Ever since the second computer system came along, integrating systems has been a key part of the work of IT teams.
Today's IT landscape is increasingly complex, with enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), finance, warehousing, human resources, and e-business systems, both within and outside the enterprise, all needing to exchange data. The real-time nature of business today and the fast pace of business change add to the need to have a set of tools and skills that make the business of integrating systems quick and easy. New systems come along all the time, but it is also a requirement to respond quickly to new business opportunities that drive system integrations. Company takeovers and mergers, new markets and customers, new suppliers, and joint ventures are commonplace events that all require data to be exchanged on a one-off or regular basis to make them work.
As you might expect, for such a critical systems-development activity, there is no end of options to choose from to fulfill the need. From complex multi-million dollar integration suites from the major systems vendors to humble, yet powerful, scripting languages such as Perl, there is something for every budget and taste. So what is Talend Open Studio for Data Integration and why should you consider it for your next integration project?
Talend Open Studio for Data Integration is an open source graphical development environment for creating and deploying custom integrations between systems. It comes with over 600 pre-built connectors that make it quick and easy to connect databases, transform files, load data, move, copy and rename files, and connect individual components in order to define complex integration processes.
Talend Open Studio for Data Integration is a code generator, and so does a lot of the "heavy lifting" for you. As such, it is a suitable tool for experienced developers and non-developers alike. Talend Open Studio for Data Integration is easy to use and reduces the time taken to develop integrations from weeks and months to days or even hours.
Integration jobs are created from components that are configured rather than coded and jobs can be run from within the development environment or executed as standalone scripts.
Some common use cases for Talend Open Studio for Data Integration include:
Data migration from one database to another: This is a common scenario when new systems are implemented or existing systems are upgraded. Data has to be populated into the new or upgraded system and database schemas may be subtly or completely different, requiring some modification of the data prior to loading. Data migrations tend to be "one-off" activities, not integrations that are deployed on an ongoing basis. The Studio facilitates data migrations through its many database connectors and actions.
Regular file exchanges between systems: The humble flat file is still a cornerstone of many systems integrations. Their low-tech approach makes them particularly suitable for batch processes when real-time data flows are unnecessary. File exchanges will often require some form of file transformation, either data content, data format, or both. The Studio has the ability to manage many different file formats and, with its file management capabilities such as FTP and archiving (zipping), is able to facilitate a full end-to-end file exchange process.
Data synchronization: Enterprises often have multiple data repositories of the same data. For example, data about customers might reside in the CRM system, the finance system, and the distribution system. They will probably have similar but different data models across these systems and every time a change is made in one, the same change needs to be made in the others—typically a time-consuming and manual process. The Studio can be used to keep the data in sync across systems with jobs that automate and transform the data transfer.
ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load): A key component process of a data warehouse or business intelligence system, ETL processes extract data from operational systems, transform the data, applying a series of rules or functions, and load the data into a database or data warehouse system.
Talend was founded in 2005 and is an open source software vendor providing solutions for data integration, data quality, master data management, enterprise service bus, and business process management.
Talend's first product, Talend Open Studio for Data Integration, was launched in 2006, under the name Talend Open Studio, and has since been downloaded over 20 million times. Talend has continued to develop its product portfolio and has added complementary tools that provide a single platform for application, data, and process integration. The Talend Open Studio brand has since been adopted across the range of Talend's products.
An obvious question to ask is "Why should I use Talend Open Studio above other similar products? What can it do for me?" Talend Open Studio for Data Integration offers a number of benefits:
The Studio is open source, free to download and use, with access to the source code, allowing users to extend the product to their particular needs if required.
The Studio is a great productivity-booster. It's easy to learn and quick to develop with. Even novice developers will be building complex integrations in no time.
The Studio's pre-built components handle many common and not-so-common tasks. Developers can focus on the end-to-end process, rather than the low-level technical details.
