Data integration is one of the hardest things developers have to do, but the talented members of the Talend User Group have lots of ideas on how to make it easier. Stitch, now part of Talend, recently hosted the inaugural meeting of the Philadelphia Talend User Group in their office. It was a great time characterized by interesting presentations, tons of food, and a chance to meet and talk with peers who use Talend products.
Stitch’s offices are on the 15th floor of a hundred-year-old office building in Center City, right across the street from City Hall. User group members began arriving shortly after 4. Many grabbed soft pretzels and mini cupcakes and soda and beer in the Stitch kitchen as they introduced themselves to other attendees.
The official program began half an hour later. Talend Director of Community Laura Ventura started things off by welcoming the guests, then introduced Jonathan Samberg, Talend’s regional vice president for the Northeast. He thanked the hosts, in the person of former Stitch CEO and current Talend Senior Vice President Jake Stein, and welcomed Talend partners Qubole and Snowflake. We then dove right into the presentations.
Talend at the University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania Data Warehouse Architect Katie Staley Faucett is responsible for the enterprise data warehouse as a member of the Penn Information Systems and Computing department. They were early adopters of Talend Cloud, and have been using it for about two years.
ISC provides shared technology services to all of the University’s schools and centers. A few years ago, the organization decided to modernize and transform its processes and technology with a cloud-first initiative. Now it has dozens of SaaS applications, platforms, and uses the Amazon PaaS environment: AWS, Aurora, S3, and Lambda. It also supports hundreds of server instances. ISC uses GitLab for collaborative development with Talend.
Faucett gave a few examples of problems Penn needed to solve and for which they used Talend. In one, the department needed to simplify and scale a fundraising application. Part of the solution involved a custom connector Faucett found in Talend Exchange that let them push BLOB database objects to Amazon S3. Using Talend let the application development team focus on building application features and functionality instead of data integration infrastructure.
After a couple of other examples, Faucett shared a list of lessons learned and best practices from the University of Pennsylvania‘s experiences with Talend Cloud. She suggested learning about and experimenting with ELT for better data integration performance. She also had advice on using Talend with GitLab: Learn to understand the repository structure, including how objects are shared. Parameterize things as much as you can, and use generic database components when you can, so you don’t have to redo a lot if things change.
Stitch and Talend
Next up was Chris Merrick, vice president of engineering for Stitch, who introduced Stitch to the Talend users and talked about how the two platforms will work together.
Merrick talked about a data ingestion pipeline with a value chain that involves data collection, data governance, data transformation, and sharing. Stitch is focused on enabling the collection stage and providing accelerated ingestion for more than 90 data sources.
This year, Stitch developers are working on integrating Stitch into the Talend Cloud Platform to give users of all Talend tools a unified experience. Next year, the road map calls for seamless ingestion by Stitch and handoff to Talend tools.
The meeting wrapped up with schawarma for all and a chance to meet and talk to other Talend users, Talend and Stitch staff, and partners in attendance.
We hope to see you at our next Stitch and Talend User Group. Find one in your area here.