Q:  

When should we use an ETL tool and when should we develop one by ourselves?

A:  

Chuck Kelley's Answer: I would almost always recommend the use of an ETL tool. It 1) places discipline in the extraction and transformation process, 2) provides a strong area for technical meta data and 3) is somewhat self-documenting, so when you move onto your next project, it is quite clear how the DW/DM was built. The only time that I could see not using is when you are doing a proof of concept (although I would strongly recommend the use of one during this time, as well), and your budget is not quite large enough to cover the cost. The reason is that the organization that is building the proof of concept may determine that it is not ready for the DW environment.

Sid Adelman's Answer: Look at the three "Cs" - cost, complexity and culture. The ETL tools are costly, but the expense may be justified by their productivity. As the cleansing and transformations become very complex, some ETL tools break down, and you may have to bounce out to perform these transformations in a procedural language. The culture of your organization and the folks responsible for ETL may be such that they reject anything that will make their jobs simpler. If this is the case, they will bypass the tool and do their own thing.

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