Overall Satisfaction with Talend Open Studio
Talend Open Studio is used by the IT department for ETL and systems integration. We are also using the Talend Administration Center (TAC) for scheduling, executing, and monitoring Talend jobs. It provides GUI based (drag-and-drop) rapid development of jobs using any of the 800+ components and facilitate connecting to a myriad of systems. They have connectors to cloud based systems like AmazonS3 or Salesforce, and typical enterprise resources like SQL Server, CSV and Excel files. It makes the technology part of connecting systems trivial and inexpensive.
- System Integration: you want to pull data from SQL Server and load it into SalesForce? Easy. You need to export data from a COTS, encrypt and transmit it via FTP to an external vendor. Simple.
- Report Production: while Talend Open Studio is not primarily a reporting system, it is temptingly easy to extract data, dump it in Excel and email it to a business user. These will not be sophisticated, graphical reports, but will allow you to produce simple reports in minutes.
- Data Transformation and Processing: between your primary input and primary out, you have virtually unlimited ability to manipulate and transform your data in a custom workflow. Talend comes with components for aggregating, filtering, sorting. It also comes with more advanced components for merging or splitting input and output, pinging a server, and implementing custom rules and code.
- Data Quality and MDM: Talend includes many components for cleansing and managing reference and transnational data. Data masking de-duplication, fuzzy matching, and MDM functions can be implemented with clicking and dragging components.
- Talend Open Studio is the free product, and is very powerful in and of itself. The paid version comes with a host of other software and features including the TAC for job scheduling and monitoring. It also comes with more components and options.
- Talend's reliance on Java is both a strength and a weakness. The entire Talend infrastructure is built around open source projects, many of which are primarily implemented in JAVA, thus providing an affinity between the technologies. But the Java platform is unstable and quirky. Our most recent problems with Java include the auto-updater cannibalizing existing installations of JAVA. And if you require Java 8, it will uninstall 7 in the background without obtaining permission. So you will have to put up with all the miseries of managing your JVM.
- Talend Studio has increased developer productivity and opened up new ways of thinking about solutions.
In terms of systems integration and ETL I have used SQL Server SSIS, SQL Server (Jobs, BCP, Procs, XP_CmdShell, etc.) and custom code using Microsoft .NET. While certain other technologies do have their place, in this realm Talend is consistently the better tool. It is a much better tool than SSIS in terms of usability, flexibility, development and testing. Also, while SSIS is MS centric, Talend offers the world. When weighed against .NET custom coding, Talend offers faster development and testing times, ad consistency to a large degree across processes.