We have a data consolidation system which takes transactions from multiple systems and consolidate and enriches it with contextual information and publishes the same to the downstream consumer systems. The whole process is on mainframe. The end-to-end process (includes transformation, IMS DB lookup, formatting, sorting) has about 10 jobs, and it takes a maximum of about two hours to process 1.5 million transactions. It is a batch process with some strict SLA considerations. Is there any value add in going toward using an ETL for the same process? The feeding systems are all in the mainframe and all the consumer systems are also on the mainframe. We cannot afford to miss the SLA.


Sid Adelman's Answer: There is value and there are benefits of ETL software but it seems like you already have a process that works and meets your SLAs. You haven't indicated any reasons for changing out your process and moving to ETL. ETL software is expensive, takes training, and it would take significant time to convert. There appears to be no reason to convert. Stay with what you have.

Chuck Kelley's Answer: It sounds to me like you have built the ETL, it sounds pretty well defined and robust, and it is meeting your SLA. On the whole, I would say that things are fine the way you have it. The value add an ETL tool will provide is 1) a stronger (but not optimum) meta data environment and 2) easier maintenance (I am assuming you are using a third generational language such as *gasp* COBOL). If I were you, I would stay with what you have.

Clay Rehm's Answer: Is there a reason to move away from the mainframe? Even if you reduce the end-to-end process time in less than two hours, will the purchase of a new tool, the cost of converting programs, training and support outweigh the cost?

Les Barbusinski's Answer: A wise man (or was it a woman?) once said, "If it ain't busted, don't fix it." It sounds like your existing application is fulfilling your business needs while meeting your stringent SLA requirements. Why would you want to undertake a risky rewrite effort and incur the high cost of new ETL licenses ... when your system "ain't busted?"

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