According to Gartner forecasts, IT spend is likely to be close to $4 trillion in 2015. It’s probably very welcoming then to hear that you can still complete some IT projects for free. Case in point: Data Integration. There are free open solutions available that are a great alternative to either hand coding all your data integration connections –a time consuming process to say the least– or spending tens of thousands of dollars on tools that you may or may not need, like, or want on an ongoing basis.
Open Source Integration is a great way to get your feet wet if you are new to the discipline or want to experiment with tools before you buy them.
Here are three projects that you can complete for free today with Open Source Integration (OSI) software:
1. Build a data warehouse
2. Perform data synchronization tasks
3. Conduct data migration projects
1. Data warehouse – Using the OSI you can build a straightforward data warehouse by adding the necessary dimension and fact tables, aggregating data and building full data warehousing functionality (including a data base and repository). With the OSI it’s a simple matter of pulling data into the warehouse, no matter where the data is located. In doing so, you actually sidestep the necessity to spend megabucks using conventional approaches, and build a real world, fully functioning warehouse for free! Geeze, you may end up getting a raise for being so smart.
Bonus: have fun as you learn! For example, did you ever think you might want to create your own fantasy football league? Well, you could by using a self-created data warehouse.
For a more work-related alternative, you may want to do some interesting web analysis by building a data warehouse on visitor traffic using a list of IP addresses and some web-log data.
2. Data synchronization – In this scenario, you might be trying to synchronize simple pieces of data between applications or from an application to an operational data store (ODS). Often, these are modest projects involving just a few fields. Rather than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on high-powered tools, you can easily use Open Source Integration to integrate fields or tables from other repositories? or between applications. You can also use it to move the same content from an ODS into other applications and—did I mention?—all of this is free. For example, for optimal time-to-market efficiency, you might need to synchronize data to analyze different vendors’ contributions to your supply chain. Many SaaS applications allow you to do such synchronizations on some data however you may need to include more data that is not accessible or included only in automatic methods. OSI can easily help you to assess these ‘locked-away’ tables and fields that may have this extracted information.
3. Data migration – This is an example of a project where you need to migrate data from an old application to an updated version – a short-lived effort that doesn’t require complex software tools. In this case, some of the open integration tools can save you both significant amounts of time and money. Perhaps you need to switch from one Salesforce Automation to another. In this instance both are SaaS application but this is still not a 1-to-1 movement of data as I am sure you may have experienced. There are always data model differences and, even better, there are always different lists of values and data values that require some CRAZY data transformation. You can get simple migration projects wrapped up quickly and free with Open Source Integration. You are able to connect to all versions of the software involved, and deal with any types of transformations or data manipulations of data from one application to another. This would obviously be an extremely time-consuming process if you attempt to do it by hand or script.
So there you have it: three great integration jobs you can complete quickly and easily with open source integration (from Talend in this instance). And, with a price tag of zero, what do you really have to lose?