Oracle OpenWorld: Future of OWB

At the Oracle DEMOgrounds I talked to Robert Costin Velisar, Director of Software Development for Oracle Data Integrator. I asked him about the planned integration of Oracle Warehouse Builder (OWB) and Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) and wanted to know what we should recommend to our customers that use OWB in many of their projects. His answer was more or less what is written in the updated version of Oracle Data Integrator and Oracle Warehouse Builder Statement of Direction (May 2011), but a bit more concrete.

OWB 11g Release 2 will be the final release of Oracle Warehouse Builder. No major enhancements are planned for this tool. Support, patches and bug fixes will still be delivered for the next years. OWB 11.2 will be supported for the whole lifecycle of Oracle Database 12c, so there is no hurry to switch to ODI as soon as possible. But the strategic ETL product of Oracle is ODI, and new customers are recommended to use this tool.

From my point of view, there are two major issues where I did not get a satisfying answer from Robert Velisar:

  • I cannot see any straight forward migration strategy for existing OWB projects yet. Although some third-party companies started to develop migration tools, there is no easy way available today to move an OWB project to an ODI repository. Perhaps there will be some enhancements in ODI 12c, but at the moment I would not recommend to an existing OWB customer to switch to ODI soon.
  • Many customers switched from other ETL tools to Oracle Warehouse Builder a few years ago, because OWB is included in the database license and is therefore the cheapest solution for them. The license costs for Oracle Data Integrator Enterprise Edition are much higher, and probably not everybody is willing to spend this money for an ETL tool. When they have to migrate their projects to another ETL tool anyway in a couple of years, I’m sure that some customers will decide to use ETL tools from other software vendors. There are several good open source ETL products on the market.

We will see in the next years whether Oracle is able and willing to support all their OWB customers with a working and payable migration strategy from OWB to ODI. If the sentence “Oracle Warehouse Builder customers will be taken care of” in the Statement of Direction document is still true, there must be good answers from Oracle to these questions.

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