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Entota has just been acquired by BackOffice Associates. While this isn’t surprising it is a shame—not because it doesn’t make sense but, well … wait and I’ll explain.
In case you haven’t heard of Entota, the company is a data migration specialist focusing on the SAP market. The cool thing that Entota offers, and which I’ve never seen anywhere else, is something called the Data Migration Portal, whose primary functions are reuse and automation.
It’s the reuse that’s really interesting. The company has taken a careful look at migrations from a reuse perspective. If you think about migrating A to X or A, B and C to X then the truth is that you aren’t going to be migrating from A or B or C in the future so there’s no point in attempting to get any reuse at the source level. And the same applies with the transformation rules that you apply during the migration process. That’s not quite true: there may be some transformation rules that can be reused but you won’t really know about that until it is time for the next migration.
However, where reuse certainly does apply, at least potentially, is at the target level, either because you may subsequently migrate other data into that same target or because, at some later date, that target will itself become a source for some future migration or, for that matter, integration.
So, when you use the Entota Data Migration Portal you begin be defining the target and that information is captured for reuse. You then work backwards rather than forwards. Of course, that’s not quite true because you need to profile the source data in advance to estimate the scale of the project but once you get started for real then you start at the target level as discussed.
When you first hear about this it sounds backwards. And, indeed, it is. But it also makes sense.
So, anyway, Entota is very interesting. But here’s the rub: Entota is focused on the SAP migration market but it is, in principle, environment agnostic. It could, for example, work with Informatica as a data integration platform instead of SAP Business Objects. However, the company hasn’t made much of this, primarily because of its relationship with SAP, but the possibility was there.
Now we come to the shame: BackOffice Associates is very closely identified with SAP (although it too is theoretically agnostic) so I don’t see any hope that the Data Migration Portal will now be exposed to or targeted at non-SAP environments. To be fair, I’m not sure that it would have been anyway but it’s a shame because I think it’s a really neat product. Perhaps someone will produce something similar for more general-purpose use? Here’s hoping.