Talend, a vendor focused on providing open source data integration, announced in a press release today, “Introduces Rapid, Flexible, Open Source Master Data Management Solution.” The press release includes the enticing phrase, ‘With the launch, Talend is democratizing the MDM market”. Sounds too good to be true. And if it does, it very probably is.
At the bottom of the email you can find the following: “Talend MDM is available immediately and exists in two editions. Talend MDM Community Edition is provided under the GPL license and can be downloaded at no charge from http://www.talend.com/download.php. Talend MDM Enterprise Edition is provided under a subscription license.”
I have seen open source technology first hand. When I worked at a software vendor I was exposed to the vagaries associated with embedding someone else’s source code into what was then offered as traditional enterprise software. As an analyst covering the Supply Chain Management market I watched as vendors short circuited their R&D efforts by embedding open source tools within the scope of their overall, much larger enterprise applications. In neither case did open source democratize the markets into which the open source was injected. But would an entire application market be significantly impacted if it was available, in its entirety, as open source?
When last I looked at the open source edition I noted that the technology had strict limitations over what could be achieved. In fact, based on the hundreds of programs I have seen in the last couple of years, I don’t think many could be supported by this offering as it is, out of the box (so to speak). So I do not think that this open source MDM tool will democratize the MDM market, yet.
There are three outcomes from this move:
- users are more likely to dabble in the basics of MDM by playing with this solution
- some subset of those users will engage with Talend proper, and license the legitimate application (and this would compare/compete with other MDM offerings)
- some third party vendors, software or services, might take the Talend open source MDM engine and build “on top” of it a more feature rich MDM solution (like the vendor examples I shared above).
As with 3) above, Sun had put into the open source domain an MDM core, nearly 2 years ago. It was called Mural and we know that some system integrators had dabbled with it, with a view to offering a “real” MDM solution. I don’t know of any end-user organization that build their MDM program on Mural.
Lastly, given that no two MDM programs are ever alike, the challenges facing this new market entrant will be significant. Hence short term I do not see this announcement as democratizing the MDM market; long term I do expect that this will have an impact. Let’s see what the first 20 end-users of this solution say…
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