Talend has an active and open user community. Practical, problem-solving advice is easy to access.
We will also cover the basic installation instructions here.
The Studio is a cross-platform application, running on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. A list of hardware and software prerequisites can be found at http://www.talend.com/docs/community/prerequisites.html .
As a minimum, you will need a supported operating system, Java, and of course, the Studio itself.
The installation process for the Studio is essentially the same across all supported operating systems. We will show how to complete the installation on Windows, but you can follow the same steps on other platforms.
Follow the instructions given to install the Studio on Windows:
Check to see if Java is installed on your computer by opening a command window and running the following command:
If Java is present, you will see a message showing which version is installed, as shown in the following screenshot:
If you need to install Java, visit the following URL to download a Java installer:
There are various versions of the Java Standard Edition JDK for different operating systems. Choose the appropriate version for your computer and download the installer to your computer.
Once the installer is downloaded, click on the executable file to run it. Follow the instructions on the installer as it progresses.
Now that Java is installed, we can download and install the Studio. Start by going to the Talend download page at the following URL:
Choose the Data Integration tab and click on the Download button for Talend Open Studio for Data Integration, as shown in the following screenshot:
Once the installation is complete, you can start the Studio and start to develop jobs. See Chapter 2, Working with Talend Open Studio, for details on how to start the Studio.
If you are using a Linux operating system, you will probably have at least one good text editor installed as part of your distribution. gedit (http://projects.gnome.org/gedit/ ) is the official text editor of the GNOME project and will do the job admirably.
Windows users can download Notepad++ (http://notepad-plus-plus.org/ ), which really is a double-plus compared to the default Notepad application that Windows provides.
Mac users can pick up TextWrangler from http://www.barebones.com/products/TextWrangler/ .
Chapter 4, Working with Databases, focuses on using the Studio to extract from and insert data into a relational database system. The Studio supports many different database systems, but for the examples in this book, we have chosen to use MySQL.
MySQL is the most popular open source relational database and is used by many large-scale applications and websites. It is free to use and there are a number of tools you can use to administer databases. To follow the examples as they are, use MySQL. However, if you have another preferred database you wish to use, it should not be too difficult to modify the job examples to incorporate other database components instead of the illustrated MySQL components.
Installation instructions for various operating systems can be found at the following URL:
Once you have installed the MySQL server, download and install the client tools, which you can use to administer the database, view data, and so on. The MySQL Workbench can be downloaded from http://www.mysql.com/downloads/workbench/ .
MySQL Workbench documentation, including installation instructions, can be found at http://dev.mysql.com/doc/workbench/en/ .
Readers who wish to use other database systems can find a full list of supported databases at http://www.talendforge.org/components/ .
The list includes Oracle, DB2, MS SQL, Postgres, SQLite, and Sybase, among others. TOS also supports the JBDC API to connect to, and a relational database that supports this protocol.
Each chapter of the book contains a number of example jobs that we will construct in a systematic manner. Readers are encouraged to follow the steps in order to get the most out of the book and consolidate their learning as they go. However, you can download and import the full set of example jobs if you wish.
Additionally, some jobs rely on database data and file-based data sources to work correctly. Again, these data sources can be downloaded and installed prior to working through the examples.
Appendix A, Installing Sample Jobs and Data, gives full instructions on downloading and installing the example jobs and data files.
Note that some sample data files may have their encoding changed as they are downloaded, unzipped, and copied from one location to another. As a result you may occasionally get some encoding errors notified in the Studio. If this happens, open the offending file and ensure it is saved with the UTF-8 encoding.
Welcome to Talend Open Studio for Data Integration! In this chapter, we learned what the Studio is and what it can be used for. We walked through installing the Studio on your computer (along with some additional useful software).
Our next step is to log on to the Studio, become familiar with the Studio working environment, and create a simple job to illustrate the development workflow. All of this will be covered in Chapter 2, Working with Talend Open Studio.