REVIEWER: Jack Garzella, VP data warehousing, reporting and analytics for Overstock.com.
BACKGROUND: Overstock.com, Inc. is an online closeout retailer. The company offers its customers an opportunity to conveniently shop for bargains and its suppliers an alternative inventory liquidation distribution channel.
PLATFORMS: Overstock's environment includes Oracle9i RAC, 10g RAC on both Dell Linux and IBM AIX systems. These systems feed the Teradata 8-node 54000 enterprise data warehouse with operational data.
PROBLEM SOLVED: With several terabytes of data stored in our enterprise data warehouse, and millions of transactions taking place each day, we needed to find a way to ensure our data warehouse was constantly updated. We wanted to enable our sales, finance, marketing and merchandising teams to have access to near real-time data so that they could make timely, more intelligent business decisions. We wanted to know at any point in time if our performance is meeting our target metrics. To achieve this goal, we needed to find a data integration product that could handle our high-volume loading and transformation requirements in near real time. With Sunopsis Data Conductor, we were able to solve this problem.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Sunopsis Data Conductor is a highly powerful extract, transform and load (ETL) product that allows us to automatically and efficiently load and transform large volumes of data from source systems directly into our enterprise data warehouse. In the past, when we needed to modify or move data, we had to handwrite the code to get the data into the proper format and files. This was a huge task, considering that every transaction made on our site requires us to populate the data in six to eight different records. Using Sunopsis Data Conductor, we are able to automatically load and transform data into proper data warehouse structures. Additionally, because Sunopsis Data Conductor performs the transactions in the database, we are able to leverage the power and scalability of our Teradata engine.
STRENGTHS: We really like the product's clean architecture and approach to moving data. With a traditional ETL tool you are forced to rely upon a proprietary engine to perform the transformations. With Sunopsis' unique E-LT (extract, load and transform) approach, we are able to use the power of our existing RDBMS engine to perform the transformations. The second key reason for choosing Sunopsis Data Conductor is the product's use of business rules to handle integration processes.
WEAKNESSES: The product does not provide any out-of-the-box notification or paging capabilities - you need to write scripts that then get invoked by Sunopsis.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We wanted a stable, highly reliable product that could handle both batch and real-time requirements. The product had to be easy to use and deploy and would allow us to leverage our existing IT environment. The product also needed to work seamlessly with our GoldenGate transaction management product. When we looked at Sunopsis, we were immediately impressed.
DELIVERABLES: Sunopsis Data Conductor's unique architecture makes it possible to automatically transform more than 5 million daily transactions into useful data. Using the product, we are able to perform even the most complex data transformations on very large volumes of data without experiencing any performance problems. Sunopsis allows us to perform data transformations using the power of our Teradata Enterprise Warehousing platform. This enables us to simplify our architecture and make better use of capital dollars. Having access to key business metrics in real time is no longer a fantasy. With Sunopsis, more than 300 users are now able to view their relevant data in near real time.
VENDOR SUPPORT: The level of support we received from Sunopsis has consistently been exceptional. They respond quickly and professionally to our requests and work very closely with us to ensure our needs are fully met.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation allowed us to easily install and operate the product. However, there were occasions when we were attempting to perform some very complex transformations and could not find appropriate examples in the documentation to guide us.
Sunopsis Data Conductor
6 Lincoln Knoll Lane, Suite 100
Burlington, MA 01803
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