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Engine-based vs. code-generating ETL tools

Why would you choose an engine-based ETL tool only? Code-generating tools (like Oracle Warehouse Builder) are supposed to be faster. You may not want a tool that generates legacy code like COBOL for some obvious reasons, but code-generating tools can achieve a much faster load throughout, as the data does not have to go through the engine bottleneck.

In today's ETL environment there are two different approach that vendors have given to the ETL community. There are engine-based and code-generator solutions. Each has its advantages and drawbacks as you have stated.

I actaully find it interesting that you state that Oracle Warehouse Builder is a code-generator type of ETL product. I personally see OWB as a engine-based product, since it uses the Oracle database as its engine. A true code-generator type of ETL product differs in that it produces type programs that need to be compiled and are not in a proprietary language. Generally code-generaters will produce ETL programs in languages like COBOL or C. It generally creates very generic program that requires significant work to make efficient. In the case of engine-based products here we have a generally proprietary solution. These products each have their unique data engines that are tuned for performance. They also have a language that allows you to extend the functionality of the product.

So what is the bottom line in this case? You have to choose a product that works for your individual environment and organization. Engine-based products can provide solid performance. Code-generators also provide solid performance, but you will have to have to do more customization with the programs. If your organization does not have enough expertise in these 3rd-Gl languages you may want to choose an engine-based product, which usually have a shorter learning curve.

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