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 code everything in-house. Here's an comparison of three such tools, head to head.

About Informatica

Informatica offers a portfolio of data integration products as well as tools for master data management, data quality, data cataloging, and API management. Informatica started out with on-premises tools but now offers a cloud platform as well.

About Elastic Logstash

Elastic is the corporate name of the company behind Elasticsearch. Logstash is a command-line tool that runs under Linux or macOS or in a Docker container. It integrates log data into the Elasticsearch search and analytics service. Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana make up the company's ELK Stack.

About Stitch

Stitch Data Loader is a cloud-based platform for ETL — extract, transform, and load. More than 3,000 companies use Stitch to move billions of records every day from SaaS applications and databases into data warehouses and data lakes, where it can be analyzed with BI tools. Stitch is a Talend company and is part of the Talend Data Fabric.

Focus Data integration, ETL Log replication and management Data ingestion, ELT
Database replication Full table; incremental via change data capture None Full table; incremental via change data capture or SELECT/replication keys
SaaS sources More than 80 None More than 100
Ability for customers to add new data sources Yes Yes Yes
Connects to data warehouses? Data lakes? Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes
Transparent pricing No Yes Yes
G2 customer satisfaction 4/5 4/5 4.8/5
Support SLAs Available No Available
Purchase process Requires conversation with sales Available as a free download. Also bundled as part of the Elastic Stack, which is available via subscription Options for self-service or talking with sales. Also available from the AWS store.
Compliance, governance, and security certifications HIPAA, SOC 2, SOC 3, Privacy Shield GDPR, SOC 2 Type 2 HIPAA, GDPR, SOC 2
Data sharing Yes, through Informatica Cloud No Yes, through Talend Data Fabric
Vendor lock-in Annual contracts. No open source Logstash is open source software shipped under the Elastic license Month to month or annual contracts. Open source integrations
Developer tools Informatica Developer Tool, REST API, Connector Toolkit Four monitoring APIs, instructions for writing plugins in Java 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

Informatica

Informatica has been an on-premises product for most of its history, and much of the product is focused on preload transformations, which is an important feature when sending data to an on-premises data warehouse. Informatica includes a library of prebuilt transformations and the ability to build custom transformations using a proprietary transformation language.

Elastic Logstash

Logstash provides plugins for several kinds of transformations, including filtering and deserializing data, extracting fields, and enriching data with lookups. Filters are text files, and users can edit existing filters and write their own; Logstash filters are Ruby gems.

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.

Informatica

Informatica provides Cloud Connectors for more than 100 applications and databases. The only cloud data warehouse destination it supports is Amazon Redshift. It also support Pivotal's Greenplum on-premises platform. The only data lake destination it supports is Microsoft Azure SQL Data Lake. Developers can create new connectors using Informatica Connector Toolkit.

Elastic Logstash

Logstash supports more than 50 log and event data sources. Destinations include Google BigQuery data warehouse, Google Cloud Storage and Amazon S3 data lakes, Elasticsearch, and more than 50 other file formats and operational monitoring platforms.

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.

Informatica

Informatica provides three levels of support. Basic Success is available during business hours. Premium Success offers 24x7 support for Priority 1 cases. Signature Support offers 24x7 support for all cases. Documentation is comprehensive. The company offers training through Informatica University.

Elastic Logstash

Logstash vendor Elasticsearch provides support through a customer-only portal. Logstash is also supported through an open source community. Documentation is comprehensive. Digital training materials are not 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

Informatica

Informatica has many products, each of which may have several optional components. The base version of Integration Cloud starts at $2,000 per month. The pricing of add-on tiers is undisclosed. Informatica provides a 30-day free trial for many of its products.

Elastic Logstash

Logstash is a free download, and is available bundled with other products in the Elastic Stack as a subscription, which starts at $16 per month. More expensive plans are available that feature things like dedicated support, custom plugins, machine learning, and advanced security features.

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.