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Another Great Open Source Project Gets Killed

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

As mentioned in previous posts, I started my involvement in the Open Source community back in the mid-2000’s. At the time, I was an ETL developer. I used proprietary ETL tools such as, Datastage and Informatica, to do the heavy lifting of building data warehouses. I also used tools like Cognos, Business Objects, and Crystal Reports to serve data up to the end users. The foray into Open Source was purely technical. I wanted an ETL tool that could run somewhere other than a mainframe, or on any IBM box in a data center. I knew ETL tools were extremely powerful, yet very expensive. But, I really wanted a way I could do this outside of the enterprise.

Through much research, and combing through the projects, I found Talend Open Source, and Kettle. This was well before Google had indexed every corner of the internet, so destinations like Sourceforge were wonderful to find exciting new projects! Both of these projects ended up gaining traction and became some of the first “Commercial Open Source” solutions. This meant, you could buy services, support, training, and maintenance contracts for these projects, and actually implement them properly into the enterprise.

There was a lot of success with this model for quite a few different projects. Projects like the Apache Web Server, Linux, HashiCorp, Databricks, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SugarCRM, and Hadoop all have their roots in Open Source. In the case of Talend, they were eventually acquired by Qlik. Kettle was wrapped up in Pentaho, and was eventually acquired by Hitachi. Many companies keep versions of these projects as “Open Source”, as well as offering a “Closed Source” version with extra enterprise features and value. Other companies that consume these projects, kill the Open Source version.

Unfortunately, Qlik decided to do that with Talend. You can see the announcement here. This is another sad day, as I hate to see thriving open source projects and communities shut down. Sadly, that is the way of business sometimes!

There are silver linings to these things though! The vacuum of Talend Open Source will spawn much more creativity in other projects and drive the Open Source community into alternatives. When Kettle (AKA Pentaho Data Integration), was acquired by Hitachi, a branch of the open source version was created as Apache Hop. Some of the “Enterprise” features could not be used in this project, the Lion’s share of the functionality is all there, and has an active team of contributors, and a growing list of users globally. I have used many of the Open Source packages over time, and I love the stability and flexibility of Hop.

For those of you who are finding a void but having Talend Open Studio shut down, you should take a look at hop. Also, if you want to move away from the licensing of Pentaho Data Integration, Hop is a great alternative, and migration paths are easy. Of course, shameless plugs are always in order. If you need help with Apache Hop, Data Integration, and data analytics, or anything in between, KPI forge is here to help. We also work very closely with the developers of Apache Hop and the team in EMEA, so Let’s talk!

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Matt Casters
Matt Casters
Dec 05, 2023

With the addition of many community plug-ins over the years, Apache Hop has outgrown Kettle/PDI functionality. A lot of features were added that we're proud of, like built-in support for Apache Spark, Flink and GCP Dataflow as pipeline engines, unit testing, Hop Web, search, extensive versioned documentation in the code, the extensive integration test suite for backward compatibility, the ability to get execution information on running workflows and pipelines, even on remote Beam pipelines, and much more important than all of that: a wonderful community.


Hello, thanks for that article, I am a presales at Talend, ex presales at Pentaho, I have a few commits for both Kettle (CouchBase, Google SpreadSheet, InfluxDB, enhanced MQTT and some other stuff) and Hop (Google Spreadsheet connector). All this to tell you I am not only an ugly Enterprise version seller :) Indeed a sad news, but as an employee of Qlik/Talend I will not comment too much :) I have posted here the description of what is in Talend Enterprise version :

Just a quick typo on your post : Qlik is the company name ;)

Oliver Nielsen
Oliver Nielsen
Dec 05, 2023
Replying to

Hey Jean-Francois! Thanks for the comment, and thanks for the spelling correction! I was with Pentaho for 6 years. I don't remember you though! I hope to see you get involved more in the Apache Hop community! Lots of great features going into the new releases!

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