mapping or workflow that can handle all of this by only adding a table that holds the column mappings. Such a table would look like this based on the sample files and sample table above:

TableMappings:
enter image description here

In this way, to edit a column mapping I only have to make an edit this this TableMappings table. I wouldn't have to make any changes at all to the mapping or workflow. Nor would I have to redeploy an application.

What would a mapping or workflow look like that could take advantage of something like this? I assume there'd be a flat file source that takes files from a folder. There would be something in the middle that uses this TableMappings table to map column names. Finally there would be a relational data object that represents my destination database table "TableDestination". I don't know how to put this together though.

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What are the services which form the Informatica PowerCenter processing engine?

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