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Next Pathway offers ETL code translation as SaaS

Next Pathway's Shift Cloud will provide companies with a pay-as-needed option for performing ETL code translation for data warehouse cloud migrations.

Next Pathway has launched a software-as-a-service version of its code translation engine to provide a self-service option for companies migrating logic from legacy data warehouses to public and private cloud environments.

Shift Cloud, introduced this week, is a self-service version of Next Pathway's Shift translation tool. Shift translates extract, transform and load (ETL) code from legacy data warehouses and converts it to logic for cloud-native systems. The conversion prepares the destination system for loading the legacy data. Still, other tools are needed to format the incoming data for the new technology.

A customer typically works directly with Next Pathway or through a systems integrator. Shift Cloud is Next Pathway's attempt to let companies handle the translation of legacy ETL code themselves, CEO Chetan Mathur said.

Next Pathway CEO Chetan MathurChetan Mathur

"Now, with a technology that's self-service -- which we've never had before -- we anticipate a shift to the end customers being the ultimate user of the technology," Mathur said. Most of Next Pathway's business comes from referrals from Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and cloud database provider Snowflake.

Next Pathway did not provide direct pricing for Shift Cloud. The company generally charges $7 to $8 per translated object. A large code base will have around 20,000 objects, costing between $140,000 and $160,000 to translate.

Next Pathway addresses only one of many complex problems when migrating a data warehouse to the cloud, said Jason Bloomberg, managing partner at IT research and consulting firm Intellyx.

"Customers who need to move their ETL logic to the cloud are going to find this quite useful," he said. "But I would say it is -- relatively speaking -- a rather narrow offering."

Next Pathway claims to successfully convert 80% of legacy ETL code to new code, leaving the remainder to companies or systems integrators to handle manually. However, the 80% number is difficult to confirm because the code could be functionally equivalent to the old logic but unreadable by developers, making it impossible to maintain, Bloomberg said.

"My research didn't show how maintainable the Next Pathway-generated code is," he said.

Shift Cloud will be most helpful to companies with a need to perform ETL translation regularly across a variety of complex projects, Bloomberg said. Those companies can pay for the SaaS offering on an as-needed basis.

"Next Pathway wants to be able to sell customers something they will continue to use, and SaaS lends itself to that," he said. "But if it's just a one-and-done [project], then you might as well just send it to a consultant and let them do it."

Next Pathway's focus on ETL translation sets it apart from companies that focus more on the data migration piece of moving legacy data warehouses to the cloud. Those vendors include Komprise and WanDisco.

Other companies more likely to compete directly with Next Pathway offer ETL translation and data migration, such as

Next Pathway supports Teradata, Netezza, Informatica, Pivotal Greenplum and Talend legacy systems. Supported cloud data platforms include Snowflake, Amazon Redshift, Azure Synapse and Google BigQuery.

Antone Gonsalves is networking news director for TechTarget Editorial. He has deep and wide experience in tech journalism. Since the mid-1990s, he has worked for UBM's InformationWeek, TechWeb and Computer Reseller News. He has also written for Ziff Davis' PC Week, IDG's CSOonline and IBTMedia's CruxialCIO, and rounded all of that out by covering startups for Bloomberg News. He started his journalism career at United Press International, working as a reporter and editor in California, Texas, Kansas and Florida. Have a news tip? Please drop him an email.

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