Data management vendor Incorta added to its platform data-sharing capabilities based on the open source Delta Sharing protocol.
Incorta's core technology is what the vendor refers to as Direct Data Mapping. With the technology, users can connect different data sources -- including databases, applications and data lakes -- to run analytics and business intelligence operations.
It's an approach that includes data virtualization as well as indexing to help users map and query data sources.
With the latest Incorta update, which became generally available on June 2, Incorta, based in San Mateo, Calif., integrated technology from the open source Delta Sharing protocol, which is part of the Delta Engine open source project originally created by data lake and AI vendor Databricks. With the Delta Sharing protocol, users can configure data from a data lake table with access control to enable sharing with other authorized users.
Incorta is part of an increasingly competitive marketplace that includes multiple vendors, including Denodo for data virtualization, Tibco with data virtualization and Matillion and its data middleware.
With support for Delta Sharing, Incorta is aiming to enable easier collaboration among users, but Incorta's platform still lacks data transformation capabilities.
Among Incorta's users is Bharath Natarajan, head of business intelligence, data engineering and intelligent automation at Keysight Technologies, an electronics test and measurement equipment and software vendor based in Santa Clara, Calif.
A key challenge that Natarajan faced that led him to adopt Incorta was dealing with many different data systems to build business intelligence reports.
It's a challenge his company didn't have a decade ago, when it had just had one ERP system, one CRM deployment and a large Oracle database, and that was all the company needed. To produce a report now, Natarajan said that he has to pull from up to 30 different sources of data.
Keysight uses Incorta to collect data to enable operational reporting for business intelligence.
Bharath NatarajanHead of business intelligence, Keysight Technologies
"What Incorta does really well is it helps us to load data, create data models and then create a business schema and provide reporting on top of that," Natarajan said.
Natarajan said he uses Incorta when doesn't need to transform data from one format to another. For some applications, in which the data model isn't fixed and Keysight data engineers need to adjust data formats, Keysight uses data transformation technology from Matillion.
Incorta Delta Sharing extends Direct Data Mapping
The new Delta Sharing capabilities in Incorta could potentially be useful for Keysight, Natarajan said.
Natarajan now uses Matillion to load data from Incorta into the Snowflake data cloud. With Incorta's new Delta Sharing capability, he said Keysight will be able to load directly from Incorta into Snowflake, making the operation faster.
Before the Delta Sharing integration, it was possible to share data from Incorta, but it wasn't as easy as it could have been, said Matthew Halliday, co-founder and executive vice president of product at Incorta.
One way to share data before with Incorta was with a Java Database Connectivity link, which could make Incorta act like a PostgreSQL database. However, that approach was complex and difficult for users, Halliday said.
Delta Sharing provides a standardized way for users to share data they have mapped with Incorta.
While Delta Sharing was originally created by Databricks, Halliday noted that Incorta doesn't have a business partnership with the vendor, but rather is just using the open source protocol.
Incorta adds Data Apps to its platform
In addition to supporting Delta Sharing, Incorta is now aiming to make it easier for users to build data apps.
A data app, which some vendors refer to as a "data product," is a collated set of data assets and data pipelines for a specific purpose. For example, if a retail organization wants all the data related to a specific product, it can collect the data into a data app. The data app can then be used as a source of data for analytics or operational use cases.
For Incorta, a data app is useful for collecting all of the metadata and understanding the source applications from which a user is trying to get data, Halliday said. A data app, rather than just creating a data map of sources, is a product a business user can understand, Halliday said.
"It's not just about making a connection; it's about how to bring business value to the data," he said.