October 3, 2023

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Qlik on Wednesday unveiled Connector Factory, a new strategy for developing hundreds of connectors between Qlik Cloud data integration and SaaS applications.

In addition, Analytics plans to provide a hub within vendor cloud data integration, where connectors can be easily discovered and deployed by customers.

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King of Prussia, Pa. Based in the U.S., Click has developed a data integration platform over the past five years through a series of acquisitions.

The vendor first expanded into data integration with the purchase of Podium Data in 2018 and Atunity in 2019. This continued in 2020 with the purchase of Blendr.io. Recently, Qlik entered into an agreement to acquire Talend in January 2023; The deal is still awaiting regulatory approval and completion of other due diligence steps.

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Qlik plans to launch cloud data integration in November 2022, shortly before Talend agreed to acquire it. The Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is a first for Qlik and combines all the data integration capabilities the vendor has acquired over the years into a single cloud-based one. platform.

Now, the vendor plans to add hundreds of connectors to iPaaS so that customers can easily ingest and integrate data from among the myriad SaaS applications they use as part of their operations.

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connector factory

When Qlik first launched cloud data integration, the platform came with connectors for nearly 40 SaaS data sources and five output targets, including major cloud data storage providers AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft, Databricks, and Snowflake.

However, both the number of data sources and the volume and complexity of the data produced by those sources are growing rapidly. Hence there are number of repositories where organizations can choose to store their data.

There are now over 400 databases that organizations can choose from and thousands of other applications that can be part of their workflow. And they’re all evolving with ever-changing application programming interfaces that require constant tinkering to connect to databases.

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To help address the growing complexity of data ingestion and integration, Qlik is launching Connector Factory and dedicating an entire research and development team to manufacturing and maintaining connectors.

And according to David Meininger, an analyst with Ventana Research, it matters to the seller’s customers. He said that connectors are not revolutionary in the way that advances in augmented intelligence are, but they are the foundation of the entire analytics process.

“The connectors are important,” Menninger said. “This may not be earth-shaking news, but it is the bread and butter of analytics. Data access and data preparation remain the bane of analytics processes. And the proliferation of SaaS applications has exacerbated the problem of data access.”

He added that while Qlik won’t be able to provide connectors for every SaaS application — a virtual impossibility — the vendor’s commitment to creating a larger ecosystem for data by connecting to more sources than ever before will be beneficial to its users.

“It’s part of the battleground in analytics today,” Meininger said. “There are many analytics vendors in the market. By offering hundreds of connectors — with support — they can give enterprises easier access to their data and take more piece of mind than custom or third-party connectors. “

As part of the launch of Connector Factory, Click said it plans to add 30 new connectors to cloud data integration by the end of June and approximately 70 more during the second half of 2023.

Those targeted for development in the coming months include new connectors from NetSuite, Workday, SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Ariba, Salesforce, Epic, Cerner, OSIsoft, ADP, and HubSpot.

Most vendors provide integrations and connectors between their platform and other vendors’ tools to develop an ecosystem for data. However, Qlik hopes to differentiate itself from data integration competitors like Informatica and Fivetran by simply providing more, according to Dan Potter, VP of Product Marketing at Qlik.

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Beyond differentiation, Qlik is trying to fill a need. With so many specialized databases and applications being developed, organizations are challenged to maintain and build their own connectors.

Potter noted that vendors such as DuckDB are developing specialized databases, while the number of applications from SaaS companies now exceeds 30,000.

So, with the launch of Connector Factory Qlik aims to reduce the burden of its customers with respect to maintaining all new databases and applications, according to Potter.

He added that Qlik has the technology to access any standard API to map its data and the relationships between that data, load the data into a data storage repository or BI platform, and respond to changes as the API evolves. Give

“The technology we’re using is going to jumpstart API access,” Potter said. “The need to be able to crank out connectors in weeks instead of months. These are big challenges for customers. The number of data sources is only going to get bigger.”

While Potter said Qlik hopes Connector Factory will be a differentiator, Donald Farmer, founder and principal at Treehive Strategy, said other vendors offer a multitude of connectors.

For example, Domo, which is set to begin significant integration with Microsoft’s Office suite in 2022, offers more than 1,000 connectors.

So, Connector Factory has the potential to differentiate Qlik from some of its competitors, but it’s a catch-up move compared to others.

“Savvy vendors are creating more and more connectors rather than leaving customers to roll their own or requiring analysts to use clunky generic connectivity,” Farmer said. “This connectivity enables business analysts to create endless mashups of corporate data and decision processes that are no longer centralized but distributed across multiple cloud apps.”

Despite Connector Factory representing a catch-up step compared to some data management and analytics vendors — and despite Qlik being relatively new to data integration — Farmer said that Qlik’s data integration platform compares to its peers. Compares well.

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,[Qlik] Good looking,” he said. “He has a wide range of capabilities with excellent performance and manageability. and they are very strong in their SAP integration, which works well in their core [Europe, Middle East and Africa] customer base.”


With Qlik now making connectivity a focal point — something the vendor indicated in January when it unveiled its 2023 roadmap — Meininger said there are other areas where the vendor could focus They include data orchestration and data observation.

In addition, although Qlik is already addressing the integration of analytics with applications and other data sources — what some call reverse ETL (extract, transform and load) — he said this is an area where the vendor is only Getting started.

“Qlik has already begun to tackle the next big challenge, which is closing the loop by integrating analytics results with applications and data sources,” said Meininger. “I’m not sure reverse ETL is the best label, but I like it because it communicates a completely different process than existing data integration activities.”

Meanwhile, Potter noted that adding Talend is the most important part of Qlik’s roadmap.

Talend Data Fabric is the vendor’s core platform, and its latest updates include a new data observability feature and enhanced data ingestion capabilities.

Once the acquisition is complete, Talend will complement Qlik’s existing data integration capabilities by adding a data fabric approach to architecture and governance. The purpose of a data fabric is to create a unified view of data, regardless of its location, to enable organizations to more easily search and find relevant information.

“Once we get regulatory approval, we’re going to have an interesting expansion of capabilities on the data integration side,” Potter said. “We will go to market with an interesting roadmap and set of capabilities.”

Eric Avidon is a senior news writer for TechTarget Editorial and a journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He covers analytics and data management.

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