Heeding the call from enterprise customers who clamor for more immediacy in their data-driven reports, Oracle has updated its data-integration software portfolio so that it can more rapidly deliver data to data warehouses and analysis applications.
The newest version of Oracle's extract transform and load (ETL) software, Oracle Data Integrator 12c, has been configured to work with the newest version of Oracle's database replication tool, Oracle GoldenGate 12c, so that the two programs can work in conjunction to provide near-real-time data to analysis systems.
Oracle also gave Oracle Data Integrator 12c an easier way to build and maintain data workflows and provided GoldenGate 12c with a quicker way to inject data into replicated Oracle databases, said Brad Adelberg, vice president of development at Oracle.
Typically, customers have used ODI (Oracle Data Integrator) to extract data from multiple data sources to feed into data warehouses and business intelligence applications. The data extraction tended to be scheduled during an organization's off-hours, so the operation wouldn't slow database performance during hours of peak usage, Adelberg said. Typically, this would happen overnight.
The downside with this once-a-night approach is that the extracted data would always be at least a day old, which could be problematic for those managers and analysts who increasingly prefer their data to be current up to the hour. Querying a database every hour would put too much load on a production database system, though.
To get more frequent updates, some Oracle shops started using GoldenGate to draw data from a database system as soon as it is updated and ship that data to ODI, which in turn would route it to the data warehouse. GoldenGate is a database replication technology that does not generate much overhead for the source database system itself, so it can be used during peak business hours without ill effect.
For the 12c release of ODI, Oracle formalized this connection between the two applications. Now, developers using the Oracle Data Integrator Studio have a set of controls for generating and managing GoldenGate operations, allowing them to easily set up workflows that use GoldenGate to extract data.
This set of controls should minimize the need for having a GoldenGate expert on hand to run the software, Adelberg said. Also, ODI's GoldenGate capabilities can vastly reduce the number of meetings between an organization's GoldenGate administrator and its ODI administrator to facilitate or update a data flow, assuming the two roles aren't managed by the same person.
Oracle Data Integrator 12c, which Adelberg described as a major upgrade for Oracle, also includes a number of other features. The software now executes more operations in parallel, which speeds performance time.
Also, ODI now provides a new way to map data flows, called declarative flow-based mapping. Declarative flow-based mapping combines the best attributes of flow-based mapping -- which is easy to use but requires a lot of manual configuration -- with declarative programming, which is more difficult to master but requires less configuration and manual upkeep to accommodate low-level system changes.