Rob Karel By Rob Karel

Today, Oracle announced plans to acquire GoldenGate Software, a private company specializing in data replication and real-time data integration solutions. 

This acquisition will focus on two specific areas: (1) high availability to support data replication and migration efforts and (2) non-invasive real-time data integration capabilities. 

From a data replication standpoint, GoldenGate will improve Oracle’s support for heterogeneous replication beyond Oracle sources and targets. In addition, GoldenGate supports a zero downtime, active-active configuration by bi-directionally synchronizing data between the old and new versions of apps and database platforms &#8212 an important capability for Oracle customers either migrating to or upgrading from Oracle apps.  Of course this replication capability also supports other use cases in high availability such as backup strategies, among others.

In addition, Oracle will be looking for GoldenGate to increase its Fusion Middleware strategy’s capabilities to support real-time data integration.  Its Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) product (formerly Sunopsis, acquired in late 2006) was a more traditional batch ETL-oriented technology (although Oracle refers to it as E-LT since it specializes in pushdown optimization architectures).  GoldenGate adds to Oracle’s data integration portfolio advanced change data capture (CDC) capabilities that allow ongoing real-time pulls from the database log files of production environments &#8212 meaning that the performance of these production environments won’t be impacted from the ongoing queries into their database.  This is a critical requirement to enable high volume data extraction to support real-time data warehousing and BI, as well as master data management and other operational use cases.

Oracle’s challenge now, of course, is reconciling yet another data integration solution &#8212 albeit a value-added one &#8212 into its already crowded portfolio.  It seems apparent (to me at least) that Oracle Warehouse Builder (OWB) will be delegated as simply a useful Oracle database utility to support batch ETL processes into Oracle databases and data warehouses. ODI, on the other hand, has become the data integration platform of choice for Oracle to support its major apps, BI, MDM, and SOA product strategies. 

So Oracle is acquiring GoldenGate and IBM previously acquired DataMirror in 2007 (see my blog post about that acquisition). An interesting question I have is if and when SAP will have a response to these CDC/realtime data integration acquisitions?   I receive a large number of inquiries from SAP clients looking for advice on tools and best practices to manage their SAP migrations, because they feel the SAP NetWeaver PI (Process Integration) toolset does not effectively support their migration needs.   SAP BusinessObjects offers a more robust and heterogeneous ETL platform in Data Integrator, but it still does not support the more advanced real-time CDC requirements that GoldenGate and DataMirror now provide for Oracle and IBM, respectively.   Anyone think SAP should be making a move here?  How about Attunity as a potential target?