Has Talend completed the set with its launch of MDM CE?

First of all let me tell you that the date for Data Migration Matters 3 – the only conference in the world devoted solely to Data Migration – has been set for 12th May 2010. After last years extremely successful DMM2 we are expecting even more excitement around this year's event with product announcements and have-a-go sessions planned alongside the normal thought leadership sessions, best practice presentations and been-there-done-that case studies by real practitioners. And of course the opportunity to network with fellow Data Migration consultants from software companies, systems integrators and end companies. Tickets will be going on sale from the end of February with an early bird discount planned until the end of March. The event will be in London at the Kings Fund again. Put the date in your diaries and I hope to see you there.

Now on to Talend and let me say straight off – I am not a Master Data Management expert. MDM, like Data Migration, is a maturing area with many products coming to market right now. I'm not going to make a judgement in this blog about the relative merits of the Talend solution as an enterprise ready MDM solution.

However as I am sure I have indicated before, I've often found in the past that I need MDM as part of a Data Migration exercise. Just think of the cases where we are taking data (or parts of our data set) from multiple Legacy Data Stores. Initiated during the Landscape Analysis phase, utilised during our Data Quality and ETL phases, I often find myself putting an MDM function together. Normally I have to coble it together using SQL Server or Access.

How much better if we had access to a low cost alternative. And even better again if this was integrated with our Data Migration tool set.

Of course we all know that Talend with its open source philosohy and its commitment to a low price model will excel on the entry price. I can't often justify a £500k plus spend on some MDM software that will be thrown away once the project is over. Worse still is to be drawn into an esoteric architectural procurement dispute around the corporate standard.

I also want something that is easy to set up and maintain – after all, for a Data Migration exercise it is better for an intermediary data store like this to hold the data I want to validate against or use to populate fields, rather than be overly concerned with structure. Speed is of the essence.

In developing this product Talend have gone down the route (unusually for them) of taking over the software developed by a third party (a small French software company called Amalto I believe). But they have gone to a lot of trouble to seamlessly integrate MDM CE with the rest of the Open Studio suite. Their Active Data Model and XML based approach means that we can generate zero code user interfaces and export the data to other applications. What I didn’t see demonstrated (maybe I missed it) was the ability of the MDM component to be both target and source for Open Studio, however, intuitively I don't see that as being an issue.

The open source release is available for download from Talend at www.talend.com. Join the over 1000 folks who have already downloaded the software in the week or so since its launch. I know I will and if you have tried it let us all know what you think.

Johny Morris

About the author

John Morris has over 20 years experience in IT as a programmer, business analyst, project manager and data architect. He has spent the last 10 years working exclusively on data migration and system integration projects. John is the author of Practical Data Migration.