Re: Rants. Difficulty to learn ETL tools?

From: TheSQLGuru <>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2007 13:38:54 -0500
Message-ID: <uOXJtIrgHHA.4596_at_TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl>

  1. The kajillion functions and their syntax/calling mechanisms is one 'masterization' impediment. I will add that you don't see books on these tools simply because there isn't enough licensed copies of them in existence for publishers/authors to make any money.
  2. Yes, EDI mappings can be extremely difficult/complex. Some tools handle differing flavors of these better than others. I doubt any one of them does well at all the different spec's out there.
  3. I agree that an ETL tool will actually be an IMPEDIMENT to productivity IF you are not INTIMATELY FAMILIAR with that tools interface, flow logic, conditional logic, and functional capabilities.
  4. As far as the tools go, I do not believe there is such a thing as 'transferrable skills', unless several of them use VBScript (DataJunction does this) or some such. Your comparison to C++/Java or SQL is flawed, in that those are VERY limited, pretty much fixed sets of keywords/logic/processing.

To answer your reiterated questions:

  1. I don't think the ETL tools are necessarily difficult to learn, they will just take time/practice with them. Still, if "I" were a recruiter, I wouldn't give you the time of day for anything other than an entry level ETL-tool job unless you already had significant experience and /or training on the product my company used.
  2. The primary advantages to ETL tools are that that provide a (reusable) framework for logic/flow/parsing and built in capabilities for data/file movement and error handling. I would NOT want to hand-craft a system to be able to parse and process an ANSI X12 document!!
  3. I don't know much about PLSQL, but if it is a robust G3/4 language with very good data handling, conditional, procedural and I/O capabilities then you probably could roll your own ETL with it. Good luck with that if you try it. :-)
Indicium Resources, Inc.

<> wrote in message

> OK. But I still have questions.
> Is it because there are 3000 built in functions
> and commands specific to the ETL tool, and a number
> of new paradigms, that you first have to master?
> Since I don't see big thick books on the tools,
> if any, I don't believe this is the case.
> Or, is it that the new esoteric mappings themselves are
> difficult? They always are. In which case, I conclude
> that it doesn't really matter whether you use an ETL tool, or
> hard code it, the mappings will be difficult either way.
> Actually, I can imagine that an ETL tool may actually
> slow you down, because it's more limited in functionality
> than hard coding. In which case, I can understand that
> you will need to spend time with the tool, trying to
> get it to do the things that it wasn't designed to do.
> Is this the case?
> The idea that I'm getting at is transferable skill sets.
> If someone knows C++, they can learn java much easier
> than one without the OO knowledge. If one knows databases
> and SQL in depth, and can hard code ETL, this is also
> a transferable skill set.
> Again, Questions:
> - Just how difficult are these ETL tools to learn
> for an experienced Oracle pro like myself?
> - Other than a GUI, making everything simple to use,
> just what are the advantages of using ETL tools?
> - what built in functionality do ETL tools
> have, that can't be done in PLSQL?
Received on Thu Apr 19 2007 - 20:38:54 CEST

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