Dylan's BI Study Notes

My notes about Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, OLAP, and Master Data Management

Is ETL still necessary?

Posted by Dylan Wan on January 22, 2019

ETL stands for Extract, Transform, and Load.

Extract and Load, their existence itself implies that the source data and target data are stored separately, so you need to extract from source and load the data into the target data store.

Extract and Load won’t go away if the data used for reporting is not stored in the same place as the data captured in the source system for transactional processing.

However, sometime, we use the term, Replicate, which refers to simply copying the data from the source to the target without any transformation.

In a way, the ETL was not necessary when we said that we can have a reporting solution directly from the transactional system.   In the old day, Oracle DBI running off Oracle E-Business Suite does not require ETL.  It does has batch programs for Summarization, but it does not extract and load data.

ETL went away at once when a replication or backup based approach is being used.  A solution such as Oracle Golden Gate, some how can eliminate the need of Extract and Load since it does Extract and Load in one step.  SOmetime people call this ELT, Extract and Load first, then Transform.

The real question is how easy these tranditional ETL programs can be developed and maintained.

The real question is whether an ETL tool and ETL programs running outside the BI tool is necessary.  The processes, at least the Transform process, won’t go away as long as the data need to prepared for reporting.

Are we able to get rid of the heavy ETL development time? Are we able to get rid of the separate ETL tool?  Are we able to stop maintaining those ETL programs? Definitely.



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