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Ab Initio Productivity Features vs Informatica

ITtoolbox as adapted from Abinitio-L discussion group Summary: I would like to know Ab Initios advantage in terms of productivity, security and data handling over other ETL tools (e.g. Informatica) Full Article: Disclaimer: Contents are not reviewed for correctness and are not endorsed or recommended by ITtoolbox or any vendor. Popular Q&A contents include summarized information from ITtoolbox Abinitio-L discussion unless otherwise noted.
12/22/2005 By ITtoolbox Popular Q&A Team for

1. Adapted from a response by santoshachhra on 12/12/2005 1. Informatica and Ab Initio both support parallelism. But Informatica supports only one type of parallelism but the Ab Initio supports three types of parallesims. In Informatica the developer need to do some partions in server manager by using that you can achieve parallelism concepts. But in Ab Initio the tool it self take care of parallelism we have three types of parallelisms in Ab Initio 1. Component 2. Data Parallelism 3. Pipe Line parallelism this is the difference in parallelism concepts. 2. We don't have scheduler in Ab Initio like Informatica you need to schedule through script or u need to run manually. 3. Ab Initio supports different types of text files means you can read same file with different structures that is not possible in Informatica, and also Ab Initio is more user friendly than Informatica so there is a lot of differences in Informatica and Ab initio. 4. Both tools are fundamentally different. Which one to use depends on the work at hand and existing infrastructure and resources available. 5. Informatica is an engine based ETL tool, the power this tool is in it's transformation engine and the code that it generates after development cannot be seen or modified. 6. Ab Initio is a code based ETL tool, it generates ksh or bat etc. code, which can be modified to achieve the goals, if any that cannot be taken care through the ETL tool itself. 7. Initial ramp up time with Ab Initio is quick compare to Informatica, when it comes to standardization and tuning probably both fall into same bucket. 8. AbInitio doesn't need a dedicated administrator, UNIX or NT Admin will suffice, where as other ETL tools do have administrative work. 9. With recent releases of Informatica, it has a built in Change Data Capture capabilities (extract only the chnaged data through the DB logs), where as Ab Initio has to rely on DB to provide the CDC capabilities, as of now it doesn't have a way to sniff the DB logs. 10. Another interesting difference noticed is, with Ab Initio you can read data with multiple delimiter in a given record, where as Informatica force you to have all the fields be delimited by one standard delimiter. 11. If we go into component level, each tool has it's own way of implementing these transformation components. 12. When making a choice there are lot of factors which drive the decision like Existing infrastructure, resources, Project time line. Metadata management, complexity of transforms, data

volumes, integration with third party tools, Tool Support etc. not just Budget. * Error Handling - In Ab Initio you can attach error and reject files to each transformation and capture and analyze the message and data separately. Informatica has one huge log! Very inefficient when working on a large process, with numerous points of failure. * Robust transformation language - Informatica is very basic as far as transformations go. While I will not go into a function by function comparison, it seems that Ab Initio was much more robust. * User defined functions - I never developed any in Ab Initio, but I know that you can. Informatica requires that you code custom transformations in C++ (or VB if you are on a windows platform). Ab Initio also allows for custom components, but I have never had to develop one. * Instant feedback - On execution, Ab Initio tells you how many records have been processed/rejected/etc. and detailed performance metrics for each component. Informatica has a debug mode, but it is slow and difficult to adapt to. * Consolidated Interface - Ab Initio