Crippleware, Now Available from your (once Favorite) Integration Vendor

June 07, 2013 --

This was quite an amazing move from Informatica. In one swift series of announcements, they achieved more than what Talend did to them in 6 years of aggressive competition. This week Informatica achieved the following:

  • Released a product that is so limited that nobody will use or buy it (more on this below).
  • Created brand new price negotiation opportunities for clients (more below).
  • Proved (once again) that they don’t get the community concept, and still believe that open source simply means free download (I have already commented on this a while back).
  • Confirmed that during all this time, when were saying “Talend? We never encounter these guys...” they were in fact dissecting our product and model to see how to counter the threat and win back market shares.

All of this in one week. Not bad, right?


PowerCenter Express is described as “building on Informatica’s industry leading data integration technology”. Building?  Looks more like deconstructing:

  • They removed all the value-added connectors: SAP,, Hadoop, etc. All what’s left is 4 databases, generic JDBC, flat files and a few social media feeds.
  • Can’t process more than 250,000 rows. Even small companies have larger needs than that!
  • Repository is limited to 5 users.

And that’s only the stuff they’ve disclosed. I am sure than soon, we’ll see reports comparing PowerCenter CripplExpress to PowerCenter and we’ll know more about all the other features they have crippled.


I can only applaud an effort to bring down the cost of data integration, and the subscription model makes a lot of sense. The problem is that they’ve only made this move for the “entry market”. Mid-size and large organizations will have to continue to pay millions in perpetual licenses. Why? Because PowerCenter CripplExpress is so crippled that it won’t work except for the simplest cases.

It will however serve a great purpose for customers: negotiate price. It will become increasingly tough for Informatica sales reps to explain that with 5 users and 200,000 records you pay $40k, but that with 6 users and/or 500,000 records, the cost skyrockets to several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Especially when these 5 users/250k records limits have been artificially imposed, just to avoid market cannibalization (unless someone wants to venture that Informatica indeed redeveloped a repository and an engine, with non scalable techniques but upward compatibility?)


At Informatica World, Informatica apparently produced a benchmark where they compared the performance of PowerCenter CripplExpress and Talend. It should come as no surprise that the results are favorable to them – we all know how vendor-produced benchmarks work.

Interestingly enough, they did not show a features comparison of the two products. Guess it would have been interesting. Talend is not crippleware, that’s the main point. And it does not need an “upgrade path” between the “midmarket” version and the “enterprise” one - because it’s the very same product.

If you want to compare Talend’s products to Informatica’s, compare with PowerCenter. Not with PowerCenter CripplExpress.

The one good thing about PowerCenter CripplExpress is that it will be downloadable.  Users will be able to check on their own.  And are highly encouraged to do so.