One important trend in the business intelligence (BI) marketplace is toward DBMS vendors (such as IBM, Microsoft and Oracle) integrating ETL, OLAP and data mining features into their database products. Given that many of these capabilities are available for free or at little cost, organizations are asking, "Why should we purchase a third-party BI tool when we can get the BI capabilities for free from our DBMS vendor?" In the next two columns, I will try to answer this question.

To evaluate database ETL processing, organizations need to understand the level and type of ETL capabilities being offered by DBMS vendors. These fall into three basic groups:

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