Informatica adds data integration to its budding line of free services

Informatica adds data integration to its budding line of free services

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Informatica Corp. is extending its new “freemium” initiatives with today’s introduction of what it says say is the only free cloud data loading, integration and extract/transform/load service.

The company is also launching a pay-as-you-go version for users who exceed the limits of the free service or who need more advanced integration capabilities but don’t want to pay for a full enterprise license.

Informatica Cloud Data Integration-Free allows users to process up to 20 million rows for ETL or use 10 processing hours per month, whichever comes first, at no charge. CDI-PayGo includes some additional features and no limit on the number of rows processed or hours of usage. It also includes some basic customer support and enhance security. Users can enroll with a credit card and pay only for what they use.

Both services support all major data warehouses and data lakes, including Amazon Web Services Inc.’s Redshift, Microsoft Corp.’s Azure Synapse, Databricks Inc.’s Delta Lake, Google LLC’s BigQuery and Snowflake Inc.’s Data Cloud.

Bid for business users

The offerings target both data practitioners and nontechnical users with an emphasis on the latter, said Jitesh Ghai (pictured), Informatica’s executive vice president and chief product officer. “All want democratized data access and a key part of that is democratized integration,” he said. “Everyone has been self-serving their analytics but that’s not enough; you also need to self-serve the data.”

The new services follow the launch last spring of Informatica Free Data Loader, which presents a wizard-driven approach to loading data into cloud data warehouses. “Today we’re launching tools not just for the tip of the spear, which is loading, but for curating the data,” Ghai said. The service is targeted at users whose annual data integration budgets are in the $1,000 range rather than the $50,000 or more that enterprises typically spend on such tasks.

“It’s for a skillset that wants to get going fast but doesn’t have time for a procurement cycle and doesn’t want to create a [request for proposal],” Ghai said.

The move is an acknowledgment of the ongoing trend in the industry toward giving business users more authority over how their data is used, particularly for analytics purposes. “Democratized data access is something we’ve been working on figuring out for all of our users and this is a major milestone in democratizing information,” Ghai said. “We believe organizations have evolved materially and this is us enabling them to be more data-driven.”

Emphasis on community

About 800 organizations have signed up for the free data loader service announced last spring, although Ghai couldn’t say how many have become paying customers. “What I am tracking and what our board is tracking is how effectively we’re enabling organizations,” he said. “We are not tracking how many are paying.”

That said, Informatica clearly sees business value in the freemium model. The gratis service is a subset of the full cloud data integration suite that’s intended “largely to ensure that we’re meeting the needs of initial simplified workloads,” Ghai said. “You’re not going to get any masking, protection or data quality services. It’s focused on downloading ETL, ELT [a variation of ETL in which data is transformed after loading] and rating datasets, but as these initiatives gain traction and have broader relevance for the enterprise, it invariably leads to more advanced needs.”

That’s where the pay-as-you-go model comes in and, Informatica hopes, eventually an enterprise subscription.

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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