IBM Announces ETL Tools for Migrating to DB2

Big Blue will offer tools from Informatica to help new customers move data from Oracle, SQL Server, and other DBMSs

Yesterday, data integration specialist Informatica Corp. notched an accord with IBM Corp., which plans to use Informatica’s ETL technology to help new customers migrate to DB2.

Ron Papas, vice president of business development with Informatica, says Big Blue plans to tap Informatica’s PowerCenter, PowerConnect, and PowerExchange ETL tools to move data from Oracle, SQL Server and other databases. “Specifically, when they go to do an enterprise database deal, or a large database deal, typically, there might be some other databases in place that are part of their transaction migrating over to DB2,” he explains.

Most of these customers, Papas acknowledges, will be migrating data from Oracle and SQL Server to instances of DB2 running on Windows, Unix, or Linux platforms. But Informatica also markets a mainframe ETL tool, called PowerExchange, that it acquired from the former Striva Corp., a long-time provider of mainframe data integration tools. In some cases, Papas says, customers will use Informatica’s PowerCenter and PowerExchange to migrate data to DB2 running on S/390 or z/OS systems.

“There’s a lot of customers that may have, for example, data on Adabase or IDBMS that they may want to migrate to DB2, so our technology could definitely be used for that,” he notes.

Papas says that Informatica supports a single look and feel across all of its data integration tools, which means that ETL administrators who work in one environment, such as Windows, will feel comfortable initiating data migrations for Unix or mainframe platforms as well. “The nice thing about our technology is that you have a single user interface, single look and feel, so that when you train consultants on PowerCenter, they can accomplish the task wherever the data is, even if it’s on the mainframe. So I would say that’s one of the unique advantages, instead of having to use three or four different tools, or writing COBOL programs, they can simply leverage one [tool],” he argues.

Informatica uses a “listener” on the mainframe to integrate with its PowerCenter ETL facility, which doesn’t currently run on Big Iron. Other competitors—such as Ascential Software Corp.—market ETL solutions that do run natively on the mainframe. According to Harriet Fryman, group director of product marketing with Informatica, her company plans to introduce a native version of PowerCenter for mainframe environments.

“There is a plan” to release a PowerCenter for Big Iron, Fryman explains, “and we did preannounce that we intend to do that. The acquisition of Striva not only gave us a great data capture capability, but it also gave us this great skill set, and we are looking to release PowerCenter later this year.”

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.