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Note - All About Informatica Transformations

In Informatica, Transformations help us to transform the source data according to the

requirements of target system and thereby ensuring the quality of the data being loaded
into target.
Transformations mainly are of two types: Active and Passive.
1. Active Transformation
An active transformation can change the number of rows that pass through it from
source to target i.e. it eliminates rows that do not meet the condition in
2. Passive Transformation
A passive transformation does not change the number of rows that pass through it
i.e. it passes all rows through the transformation.
Transformations can be Connected or UnConnected.
Connected Transformation
Connected transformation is connected to other transformations or directly to target table
in the mapping.
UnConnected Transformation
An unconnected transformation is not connected to other transformations in the mapping.
It is called within another transformation, and returns a value to that transformation.
List of Transformations
Below are the list of Transformations available in
Informatica PowerCenter :

Aggregator Transformation
Expression Transformation
Filter Transformation
Joiner Transformation
Lookup Transformation
Normalizer Transformation
Rank Transformation


Router Transformation
Sequence Generator Transformation
Stored Procedure Transformation
Sorter Transformation
Update Strategy Transformation
XML Source Qualifier Transformation
Advanced External Procedure Transformation
External Transformation
Union Transformation

Now we will discuss in detail, about the Informatica Transformations and their
significances in the ETL process.
1. Aggregator Transformation
Aggregator transformation is an Active and Connected transformation. This
transformation is useful to perform calculations such as averages and sums (mainly
to perform calculations on multiple rows or groups). For example, to calculate total
of daily sales or to calculate average of monthly or yearly sales. Aggregate functions
such as AVG, FIRST, COUNT, PERCENTILE, MAX, SUM etc. can be used in aggregate
2. Expression Transformation
Expression transformation is a Passive and Connected transformation. This can be
used to calculate values in a single row before writing to the target. For example, to
calculate discount of each product or to concatenate first and last names or to convert
date to a string field.
3. Filter Transformation
Filter transformation is an Active and Connected transformation. This can be used to
filter rows in a mapping that do not meet the condition. For example, to know all the
employees who are working in Department 10 or to find out the products that falls
between the rate category $500 and $1000.
4. Joiner Transformation
Joiner Transformation is an Active and Connected transformation. This can be used
to join two sources coming from two different locations or from same location. For
example, to join a flat file and a relational source or to join two flat files or to join a
relational source and a XML source. In order to join two sources, there must be at
least one matching port. While joining two sources it is a must to specify one source
as master and the other as detail. The Joiner transformation supports the following
types of joins:

Master Outer
Detail Outer
Full Outer

Normal join discards all the rows of data from the master and detail source that do
not match, based on the condition.
Master outer join discards all the unmatched rows from the master source and keeps
all the rows from the detail source and the matching rows from the master source.
Detail outer join keeps all rows of data from the master source and the matching
rows from the detail source. It discards the unmatched rows from the detail source.
Full outer join keeps all rows of data from both the master and detail sources.
5. Lookup Transformation
Lookup transformation is Passive and it can be both Connected and UnConnected as
well. It is used to look up data in a relational table, view, or synonym. Lookup
definition can be imported either from source or from target tables.
For example, if we want to retrieve all the sales of a product with an ID 10 and assume
that the sales data resides in another table. Here instead of using the sales table as
one more source, use Lookup transformation to lookup the data for the product, with
ID 10 in sales table.
Difference between Connected and UnConnected Lookup Transformation:

Connected lookup receives input values directly from mapping pipeline

whereas UnConnected lookup receives values from:LKP expression from
another transformation.
Connected lookup returns multiple columns from the same row whereas
UnConnected lookup has one return port and returns one column from each
Connected lookup supports user-defined default values whereas UnConnected
lookup does not support user defined values.

