Talend on Monday offered the first open source code entrant in the field of master data management, a field currently dominated by large database vendors, including Oracle and IBM.
Master data management already exists in specialized systems, such as product information management systems or as customer data integration systems. More general purpose systems have come into play in the recent years as a way of maintaining a data set at all times that represents "one version of the truth."
If data changes frequently, or is in use by one application when another wants it, the master data management system is the final arbiter of which version is correct.
The Talend MDM system is a general purpose system. It includes Active Data Model, which is intended to allow the modeling of any data set used by an organization, apply clear definitions to it and store it in a master data hub.
It uses the 400 adapters and connectors that make up Talend open source data integration to supply Domain Driven Integration. This feature gives the master hub the means to integrate with other databases, applications, and systems that need to have their data synchronized with the hub, explained Jim Walker, product marketing manager, in an interview. Knowing when data needs to be refreshed or flushed out of the system is an aspect of data lifecycle management, a role taken on by an MDM system.
The Active Data Model gives data users a data profiling tool that can be used to standardize references to the data, when it sometimes is used under different names at different addresses. The tool can act as a guarantor that a reference to data uses the same data definition and knows which version of the data is the latest.
Jim Walker said a fourth feature was the Talend MDM collaborative interface, which provides a set of tools for a team of data users to create a shared, reliable set of master data and manage it through its lifecycle.
The community edition of Talend MDM is open source code freely downloadable from Talend.com. Talend also offers a commercially supported Talend MDM Enterprise that sells for $30,000-$50,000 in the typical deal with medium-sized companies and $50,000-$100,000 for a large company.
Talend stores master data in XML format in a repository based on the open source eXist-db XML database system.
Talend has launched its master data management product less than four months after it acquired Amalto, a proprietary supplier of a master data management system. It's converted the proprietary product into open source code in the community edition.
Talend also produces the Talend Integration Suite, Talend Open Studio 3.1 and Talend Integration Suite RTx for real time data assimilation. Talend is based in Paris, France, and has 150 employees. It competes with the commercial companies IBM, Oracle and Informatica. Other open source suppliers of data integration include Pentaho and Jitterbit.