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.
Xplenty is a cloud-based ETL platform.
About Ab Initio
Ab Initio is an on-premises data integration tool. The Ab Initio environment comprises six development and execution components:
- Co>Operating System — application development and execution environment
- Enterprise Meta>Environment — operational metadata management system
- Continuous Flows — dataflow engine for batch and real-time processing
- Business Rules Environment and Express>It Web Environment — environment for specifying business rules
- Data>Profiler — holistic data quality program
- Conduct>It — process automation facility
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 ingestion, ELT/ETL||ETL, enterprise application integration (EAI)||Data ingestion, ELT|
|Database replication||Full table; incremental via SELECT/replication keys||Unknown||Full table; incremental via change data capture or SELECT/replication keys|
|SaaS sources||More than 100||Undisclosed||More than 100|
|Ability for customers to add new data sources||No||Unknown||Yes|
|Connects to data warehouses? Data lakes?||Yes / Yes||Yes / No||Yes / Yes|
|G2 customer satisfaction||4.4/5||Not rated||4.8/5|
|Purchase process||Requires a conversation with sales||Requires a conversation with sales||Options for self-service or talking with sales. Also available from the AWS store.|
|Compliance, governance, and security certifications||SOC 2, SOX, PCI, GDPR||None||HIPAA, GDPR, SOC 2|
|Data sharing||No||No||Yes, through Talend Data Fabric|
|Vendor lock-in||Annual contracts||Month to month or annual contracts. Open source integrations|
|Developer tools||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.
Xplenty offers more than a dozen simple preload transformations, including filter, sort, and join, implemented via dragging and dropping components onto a workspace.
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.
Xplenty supports more than 120 integrations to SaaS platforms, databases, and BI and analytics tools. It supports Amazon Redshift, Google BigQuery, and Snowflake data warehouses and Amazon S3 data lakes, along with database and file storage destinations. Customers can request that the company build a new data source or destination, but no one outside of the company can build new ones or make improvements to existing ones.
Ab Initio does not publicly disclose how many data sources it supports, but the sources include databases, message queuing infrastructure, and SaaS platforms. Destinations include on-premises data warehouses but no data lakes.
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.
Xplenty provides support through Intercom online chat and via email. Documentation is in the form of an online knowledgebase. The company doesn't provide training services.
Ab Initio provides support via email. Documentation is not publicly available. The company does not provide training materials.
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.
Xplenty doesn't disclose pricing. The company offers a 7-day free trial to users who request a product demo.
Pricing is not disclosed.
Stitch has pricing that scales to fit a wide range of budgets and company sizes. All new users get an unlimited 14-day trial. 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.