A few customers have been asking me “how do you compare with the server-based ETL platforms?” Before we can get into the different features, there are several key advantages to a cloud-based data integration tool over traditional server-based integration tools. Since a table can show a thousand words (or thousands of dollars) the table below shows how SaaS data integration compares to installing and maintaining data integration software.

Feature  Client-Server Architecture  SaaS Data Integration
Installation Requires several servers and a difficult install process. Does not require additional servers, install of agent takes minutes.
Upgrades Usually a difficult process and requires risky migration of work flows. Agents are self-upgrading and work flows never need to be migrated.
Patching Same as upgrades, can be a risky and complex process. No need to patch the application.
Scalability Requires extra servers and licenses to be purchased.  Cloud-hosted and scales automatically to meet need.
Administration Usually not possible to run heartbeat processes across data sources. Agent calls in every minute so outages are quickly reported.
Architecture Usually require additional database licenses and administration. No additional database software needed.
Costs High costs that do not reflect usage. Pay for what you use.