Most businesses have data stored in a variety of locations, from in-house databases to SaaS platforms. To get a full picture of their finances and operations, they pull data from all those sources into a data warehouse or data lake and run analytics against it. But they don't want to build and maintain their own data pipelines.

Fortunately, it’s not necessary to build everything in-house. We put together this ETL tool comparison guide to help you choose the product that’s the best fit for your business.

Overview

Apache Airflow, Tibco Jaspersoft, and Stitch are all popular platforms. Here's a side-by-side look at how they stack up against each other.

Focus Orchestration, scheduling, workflows Embedded BI software Data ingestion, ELT
Database replication Only via plugins Full table; incremental via change data capture Full table; incremental via change data capture or SELECT/replication keys
SaaS sources Only via plugins Fewer than 10 More than 100
Ability for customers to add new data sources Yes No Yes
Connects to data warehouses? Data lakes? Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes
Transparent pricing Yes No Yes
G2 customer satisfaction Not rated 3.8/5 4.8/5
Support SLAs No Yes Available
Purchase process Free to download and use Requires a conversation with sales Options for self-service or talking with sales. Also available from the AWS store.
Compliance, governance, and security certifications None None HIPAA, GDPR, SOC 2
Data sharing Yes, via plugins No Yes, through Talend Data Fabric
Vendor lock-in Free to use Annual contracts Month to month or annual contracts. Open source integrations
Developer tools Experimental REST API None Import API, Stitch Connect API for integrating Stitch with other platforms, Singer open source project

Let's dive into some of the details of each platform.

Transformations

Apache Airflow

Apache Airflow is a powerful tool for authoring, scheduling, and monitoring workflows as directed acyclic graphs (DAG) of tasks. A DAG is a topological representation of the way data flows within a system. Airflow manages execution dependencies among jobs (known as operators in Airflow parlance) in the DAG, and programmatically handles job failures, retries, and alerting. Developers can write Python code to transform data as an action in a workflow.

Tibco Jaspersoft

Tibco Jaspersoft lets users define preload transformations by dragging and dropping icons onto a graphical workspace.

Stitch

Stitch is an ELT product. Within the pipeline, Stitch does only transformations that are required for compatibility with the destination, such as translating data types or denesting data when relevant. Stitch is part of Talend, which also provides tools for transforming data either within the data warehouse or via external processing engines such as Spark and MapReduce. Transformations can be defined in SQL, Python, Java, or via graphical user interface.

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Connectors: Data sources and destinations

Each of these tools supports a variety of data sources and destinations.

Apache Airflow

Airflow orchestrates workflows to extract, transform, load, and store data. It run tasks, which are sets of activities, via operators, which are templates for tasks that can by Python functions or external scripts. Developers can create operators for any source or destination. In addition, Airflow supports plugins that implement operators and hooks — interfaces to external platforms. The Airflow community has built plugins for databases like MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server and SaaS platforms such as Salesforce, Stripe, and Facebook Ads.

Tibco Jaspersoft

Jaspersoft sells an embeddable business intelligence suite that lets developers embed analytics reports and dashboards inside their applications. Jaspersoft Enterprise is a full BI server including web reporting, dashboard, and analytic tools, while JasperReports IO is a BI microservice for producing reports and visualizations. Both editions include Jaspersoft Studio design software. Jaspersoft ETL is an optional component of Jaspersoft Enterprise that consists of an OEM edition of an older version of Talend Open Studio for Data Integration. It supports about 30 data sources, including enterprise applications, big data tools, and cloud platforms. Users can download components that connect to additional platforms by joining Talend Exchange.

Stitch

Stitch supports more than 100 database and SaaS integrations as data sources, and eight data warehouse and data lake destinations. Customers can contract with Stitch to build new sources, and anyone can add a new source to Stitch by developing it according to the standards laid out in Singer, an open source toolkit for writing scripts that move data. Singer integrations can be run independently, regardless of whether the user is a Stitch customer. Running Singer integrations on Stitch’s platform allows users to take advantage of Stitch's monitoring, scheduling, credential management, and autoscaling features.

Support, documentation, and training

Data integration tools can be complex, so vendors offer several ways to help their customers. Online documentation is the first resource users often turn to, and support teams can answer questions that aren't covered in the docs. Vendors of the more complicated tools may also offer training services.

Apache Airflow

The open source community provides Airflow support through a Slack community. Documentation includes quick start and how-to guides. Other than a tutorial on the Apache website there are no training resources.

Tibco Jaspersoft

Jaspersoft provides support through an online support portal. Documentation for Jaspersoft ETL consists of links to non-Jaspersoft sites. No training materials are available.

Stitch

Stitch provides in-app chat support to all customers, and phone support is available for Enterprise customers. Support SLAs are available. Documentation is comprehensive and is open source — anyone can contribute additions and improvements or repurpose the content. Stitch does not provide training services.

Pricing

Apache Airflow

Airflow is free and open source, licensed under Apache License 2.0.

Tibco Jaspersoft

Jaspersoft provides an evaluation license. Pricing isn't disclosed.

Stitch

Stitch has pricing that scales to fit a wide range of budgets and company sizes. All new users get an unlimited 14-day trial. After the trial, there's a free plan for smaller organizations and nonproduction workloads. Standard plans range from $100 to $1,250 per month depending on scale, with discounts for paying annually. Enterprise plans for larger organizations and mission-critical use cases can include custom features, data volumes, and service levels, and are priced individually.

Get started now

Which tool is best overall? That's something every organization has to decide based on its unique requirements, but we can help you get started. Sign up now for a free trial of Stitch.