Make Centerprise your data toolkit's center prize!
August 03, 2015

Make Centerprise your data toolkit's center prize!

Phil Nacamuli | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Review Source

Software Version

V6.2.1.8

Modules Used

  • All Centerprise Modules

Overall Satisfaction with Centerprise Data Integrator

Centerprise is used as a key ETL and data integration component bringing together several different financial data sources to compile a single view of our client's corporate finance group. It delivers a single integrated view of their 'cash register' systems and solves the problem of the manual integration of the separate system's data and reports.
  • The links to many different data sources made it real easy to gain access to the key data elements and integrate the data across many different systems.
  • The graphical approach is self documenting and permits the rapid assimilation of existing work by new team members.
  • It makes it VERY easy to build source/destination data reconciliations.
  • The ability to incrementally see the data transformation results at any point in a data flow is invaluable.
  • The XML processors make it real easy to process and integrate XML data. We've even used Centerprise on its own data logs to pull out and report on the XML job log data for custom reporting.
  • Centerprise is an invaluable tool for addressing data integration particularly dealing with 'Shadow IT' Excel spreadsheets.
  • The dataflow architecture will take some getting used to as you have to understand the various data flow objects and THINK about how a data flow will work to accomplish what you want.
  • The scheduler and job monitor are areas where the product can be improved. We would like to see an independent job monitor as a separate read only component so that a client use license is not not needed to see the working jobs.
  • The job scheduler interface is not that intuitive and adding jobs, particularly in 100's, is VERY time consuming using the interface.
  • The mapping between UTC and local times need work and the scheduler needs to handle switching back and forth between day light savings.
  • Our client has a quicker, clearer and trustworthy business financial view enabling them to make well informed financial decisions.
  • The ETL development group is twice as productive and handing work out for support is much quicker and more simple.
  • User adoption of the systems was quick and painless.
We looked at Adeptia, Informatica, Jitterbit, and Adaptive. All of these products had their specific strengths. We compared many factors which included but was not limited to price, product capability, product maturity and stability, what comes in the box for the purchase price, the ability to connect across a wide data landscape, ease of use, and product support. We chose Centerprise because of what was delivered for the purchase price. Other products required additional module purchases while others did not provide the data integration level we where seeking.
If you have to get a handle on an explosion of Excel sheets or work with multiple SQL or XML data sources you will absolutely LOVE Centerprise Data Integrator. If you need to move or process several hundred million records, then this may not be the best fit.

Centerprise Data Integrator Support

I have always had my support questions answered with timely follow-up and even queries regarding my satisfaction if I've gotten lazy and NOT closed a resolved call. To date ALL of my support questions have been answered.
ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
None
No - Support is part of the product annual maintenance particularly if there are errors/failures resulting in product error codes. The data flow architecture posses challenges in that the Centerprise Server tries to optimize the operations which in some VERY rare cases is not what you want it to do. Working with the support team you can figure out data flow adjustments or realignment so that the server doesn't optimize away the result you are seeking.
Yes - When you start pushing the envelope of any product you find bugs. Over the course of using Centerprise we've run across bugs and they have been isolated and addressed by Astera as either a patch work around or corrections in future product releases.
We had an issue where some of our nightly production jobs where intermittently raising missing data source errors when the server was under heavy load. The errors happened intermittently and at different times in the night cycle. We alerted the support team and sent them our data flows and job schedule. Mike and his support team worked major overtime and into the weekend on the problem to isolate it. They were able to recreate the issue but only on certain machines with certain OS patch revisions. Needless to say, they figured out what was happening and come up with a patch. We applied the patch and the problem disappeared.

Using Centerprise Data Integrator

It's very intuitive and visually descriptive. The interface is standard windows drag and drop although cut and paste are not universally available depending upon what function you're trying to do. You see the ETL and what it's doing. You can inspect the data elements the transformations and perform data previews incrementally along the data flow. You actually SEE what the results are and you can make adjustments without black box testing.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • Everything is data flow architecture. Building flows that grab data from one source to transform it and place into a destination is a piece of cake. You will however need to understand the data flow objects and how to link them together to build very complicated ETL flows.
  • Grabbing data from the 'Shadow IT' Excel explosion and putting back under database control is one place where Centerprise shines.
  • We literally generated custom status reports by using Centerprise on it's own job log to pull out the XML, prepare a report and email it to the support teams.
  • This is a VERY valid questions and I'm NOT knocking it, just trying to draw an analogy...I could almost say that this questions is akin to asking...'What functions are particularly easy or elegant to perform with a programming language compiler?' I guess it's based on your imagination, creativity, and of course data volume.
  • Improvements can be made in daily job monitoring. When you have over 5000 jobs running in a night cycle it can get difficult to isolate that one job that didn't behave using the job monitor embedded in the client.
  • Moving over 100 million records nightly. However, I believe that to be a difficult task for ANY product running on the same platform as Centerprise.
  • Not so much a product issue but a developer issue is getting out of a typical iterative programming thought process and moving into an object based data flow thought process.
  • Synchronizing data flows and workflows that have cross dependencies.