6. Normalizer Transformation
Normalizer Transformation is an Active and Connected transformation. It is used
mainly with COBOL sources where most of the time data is stored in de-normalized
format. Also, Normalizer transformation can be used to create multiple rows from a
single row of data.
7. Rank Transformation
Rank transformation is an Active and Connected transformation. It is used to select
the top or bottom rank of data. For example, to select top 10 Regions where the sales
volume was very high or to select 10 lowest priced products.
8. Router Transformation
Router is an Active and Connected transformation. It is similar to filter
transformation. The only difference is, filter transformation drops the data that do
not meet the condition whereas router has an option to capture the data that do not
meet the condition. It is useful to test multiple conditions. It has input, output and
default groups. For example, if we want to filter data like where State=Michigan,

State=California, State=New York and all other States. Its easy to route data to
different tables.
9. Sequence Generator Transformation
Sequence Generator transformation is a Passive and Connected transformation. It is
used to create unique primary key values or cycle through a sequential range of
numbers or to replace missing keys.
It has two output ports to connect transformations. By default it has two fields
CURRVAL and NEXTVAL(You cannot add ports to this transformation). NEXTVAL
port generates a sequence of numbers by connecting it to a transformation or target.
CURRVAL is the NEXTVAL value plus one or NEXTVAL plus the Increment By value.
10. Stored Procedure Transformation
Stored Procedure transformation is a Passive and Connected & UnConnected
transformation. It is useful to automate time-consuming tasks and it is also used in
error handling, to drop and recreate indexes and to determine the space in database,
a specialized calculation etc.
The stored procedure must exist in the database before creating a Stored Procedure
transformation, and the stored procedure can exist in a source, target, or any database
with a valid connection to the Informatica Server. Stored Procedure is an executable
script with SQL statements and control statements, user-defined variables and
conditional statements. In case of stored procedure transformation procedure will be
compiled and executed in a relational data source. You need data base connection to
import the stored procedure in to your mapping.
11. Sorter Transformation
Sorter transformation is a Connected and an Active transformation. It allows to sort
data either in ascending or descending order according to a specified field. Also used
to configure for case-sensitive sorting, and specify whether the output rows should
be distinct.
12. Source Qualifier Transformation
Source Qualifier transformation is an Active and Connected transformation. When
adding a relational or a flat file source definition to a mapping, it is must to connect it
to a Source Qualifier transformation. The Source Qualifier performs the various tasks
such as overriding default SQL query, filtering records; join data from two or more
tables etc.
13. Update Strategy Transformation
Update strategy transformation is an Active and Connected transformation. It is used
to update data in target table, either to maintain history of data or recent changes.
You can specify how to treat source rows in table, insert, update, delete or data driven.
14. XML Source Qualifier Transformation

XML Source Qualifier is a Passive and Connected transformation. XML Source

Qualifier is used only with an XML source definition. It represents the data elements
that the Informatica Server reads when it executes a session with XML sources.
15. Advanced External Procedure Transformation
Advanced External Procedure transformation is an Active and Connected
transformation. It operates in conjunction with procedures, which are created
outside of the Designer interface to extend PowerCenter/PowerMart functionality. It
is useful in creating external transformation applications, such as sorting and
aggregation, which require all input rows to be processed before emitting any output
16. Union Transformation
The union transformation is used to merge multiple datasets from various streams or
pipelines into one dataset. This transformation works similar to the UNION ALL, it
does not remove any duplicate rows. It is recommended to use aggregator to remove
duplicates are not expected at the target.
17. External Procedure Transformation
External Procedure transformation is an Active & Connected/UnConnected
transformations. Sometimes, the standard transformations such as Expression
transformation may not provide the functionality that you want.In such cases
External procedure is useful to develop complex functions within a dynamic link
library (DLL) or UNIX shared library, instead of creating the necessary Expression
transformations in a mapping.
Differences between Advanced External Procedure and External Procedure

External Procedure returns single value, whereas Advanced External

Procedure returns multiple values.

External Procedure supports COM and Informatica procedures where as AEP

supports only Informatica Procedures.