IBM Information server

IBM ETL tools

IBM is one of the most meaningful companies in all computing industry. It develops both, hardware and software solutions for all kinds of users, from personal users to large organizations and enterprises. For data integration, IBM has prepared a comprehensive platform called IBM InfoSphere Information Server to meet all users' needs. Data integration through the IBM platform facilitates information exchange, data cleansing, data quality monitoring, and data transformation and delivering.

IBM InfoSphere Information Server Enterprise Edition consists of three elements. These are: InfoSphere DataStage, InfoSphere QualityStage, and InfoSphere Business Information Exchange.
In addition, IBM provides InfoSphere Federation Server, InfoSphere Replication Server, and InfoSphere Data Event Publisher as separate applications.

Information server - Strengths

  • wide range of data integration functions
  • alignment with current demand trends in the market
  • comprehensive data management support
  • pre-installed base
  • diversity of usage
  • worldwide standards
  • suitability for complex projects
  • compatibility with BI and MDM requirements
  • synergic relations with other products from IBM InfoSphere family

What customers praise IBM Data Integration solution for most, are functionality and comprehensiveness which allow users to use only one product for most of data integration appliances. However when it's considered usable, IBM InfoSphere Information Server enables easy integration with other products from the IBM InfoSphere product family. IBM InfoSphere has plenty of integrated functions, including bulk-batch extraction, ETL processes, CDC, data replication, data federation, and many others.

Data integration tools by IBM are often used as a part of greater IT system also developed by IBM which makes accomplishing the goals faster and easier regardless of the type of project, including data warehousing and general business intelligence. This is also one of the key differences between IBM and other vendors' solutions.

IBM customers point out also that the product is prepared the way which enables using it as a halfway tool for other data management appliances.

IBM Data Integration - weaknesses

Some customers point out some problems connected with complexity of integration between different products. For some of them the level of integrity was lower than they have expected and for others navigating between multiple products grouped in one fashion was impeded. Worth noticing is the fact that IBM doesn't disregard the complaints of customers and quickly reacts to their newly-risen expectations.

    IBM information server weaknesses:
  • limited integration with other products
  • possible long learning curves
  • over-complexity
  • time consumption
  • high total cost of ownership

Additionally, efficiency issues are often highlighted by IBM InfoSphere users. They often mention long time, complexity, and longer learning curves as significant disadvantages of IBM Data Integration. If the general user experience was improved, probably more customers would be interested in choosing advanced IBM solutions instead containing less functions but easier to use products of other vendors.

Furthermore, the aspect of the cost model is considered as a bad side. In comparison to other companies in the market, the cost model offered by IBM is considered not really competitive but - what has to be admitted - 'Big Blue' keeps on improving the offer. It doesn't change a lot in total cost of ownership though, which is also recognized as generally high or too high. However, the choice of differentiated editions may be a chance to reduce the cost to the lowest possible in the end.