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Former Member

Winshuttle Vs Data Services

Hi All,

We have proposed SAP Data Services RDS for Data Migraton+Information Steward for a customer. The customer is also evaluating Winshuttle for the data migration.

Few questions:

1. Can winshuttle be compared to Data Services?

2. Does winshuttle have the capability to connect diretly with source databases, Eg., DB2, Oracle etc?

3. Does Winshuttle have the ability to analyze, profile, cleanse and validate the data?

4. How is the data enrichment/data quality capabilities of Winshuttle?

5. Does Winshuttle have any capabilities like Information Steward?

Any thoughts/experiences would be of great help. Thanks.

Thanks,

Jeswin

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3 Answers

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    Former Member
    Nov 03, 2015 at 04:07 PM

    I just realized I didn't answer ALL your questions....


    2. Does winshuttle have the capability to connect diretly with source databases, Eg., DB2, Oracle etc?

    Winshuttle Foundation has the ability to read and write to SharePoint Lists, SQL Databases and Acces Databases as data sources. Winshuttle doesn't connect to the underlying table structures of SAP ERP directly, it is always through the application layer.

    3. Does Winshuttle have the ability to analyze, profile, cleanse and validate the data?

    This is largely about solution design, customers choose to do this in a variety of ways, using the extensibility layer of the platform - so they use third party integration services, like zip code, email and phone number or GIS checking calls as part of an active data governance approach. With passive data governance it is done with profiling tools, VBA, Macros etc. Out of the box there are no profiling, mass change, cleanse or transform capabilities.

    4. How is the data enrichment/data quality capabilities of Winshuttle?

    this is the same as for item 3


    5. Does Winshuttle have any capabilities like Information Steward?

    not really, aside from the fact that there is a basic rules engine available in the Winshuttle Foundation product  which allows you to define interrelationships between data in form fields across solutions.

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    Former Member
    Nov 02, 2015 at 02:47 PM

    Winshuttle does not position itself as a competitor with Data Services for a number of reasons.

    The main reason being that BODS provides Data Transformation as a key part of the value proposition.

    With Winshuttle Transformation is done within Excel or Access or in the WebForm, as such that means that Winshuttle provides lightweight ETL but the T part is largely done using formulae, macros or search and replace actions.

    This is a completely different approach when compared with classic ETL tools where the transformation is performed as a processing stage within the logic of the ETL tool either post extract or pre-load.

    Winshuttle provides three different modes of deployment, standalone, single user; centrally managed integration templates with basic approval workflows and the enterprise model which offers a broad swathe of modes of interaction with the technical objects. These three modes of deployment support data extraction and load either as single records or as mass.

    A great deal of your selection criteria should focus on whether you are looking for a very technical high performance ETL solution with predefined scenarios that are likely to remain relatively static and unchanging for data integration and data migration or whether you are looking for a rapid application development (RAD) solution that cn have multiple scenarios developed iteratively in an agile and evolutionary way. (Winshuttle doesn't really offer boiler-plate integration scenarios)

    Winshuttle is principally focused on being a RAD that can be leveraged by technical and non technical users alike to build simple or complex E-L scenarios, a completely different approach when compared with classic ETL or even LSMW.

    Winshuttle works natively with Microsoft Office Excel and as such does not require you to use CSV, Text or Tab Delimited text files. Winshuttle also allows you to convert your E-L scenarios into Web services which can be used by ETL products and other solutions.

    Further, Winshuttle uses the standard SAP authorizations model so a user can only create recordings for the transactions that they have access to. In the same way, a 'runner' user can only use a technical object like a transaction recording or Query if they have the requisite authorizations.

    This is a different security model when compared with ETL tools where the tools are used and executed typically by a more technical or IT user or using a system account with god or demi-god authorizations.

    If you were trying to determine disadvantages with Winshuttle it would likely be focused around throughput.

    ETL tools tends to be faster but don't necessarily cover all the scenarios that a transaction recording does especially if you are leaning towards the rapidmarts.

    The size of your data sets may determine whether an ETL or technical solution is a better choice.

    My personal view is that ETL solutions and more technical offerings are fine if you already have them in place, if however you are starting from position zero, it will take longer to implement them than Winshuttle and it will be more complex to use them as a solution that empowers business users.

    Additionally, ETL is likely to have a higher price tag and require a very much more technical skillset in order to configure and use. Winshuttle requires no particular technical skills to be used and customers are typically up and running the same day that they install the desktop software.

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    Former Member
    Nov 05, 2015 at 12:48 PM

    Just one final comment on this thread.

    It has to be borne in mind that there's a big difference between what we consider Big Iron IT solutions and mid-tier approaches.

    The recurring refrain from the market is, things like, I have a data integration strategy, I have a business intelligence strategy, I have a user experience strategy.

    The question is, how are you progressing with aligning what you have deployed in relation to that strategy? Time and time again, IT lags behind the needs of the business. The business agrees it needs a strategy and a holistic approach is to often to converge on one solution set from one vendor. If that were SAP, it would be PI/XI and Gateway; BW/Business Objects; NWBC/Fiori.

    However there are very few customers who have homogeneous landscapes, unified technology and all three strategies, set defined and being executed against. That's a problem. A problem that isn't easily addressed by just saying, ok we will use product X for all our data migration, all our testing, all our integration, all our BI etc. So there has to be an acceptance of a blend of technologies and an acceptance that best in class may need to be purchased or invested in, rather than simply using a blanket approach to any particular challenge to be addressed.

    This is where Winshuttle has pretty much excelled. Supporting business users in being able to do what they need to do; supporting IT in being able to manage, control and restrict what users can do, as required and then also supporting IT in being able to deploy bigger solutions for larger audiences.

    Part of the challenge is understanding what's on offer. If you have simple needs, you want a simple tool and particularly so, if you have a small budget to solve a given problem. The beauty then is in the scaling. Winshuttle's approach has always been additive. Start small, grow as you need to, more importantly, you don't need to be an expert, you need no particular skills, no developer keys, no direct access to the database and no big IT iron to get started.

    People always laugh when I use the analogy of DIY. If you have a double cab pickup truck, is that good enough to shift a couple of bags of cement, a bunch of bricks, boards and stuff for a small construction project - sure! You may need to make a couple of journeys but it will help you achieve the job. Would you buy or even hire a 3, 5, 10 tonne truck to do that ? Probably not.

    If you're building a whole house or a office block you may use a different approach. In my mind, as soon as you need system landscape changes, more people than your current business and IT teams, changes to the core configuration of SAP and some specialised skills, you just went from DIY to major construction. The question though, is do you really need all that ?

    Over 2,400 SAP customers don't seem to think so...

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