ETL stands for Extract, Transform and Load. ERP systems (such as SAP, Oracle E-Business Suite) need this ETL process to bring data into the system. Open source ETL tools are gradually making their way into all major ERP projects like PeopleSoft, Oracle E-Business Suite, Sage50 and others. Soon, they will be replacing proprietary toolsets completely and will become the standards in ETL processes.
If you’re wondering “What is ETL?”, you’re in the right place. Here at Toptal, we love getting our hands dirty with all-things data. From data migration to data wrangling and everything in between, we test and use dozens of free tools every year. In this article, I’ve listed some of the best free open-source ETL (extract, transform and load) tools on the market. After reading this post, you’ll be able to find the right tool for your next ETL project — no matter how big or small it is!
Apache Airflow is a platform that allows you to programmatically author, schedule and monitor workflows. The tool enables users to author workflows as directed acyclic graphs (DAGs). The airflow scheduler executes tasks on an array of workers while following the specified dependencies. Airflow provides rich command line utilities that make performing complex surgeries on DAGs simple. The user interface also provides capabilities that enable users to visualize pipelines running production, monitor progress, and troubleshoot issues when needed.
Airbyte is one of the newest Open-Source ETL Tools that was launched in July 2020. It differs from other ETL tools as it provides connectors that are usable out of the box through a UI and API that allows community developers to monitor and maintain the tool.
The connectors run as Docker containers and can be built in the language of your choice. By providing modular components and optional feature subsets, Airbyte provides more flexibility.
Currently, Airbyte has 3 pricing models: Community, Standard, and Enterprise depending on the number of connectors, the number of seats needed and the number of premium features activated.
Apatar is a free and open-source data integration software package designed to help business users and developers move data in and out of a variety of data sources and formats. The tool requires no programming or design to accomplish even complex integration with joins across several data sources. Apatar provides a visual interface to minimize the impact of system changes. The tool comes with a pre-built set of integration tools and enables users to re-use previously built mapping schemas as well.
Apache Kafka is an Open-Source Data Streaming Tool written in Scala and Java. It publishes and subscribes to a stream of records in a fault-tolerant manner and provides a unified, high-throughput, and low-latency platform to manage data.
Apache Kafka can be used as a message bus, a buffer for systems and events processing, and to decouple applications from databases for both OLTP (Online Transaction Processing) and Data Warehouses.
Apache NiFi is a system used to process and distribute data and offers directed graphs of data routing, transformation, and system mediation logic. NiFi features a web-based user interface that enables users to toggle between design, control, feedback, and monitoring. It is highly configurable (dynamic prioritization, back pressure, flow modification at runtime), and can be designed for extension. NiFi also offers multi-tenant authorization and internal authorization and policy management.
Jaspersoft ETL is described as a ready-to-run ETL job designer. It’s a complete ETL tool with a range of data integration features. The tool allows you to accurately extract data from multiple locations into a single data store.
Notably, Jaspersoft ETL features a Job Designer tool for creating and editing ETL processes. Also, it features a Business Modeler tool that generates a non-technical view of the data flow.https://56cc77f74299e8ef16fba20a766e5d53.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
With its Transformation Mapper functionality, you can define complex data transformations and mappings.
Data from databases, web services, FTP servers, POP servers, and XML files can be integrated with Jaspersoft ETL. You can input or output data from these sources simultaneously. When done, you can generate portable Java or Perl codes that’ll run on other platforms.
Jaspersoft ETL will also work with complex file formats and heterogeneous data sources e.g. LDIFs, CSVs, and RegExp. The tool features a real-time debugger that efficiently tracks your ETL statistics.
An advantage of using Jaspersoft ETL is that it can work very well with other ETL tools. Also, you get access to an Activity Monitoring Console; from there, you can keep track of your job events.
Logstash is an Open-Source Data Pipeline that extracts data from multiple data sources and transforms the source data and events and loads them into ElasticSearch, a JSON-based search, and analytics engine. It is part of the ELK Stack. The “E” stands for ElasticSearch and the “K” stands for Kibana, a Data Visualization engine.
It is written in Ruby and is a pluggable JSON framework that consists of more than 200 plugins to cater to the ETL process across a wide variety of inputs, filters, and outputs. It can be used as a BI tool or even as a Data Warehouse.
Currently, Logstash is part of ElasticSearch and comes in 4 pricing packages, namely Standard, Gold, Platinum, and Enterprise. The Standard edition is $16 per month, the Gold edition is $19 per month, the Platinum edition is $22 per month and the Enterprise edition is $30 per month.
GeoKettle is a metadata-driven spatial ETL tool designed to integrate different spatial data sources for building and updating geospatial data warehouses. It is a spatially-enabled version of Pentaho Kettle. GeoKettle also benefits from geospatial capabilities from mature open source libraries like JTS, GeoTools, and deegree. The tool also features a cartographic viewer to preview your transformations, including map customization tools and basic cartographic functions.
Pentaho Kettle offers ETL capabilities using a metadata-driven approach. Now part of the Hitachi Vantara Community, the tool features a graphical drag-and-drop design environment and a standards-based architecture. Pentaho allows users to create their own data manipulation jobs without entering a single line of code. It uses a common, shared repository which enables remote ETL execution as well. Hitachi Vantara also offers open-source business intelligence tools for reporting and data mining.
There are a lot of ETL tools out there. Some tools are open source, some tools cost thousands of dollars, and all kinds of tools can be found in between.