Xplenty isn't the world's oldest ETL platform (Informatica has been around since the early 90s). Nor is it the platform with the largest social media following (Talend has 10 times as many followers). And a multinational brand like Amazon (AWS Glue) or Oracle (Data Integrator) doesn't own it.
But Xplenty may have a title of its own.
It might not be the platform with the most clout, but Xplenty could be the best ETL tool on the planet.
It's certainly the easiest to use.
Xplenty isn't perfect, but no ETL software is. What it has over its rivals is simplicity. Platforms like Talend offer ETL alongside iPaaS, ESB and other data management capabilities, but Xplenty's focus is ETL. So you know exactly what you're getting. There's no messing around.
Plus, Xplenty is one of the few platforms that truly requires no code. Other platforms claim to require no code but still need a little Java or SQL at the very least. (They lie!) With Xplenty, you build data pipelines — and complex ones, too — with no code whatsoever. Nothing. You can say goodbye to data engineers.
There are some things that the platform could improve, and we'll discuss that later. For now, let's start our Xplenty review.
|Trial length||14 days|
|User ratings on Capterra / G2||4.6/5 / 4.4/5|
|Data source connectors||More than 100|
|Customization?||Yes, customize the platform with its API, webhooks and rich expression language.|
|Connects to data warehouses? Data lakes?||Yes / Yes|
|Developer tools||A REST API that connects with any RESTful service. Develop/test functions with the platform's X-console.|
|Compliance/security certifications||SO 27001, SOC 1, SOC 2/SSAE 16/ISAE 3402, PCI Level 1, FISMA Moderate, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA|
Xplenty: What You Need to Know
Like most other platforms reviewed by TopETL.com, Xplenty is a cloud-based ETL that connects various data sources to data destinations via pipelines. We're guessing most users pipe data to a warehouse with one of the 100+ out-of-the-box connectors (more on that in the next section), but there's plenty here for developers too.
We loved the powerful REST API that connects with RESTful services and that we got to develop and test functions with Xplenty's X-console. Oh, and despite its ETL focus, Xplenty lets you perform ELT (or "reverse ETL") if you so wish.
Ultimately, this is a platform for people, not just developers. It's a tool for people that want to do data transformation but lack engineering experience (that's nearly everyone!). Xplenty is great for the small business owner, the marketing assistant, the business analyst or anyone who wants to generate the real-time data insights that can make their business more successful but knows little about ETL — and doesn't really care. Xplenty in three words? No code required.
Xplenty markets itself as a "simplified" ETL platform so, before we tested it, we thought the tool might be a little too simple. We had a good feeling about its data transformation capabilities for people who don't code, but we wondered about its scale and ability to handle large data migration jobs.
Xplenty surprised us.
We'd call Xplenty an enterprise-grade ETL platform — similar to Informatica or Oracle Data Integrator — but with the automation and user-friendliness of a consumer-grade product. It still scales (we loved the dynamically created H cluster) and handles the complex data migration jobs multinational corporations execute. But it's simple enough for, say, a mom-and-pop store or dental practice. It's an all-rounder.
We're still trying to pinpoint what makes Xplenty so user-friendly compared to its rivals. Perhaps it's the point-and-click user interface, which makes everything so smooth. Or it could be the ability to define data fields and schedule data loads in just a few steps. Or maybe it's because we tested Xplenty not long after Informatica, which had one of the most infuriatingly complex setups we've come across in all our years of ETL experience.
Like we said at the start, Xplenty isn't perfect. When one of our jobs failed, we didn't know why because of the limited information on the error log. After testing, we looked online and found other users had the same gripe. Failed jobs happen on all ETL platforms, so we're not blaming Xplenty for that, but it would be nice to have some context about what went wrong.
Also, we'd love even more connectors. Okay, there are well over 100 here — that's more than most of the ETLs we've tested — so perhaps we're just greedy. Xplenty, if you're reading: Connectors for SAP Business Warehouse and InterBase next, please!
That brings us nicely to the next section.
Xplenty: Data Source Connectors
You won't find 100+ out-of-the-box connectors on most ETL platforms; Xplenty has one of the most impressive selections on the market. Connectors for almost every data source and destination you can think of are here, such as CRMs, ERPs, SaaS applications, data stores, relational databases and social media platforms. There are the obvious Amazon Redshift, Microsoft Azure, Google BigQuery and Google Analytics connectors, as well as some lesser-known choices like Crunchbase, Freshdesk and Invoiced. (We highlighted these because we use them.)
Can we talk about the Salesforce-to-Salesforce connector, please? It's the jewel in Xplenty's crown. Nearly every ETL data integration platform has a Salesforce connector, but we love how Xplenty moves Salesforce data into a destination of your choice and then moves it back again. Salesforce business intelligence analytics just got even better.
All the connectors we used during our test moved data from the source to the destination in mere minutes. So Xplenty is super speedy.
Xplenty: Support and Training
Xplenty is a smaller vendor than, say, Talend or Oracle Data Integrator, so we expected limited customer support options. We were wrong. Xplenty has a friendly team of reps, and we could talk to — take a deep breath — an actual human being on the phone, something of a rarity in ETL nowadays. We didn't need to call, but bonus points to Xplenty for its video chat support, which is something else we rarely come across.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Xplenty is that its support is available to all users. Some ETLs limit support options for users on cheaper pricing plans, which we think sucks.
Training is rather limited compared to other ETLs. There's no certification program or anything like that, but we noticed plenty of online tutorials. Again, we didn't need to use them.
We always moan about "consumption-based" pricing, which seems to be a growing trend in ETL. It's when the vendor charges the user for the amount of data consumed, which often works out to be pretty expensive. So Xplenty's fixed-rate pricing model, which charges users per data connector, delighted us. This pricing model lets us send unlimited data through integrations without even thinking about the cost. Pretty amazing.
Xplenty offers the standard 14-day free trial, but it doesn't require a credit card so you don't have to remember to cancel it.
What Xplenty Says
"Xplenty’s platform allows organizations to integrate, process, and prepare data for analytics on the cloud. By providing a coding and jargon-free environment, Xplenty’s scalable platform ensures businesses can quickly and easily benefit from the opportunities offered by big data without having to invest in hardware, software, or related personnel."
Xplenty Reviews: What Users Think
"Clear UI. Easy to use and implement. The number of ETL functionalities is very impressive and the amount of connecter-to-media or more generic data sources is one of the best in the market." — Franck G.
"The workflow structure should be much better for viewing." — a user in the marketing/advertising sector.
"Debugging can be a challenge sometimes. Error logs are not specific." — Sura M.