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Analysis

A New Kid on the Block
Dave Waddington By: Dr Dave Waddington, Senior VP and Head of Research, The Information Difference
Published: 4th July 2008
Copyright The Information Difference © 2008
Logo for The Information Difference

Data Integration is expensive but does it need to be? expressor software (see also the recent article by Philip Howard), a new entrant to the data integration space, says not. The company takes a very different approach to data integration and ETL (extract, transform and load). Many of the features and functionality that other vendors have added on over time to their products have been designed into expressor up front. The new product, scheduled to ship in mid July, is semantically aware and incorporates ‘hundreds and thousands’ of built-in data item correlations covering a broad range of vertical markets. But its key differentiator is its low TCO (total cost of ownership) setting it apart from the pack.

The vendor maintains that using expressor allows companies to reduce their total cost of ownership while delivering better quality and faster data integration applications. expressor points to four key areas for reduced costs.

Role-based graphic design and development tools enable rapid application development and deployment. Centrally stored data descriptions and application metadata held in a common repository facilitate efficient reuse in applications across the organization. expressor makes extensive use of semantic rationalisation to ensure data objects and business rules can be easily identified and reused – thus overcoming one of the major drawbacks of current data integration technologies. The software helps drive down hardware infrastructure costs since the expressor processing engine is less CPU hungry and more efficient than other solutions. Since it can also be installed in an existing network of computers, companies can avoid new capital investment in hardware.

This new vendor also claims that customers can reduce the cost of development staff with the role-based implementation approach introduced by expressor. Essentially this means that instead of an expensive developer carrying out all the tasks associated with an implementation, the roles can be assigned to a wider range of business staff so leveraging expertise and skills where they provide the biggest payback for the business.

However, the most important novel approach is the expressor pricing policy. The vendor is introducing a unique usage based runtime pricing approach in which you only pay for a maximum level of parallelism on a given machine. List prices start at US $20,000 (see also the expressor price list) for perpetual licenses and are even less for 6 month to 2-year term licenses. Effectively and significantly this means that you can start small and grow without the initial high investment cost in data integration infrastructure.

expressor is the first company in the industry to promote a ‘channel based’ pricing model potentially leading to cost saving when compared with the current outdated CPU‐based licensing models. You buy only as much as you need making it easy to initiate a new project without it having to bear the brunt of the total infrastructure cost. This is a significant step forward and a product with the potential to disrupt the somewhat stale data integration market. This new kid is one to watch closely!

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