What is ETL?

The term ETL stands for Extract, Transform, and Load and describes a category of software, which is being used to move data from one or multiple data sources to one or more targets. ETL software is being used for a variety of use cases ranging from migrating data from legacy systems to new applications, loading data from operational systems into a data warehouse for analysis to reporting, to converting data from one format to another.

There are numerous ETL vendor solutions from vendors like Informatica, expressor software and Talend available for solving these data integration use cases. Most traditional solutions were designed for technical users, who have a background in application development, databases, data management, and scripting. The complexity of ETL is primarily around Transform operations, which can range from simple data type conversions, to complex join operations, to other types of transformations such as filtering or aggregating of data. Since data is being extracted from source systems, databases, and files, the data itself may not be as clean and complete as it should be before it can be moved or loaded into a new system. As a result, ETL developers are required to profile the source data, delete or reject duplicate records, and write rules to cleanse the data as it flows through the ETL application.

There are new ETL solutions like expressor Studio on the market today that have been designed for a less technical audience. These tools do not only provide a much easier and simpler user experience, but are also aimed at reducing the time and effort is takes to map individual data sources to their targets. Unlike traditional tools that perform point-to-point data mappings, these newer ETL tools introduce a semantic metadata layer that reduces the amount of mapping that is required and shields the data integration application from changes made to a source or target.

About Author (Expressor Software)

expressor software delivers simplified data integration software that is easy to use, powerful, and affordable. Unlike traditional approaches, expressor is powered by an innovative metadata foundation that simplifies data mapping and enables reuse to improve time-to-value. With a rapidly growing community of over 17,000 unique users, expressor is helping organizations such as SKECHERS USA, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Viverae, Western World, LABVANTAGE, and BHI Energy integrate on-premises and cloud data sources with their business critical applications. For more information visit www.expressor-software.com or view our community forum at www.expressorCommunity.com.

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