To challenge or not to challenge

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To challenge or not to challenge

How can you compare data warehouse automation tools?
And which one is “the best”?

There was some arguing going on on Twitter, because Ajilius was comparing itself with Biml without much underlying “evidence”.
Edit 12 August 2017: Ron Dunn of Ajilius said this on LinkedIn, I will put it here as a rectification:“one of our resellers made the comparisons, we stepped in when things got out of hand.”

Varigence (the company behind Biml) was not very happy with this and suggested to do a challenge between those tools. Peter Avenant (Director Of Business Development at Varigence) said:
“Let’s use a third party to set it up. I recommend @HansMichielscom. We have 2 customers that choose #BimlFlex over #Ajilius to date.”
I was thinking about this, you can read my conclusion below.

Challenges when comparing data warehouse automation tools

First of all, a dwa tool is not like a cell phone. Cell phones you can compare by measurable specifications like cpu, ram, storage size, camera specs, etcetera, and you can compare in practice what this means (e.g. performance comparison of an app, the quality of photos taken).
But a dwa tool is different. It’s more like a vehicle. Depending on your requirements, you need to take a plane, car, train or boat. Dwa tools serve different platforms, might have a different generated architecture, support different sources, have different features. So how to compare?

Picture credits: (c) Can Stock Photo / stuartmiles

It all begins with requirements. Then do a comparison (or ‘challenge’) and decide which is the best given the requirements. But this also means that the outcome is not generic but is only valid for a specific set of requirements (e.g. in the area of auditability, performance, platform, licensing).
Then a test environment. I do not mean AdventureWorks, but a realistic environment that has multiple sources, multiple source formats and real life data volumes and challenges.

A real life project would be an excellent way to set up such a challenge, because there would be a real need to compare a shortlist of tools. Do the preselection on this web site, based on criteria like supported platforms and modelling techniques, maybe by reading some reviews, and then have a shortlist of two to five tools to dive into for a real comparison.
Anyone who is facing this challenge, please contact me so we can discuss this further.


Real comparisons are done during tools selection by real customers. I would like to get in touch with you, anything you want to share about your dwa challenge is more than welcome.

(c) 2017 – Do not steal the contents – spread the link instead – thank you.

Hans Michiels
1 Comment
  • Ron Dunn
    Posted at 11:48, August 12, 2017

    To be clear, Hans, it was one of our resellers making the comparisons. Ajilius stepped in when things got out of hand.

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