My company is planning to replace our old BI tool. One of our legacy systems uses an INGRES database. How much of a consideration is it for the BI tool we select to have native connectivity to INGRES versus providing ODBC connectivity?


Les Barbusinski’s Answer: If you choose a ROLAP-based BI tool (e.g., MicroStrategy, Business Objects, etc.), then native connectivity to a legacy database is a moot point since the source data will have to be transformed by an ETL tool into a star schema on a modern RDBMS before the BI tool can use the data. If, however, you choose a MOLAP-based BI solution (e.g., Essbase, SAS, Cognos, Microsoft, etc.) which transforms source data into non-relational hypercubes, you may experience significant performance gains by choosing a tool that uses native drivers to access data on source databases.

Doug Hackney’s Answer: You’ll save a lot of query runtime processing if you calculate and load the durations with the task record.

Mike Jennings’ Answer: I would weigh my consideration based on:

  • The frequency and volume of extracts being run.
  • Containment and/or retirement plans for use of the INGRES database in the enterprise.
  • Processing windows for extracting data from the legacy database.
  • Data warehouse deployment environment.

Depending on the answers to the above questions, the ODBC versus native driver support should only be a consideration if all other requirements are equal between two business intelligence tools.

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