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Mark Madsen

Open source is becoming a required option for consideration in many enterprise software evaluations, and business intelligence (BI) isn't exempt. This blog is the interactive part of my Open Source expert channel for the Business Intelligence Network where you can suggest and discuss news and events. The focus is on open source as it relates to analytics, business intelligence, data integration and data warehousing. If you would like to suggest an article or link, send an e-mail to me at open_source_links@ThirdNature.net.

About the author >

Mark, President of Third Nature, is a former CTO and CIO with experience working in both IT and vendors, including a stint at a company used as a Harvard Business School case study. Over the past decade, Mark has received awards for his work in data warehousing, business intelligence and data integration from the American Productivity & Quality Center, the Smithsonian Institute and TDWI. He is co-author of Clickstream Data Warehousing and lectures and writes about data integration, business intelligence and emerging technology.

Open source master data management got a boost on Monday when Talend announced that they acquired Xtentis MDM from Amalto. This product was geared towards creation of repository-style MDM applications, for example a product master data repository or a customer key cross-reference hub.


Xtentis was a Java and XML-based product with an Eclipse UI, so it's a reasonably good technical fit with Talend's tools. While the product information links have been removed from their web site, you can still access the Xtentis product data sheet if you're interested in the functionality and user interface.


Talend's goal is to provide a generic MDM application that can be used for different subject areas. They will take over the application from Amalto and are already working on open-sourcing the base code with a planned product release date of January, 2010. It's not clear yet what the differences will be between the community edition and the subscription version. If their ETL tools are an indication, it will likely be in the areas of ease of use for multiple developers, manageability and more complete product line integration.


The development plan Talend described involves integration with their ETL and real-time integration tools. This is typically a weak point with MDM products on the market. Most MDM software, whether transaction-oriented or analytical, still requires the use of an ETL or real-time data integration product.


Talend claims this is, or will be, the first open source MDM product. That depends on how you define MDM, as the Sun Mural MDM project was announced in May of 2008. I lean toward Talend's claim of "first" because the Mural project was more of a data interchange and index system aimed at Java developers. Most IT people think of as master data management as something broader and deeper, with more functionality.


Mural is also unlikely to see much adoption. The project is still in a base state and the last official Mural announcement was over a year ago, showing how little has been going on internally. With Oracle owning multiple data integration and MDM products, it's hard to image that Mural will see any budget or staff dedicated to maintenance.

Posted October 1, 2009 7:30 AM
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