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InfatoODI – Informatica to ODI conversion tool

We are currently in the process of upgrading Oracle Business Intelligence Applications (OBIA) from version 7.9.6 to OBIA 11g.  Oracle has replaced Informatica as the data integration tool in the platform with it’s own tool, Oracle Data Integrator (ODI). This was a selfish, profit-driven move on Oracle’s part with no consideration for the impact on customers, but it is what it is.

Because of this, as a part of the upgrade to the new OBIA release, we need to convert all our hundreds of Informatica mappings to ODI.  As you can imagine, this is a lot of work.  We are getting help from a company that has developed a specialized conversion tool called InfatoODI, which converts Informatica mappings to ODI interfaces.

We are performing the conversions specifically for an OBIA application, but the tool can be used as a straight conversion tool for Informatica-to-ODI for any type of application.

We are in the beginning stages of the project, but early indications are that the tool will save us time, but I am not sure how significant as yet. I will post updates as we progress through the conversions with my experience and opinion of the tool.

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Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) Knowledge Modules (KMs)

I am currently working on a project to upgrade (Oracle Business Intelligence Applications) OBIA 7 to OBIA 11g.  OBIA 11g and all future releases of OBIA (per Oracle) will use Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) as the ETL platform, replacing Informatica.

Due to this, I need to become very familiar with ODI to be able to manage and support the new release, and will be writing about ODI from time to time.

One key component in ODI is Knowledge Modules (KM’s).  In this post, I will describe what Knowledge Modules are and the various types that are in ODI.

Knowledge Modules (KMs) are generic code templates or modules that can be configured/coded to meet specific data integration needs and each type is dedicated to a specialized function in the overall data integration process.

Each of the 6 out-of-the-box (OOB) Knowledge Modules contain the “knowledge” to perform a specific set of actions on a specific combination of technologies, including connecting, extracting, transforming, loading, and checking data.  While the 6 OOB KMs meet most data integration needs, there will surely be cases when more custom features are needed. ODI KMs are extensible, and new totally custom KMs can be built.

The 6 OOB KMs are:

Reverse Knowledge Module (RKM)
This KM is used to retrieve metadata from data sources and targets to the Oracle Data Integrator work repository. You can use it in models to perform customized reverse-engineering.

Loading Knowledge Module (LKM)
This KM is used to load heterogeneous data to a staging area. It is used in interfaces with heterogeneous sources. The LKM and the IKM are the two most frequently used KM’s in our environment.

Journalizing Knowledge Module (JKM)
This KM is used in models, sub models and databases to create, start and stop journals and to register subscribers. It creates the Change Data Capture framework objects in the source staging area.

Integration Knowledge Module (IKM)
This KM is used in Interfaces to integrate data from the staging area to a target. The LKM and the IKM are probably the two most frequently used KM’s in our environment.

Check Knowledge Module (CKM)
This KM is used to perform consistency checks of data against defined constraints. It is used in models, sub models and databases for data integrity audit, and used in interfaces for flow control or static control.

Service Knowledge Module (SKM)
This KM is used in models and databases. It is used to generate data manipulation web services.

These KM’s are central to ODI and I will need to master the usage of these KM’s and if you are planning on using ODI, you will need to also.

Oracle positioned as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Integration tools

Oracle, along with Informatica, IBM, SAP and SAS, are positioned as leaders in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Integration tools.

Other data integration vendors that made it into the Magic Quadrant, but not in the leaders category are Microsoft, Information Builders, Syncsort, Talend, Pervasive Software.

GartnerMagicQuadrant_for_DataIntegrationTools

Source: Gartner (October 2012)

When performing its analysis, Gartner considers these areas of data integration:

  • Data acquisition for business intelligence (BI) and data warehousing
  • Consolidation and delivery of master data in support of master data management (MDM)
  • Data migrations/conversions
  • Synchronization of data between operational applications
  • Interenterprise data sharing
  • Delivery of data services in an SOA context

And analyzes these features and functionality that the data integration tools should provide:

  • Connectivity/adapter capabilities (data source and target support)
  • Support for different modes of interaction with a range of data structure types
  • Data delivery capabilities
  • Support for the delivery of data across a range of latency requirements
  • Data transformation capabilities
  • Provide facilities for developing custom transformations and extending packaged transformations
  • Metadata and data modeling capabilities
  • Design and development environment capabilities
  • Data governance support capabilities (via interoperation with data quality, profiling and mining capabilities)
  • Deployment options and runtime platform capabilities
  • Operations and administration capabilities
  • Architecture and integration capabilities
  • Service enablement capabilities

Per Gartner, Oracle’s strengths are:

  • Breadth of functionality,
  • Usability of core functionality across use cases
  • Addressing data challenges across a range of application- and data-oriented customer bases

And their cautions are:

  • Enabling product migration,
  • Complexity of integrated deployment across products,
  • Pricing perception and availability of skills

As Oracle-centric developers and solution providers, we are most concerned with the capabilities and future of Oracle Data Integrator (ODI), Oracle Warehouse Builder (OWB), Golden Gate and, in some cases, Informatica (a part of most OBIA installations). These products are doing well in the market, but are a bit behind the install bases of Microsoft, SAP and IBM.  The largest install base is with Microsoft (12K customers), followed by SAP (10K) and IBM (9.4K).  Oracle has 3.5K and Informatica has 5K data integration customers.  With a major push now behind the ODI tool, you can expect to see growth in Oracle’s numbers in the coming years.

Apparently, Oracle also has plans for providing a migration path (a migration wizard) from Oracle Warehouse Builder (OWB) to ODI.  This will be a very welcomed tool for OWB users seeking to migrate to ODI.  And this will further solidify ODI as the data integration tool for Oracle-centric IT organizations, and start to create more availability of skilled ODI resources.

You can read all the details at Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Integration Tools.