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  • Overview of the AB Initio
      ETL Concepts
      What is Abinitio
      Why Abinitio
      where Abinitio
      Hardware Systems
      Supported O/S Systems
      Component Tools
      Features of Abinitio
      Abinitio Architecture
      Graph Model
      Job Anatomy
      GDE – Co>Op Connection Method
      Graph Programming
      Parts of a typical Graph
      Parallelism concept
      Types of Editors
      File Types
      Building a basic Graph
      DML and Types
  • Components
      Dataset Components
      Partition Components
      Deportations Components
      Transform Components
      Sort Components
      Database Components
      Validate Components
      Miscellaneous Components
      Compress Components
      Translate Components
      FTP Components
      MVS Components
      ETL Concepts
  • Using Controls
      Phase and Checkpoint
      Project and Sandbox
      Sub graphs
      Continuous Flows
      Interpreting the Log File
      Monitoring the Graph
      Wrapper Scripts
      Brief intro about EME
      Brief intro about Shop For Data (SFD)
      Brief intro about Conduct>It
      Brief intro about Data Profiler


Ab Initio is suite of applications containing the various components, but generally when people name Ab Initio, they mean “Ab Initio Co>operation system”, which is primarily a GUI based ETL Application. It gives user the ability to drag and drop different components and attach them, quite akin to drawing.

The strength of Ab Initio-ETL is massively parallel processing which gives it capability of handling large volume of data.

  • componentise Ab Initio
      Co>operation System
      EME(Enterprise Meta>Environment)
      Additional Tools

        a) Data profiler
        b) Plan-IT etc

Co>operating System is ETL application; it comes packaged with EME (mentioned in next paragraph). This is GUI based application. Quite simple is design due to drag and drop features, most of the features are quite basic and so basic learning curve is quite steep. Now it has further two flavour or sub classes:

  • Batch Mode
      The “Batch Mode” is primarily used by most of costumer gives the benefit of moving bulk data (daily/multiple times a day).
  • Continuous Flow
      Continuous mode is more like “Click/Trigger” driven; say when you click on a web page the data flow starts, some of very large web based application run on Ab Initio server using Continuous flow

The both primarily doing the similar things, but classically different in mode of processing as the name suggested.

EME is more like source control for Ab Initio, but it has many additional features like

  • Meta data management
      a) Business Metadata management
      b) Process metadata management
  • Impact Analysis
  • Documentation tools
  • Run History Tracking
  • And surely Check-in and check-out

Data profiler It is data profiling tool, got the features for data quality analysis

Plan-IT It is primarily a scheduler built by Ab Initio to run Ab Initio jobs. It can be integrated with Ab Initio jobs.

Categorising Ab Initio and labelling strength and weakness based on the following criteria.

  • Cost to purchase
  • Total Cost of Ownership
  • Platform (OS and DBMS)
  • Ease of use (wizards, drag & drop, etc)
  • Learning curve
  • Performance
  • Available expertise
  • Ab Initio Support and Other Resources.

Cost of Purchase It is one of the costliest ETL tool in the market, with cost ranging from 500k to 5M, it depends upon the number of servers Ab Initio is installed, number of developer license and type of license, and batch flow is comparatively cheaper than continuous flow.

Comparing it with other major ETL tools like Informatica with similar functionalities, the pricing difference will be clearly evident

Total Cost of Ownership The cost of ownership comes in 3 parts

  • Annual maintenance charges
      It is generally the percentage of initial cost and it is significant due to high initial cost. This number may differ based on the NDA and initial investment. A rough 10% maintenance charges is significant outflow.
  • Cost of employing/training Ab initio resources
      It is high end tool, so the developer community is not massive like many open source application, so employing these resources come with premium price.
  • Development cost
      covered under training and resources

Platform Like most of other ETL tools, it can work in various platforms. On Database front, it can connect to all the major databases available in the market. So there is nothing to choose between this tool with respect to others. It allows connection to DB either by ODBC client or native mode, I believe some of other ETL tools may not have native mode supported

Ease of use Being GUI based it is easy to use, simple component s, drag and drop and various indicators if connections are not completely made. In comparison to other tools, there is nothing much to chose in that end.

Creating custom based components and re-using those is one feature



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