In-Depth

Real-time requirements drive ETL-EAI convergence

There is an ETL-EAI convergence underway, according to Stephen Aikins, product manger for DT/Studio at Embarcadero Technologies. The trend, which blends ETL capabilities with EAI middleware traits, may have been slow to develop in recent years, but could gain momentum in months to come. Yet bumps in the road still exist.

Two technologies help drive this convergence. "The convergence between the ETL space and the EAI space is supported especially by message queuing, and by the increased use of XML," said Aikins. "These things are happening at the same time."

Despite the growing importance of messaging as application developers seek to combine real-time and static data sources, it may not be the answer for every organization, especially if a smaller variety of input data types is at issue, indicated Aikins. Some people will prefer to capture data at the database level rather than at the app layer, he said.

And while XML is becoming more important, Aikins foresees problems with a format some have described as "verbose."

"It is a fat transport system with all the overhead of tags," he said.

Where XML is immediately useful is as a meta data layer, which is how it is presently supported in DT/Studio.

Meanwhile, among the recent steps forward for DT/Studio is use of Java in its ETL engine. "Going forward, our engine will be embeddable within the major app servers," said Aikins. "Longer term, we see it as something that allows us a great growth path."

Please read the associated story "ETL tools still seeking a niche" by Peter Bochner.

About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.

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