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Informatica vs. ODI for ETL

Posted by Stephen Goldsmith

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May 2, 2011 12:12:26 PM

A key component to a Business Intelligence (BI) architecture is the Extract, Translate and Load (ETL) process. The ETL process is typically scheduled on a nightly basis and is responsible for moving data from one or more source systems into a data warehouse. In early data warehouses, ETL was typically performed by custom-developed programs and scripts. Over the past twenty years, ETL development has matured into configurable tools. Two common tools used with Oracle Business Intelligence include Informatica Power Center and Oracle Data Integrator (ODI). While these tools have similar features, there are considerations that can be used to identify the correct tool for a particular Business Intelligence environment.

Informatica Power Center is developed by Informatica (, yet it is resold through Oracle. Informatica is a well known ETL product in the market and is a foundation component of Oracle Business Intelligence Applications (OBIA). Thus, Informatica should be used for BI projects where OBIA is part of the solution.

As compared to ODI, there are more resources in the market with Informatica skills and the UI is faster and more user-friendly. Unfortunately, Informatica is more costly than ODI and its server based licensing may by a burden to smaller BI projects and it ads another vendor to the mix. Also, Informatica often requires performance tuning for complex queries.

ODI is less popular that Informatica, yet it is ideal for situations when much complex logic is required for large volumes of data. It is installed on target databases so performance is faster than Informatica. Limitations of ODI have to do with the use of knowledge modules for Loading, Integration, Journalize, Check and Reverse. Modification to these modules is time consuming. It is rumored that in the Fusion architecture ODI will be an optional ETL solution for OBIA.

In summary, there are a variety of options for ETL. When using OBIEE, Informatica, ODI and Informatica are strong contenders. Consideration of functionality, budget and other factors will lead to the right selection for your organization

Blog Author: Dip Jadawala

Dip is a contributing blog author on the BI Practice team at BizTech.

Topics: Oracle Business Intelligence