Alooma is a cloud-based ETL solution for integrating data from a variety of SaaS services, databases, and APIs. Because Alooma makes it easy for new users to set up data pipelines and stream data from multiple sources, the platform has become a popular product in the ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) marketplace to connect with cloud data warehouses like Amazon Redshift, Microsoft Azure, Snowflake, and Google BigQuery.
However, since Google purchased Alooma in early 2019, Alooma customers who don't use Google BigQuery have been in a jam. Essentially, Alooma will soon remove support for non-Google data warehouses. You have until March 2020 to decide if you will switch to BigQuery, or leave Alooma for an alternative that's compatible with Redshift, Snowflake, etc.
Fortunately, high-quality Alooma alternatives abound, and some of these competitors provide a better and easier-to-use data integration service – particularly if you don't want to be limited to using Google's BigQuery data warehouse ecosystem.
In this guide, we’ll give you the most important details about three popular Alooma alternatives (Xplenty, Stitch, and Skyvia), so you can decide which one is right for your use case. But first, let’s look at Alooma itself.
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As a Google-owned data integration platform, Alooma focuses on real-time “stream processing” ETL for analytics and business intelligence. The platform is easy-to-use, reliable and scalable; nevertheless, there are a few things you should understand about Alooma before committing to the platform:
- Compatible with BigQuery Only: Google purchased Alooma in early 2019, and after March 2020 the platform will only work with Google BigQuery as a destination. If you don't plan to work strictly in this Google data warehouse ecosystem – i.e., if you want to use Azure, Redshift, or Snowflake – Alooma isn’t for you.
- A wide array of integration possibilities: Alooma offers prebuilt, automatic integrations for approximately 30 different data sources and SaaS platforms. You can also use Alooma’s Rest API connector to build integrations for any Rest APIs that aren't on their list of connectors.
- Transformations within the data pipeline: Alooma lets you use an in-browser Python environment to code transformations that happen in the data pipeline before loading.
- No reputation for being "easy-to-use": Alooma is an excellent product for developers and advanced data teams. For example, the code engine may require Python skills if you want to remove data specific data from sources during the transformation process. Ultimately, Alooma might be more appropriate for experienced developers than new users.
- Responsive customer support: Alooma offers 24/7, live, and online support. Users report that Alooma support is very responsive.
- Security and compliance: Alooma is HIPAA, GDPR, SOC 2, and OAuth 2.0 compliant.
Special considerations for Alooma:
- Batch and stream processing: Alooma offers the option of using batch or stream processing. While stream processing allows users to benefit from real-time data, it can create computational challenges when dealing with large amounts of information, and it's not always as stable/reliable as batch processing.
What Alooma users are saying about the platform:
“Very appropriate for managing an ELT stack – Alooma handles the 'E' and 'L' pieces very well. Due to the way transformation is set up, it is more on the lightweight side of things and thus works for this kind of stack. For more traditional ETL stacks, Alooma would probably not be the right fit.”
“When running all your data through an external solution there is a certain amount of "ownership" loss. Yes, it's out data still but we now need Alooma to run the business processes enabled by aggregating that data.”
Xplenty focuses on being a powerful, easy-to-use, data integration platform that’s compliant with the most stringent data security standards. As a scalable, cloud-based ETL solution, Xplenty handles anything from simple replication to complex transformations. The platform automates data pipelines for the widest range of data sources and destinations, and has excellent features for developers to create solutions for complex ETL needs.
Here are the key points to know about Xplenty as an Alooma alternative:
- Compatible with multiple data warehouse servers: Unlike Alooma, which only works with Google BigQuery, Xplenty offers data pipelines to the most important cloud-based data warehouse destinations like Snowflake, Azure, Redshift, BigQuery, and more.
- Limitless integration possibilities: Like Alooma, Xplenty features 30 native connectors, and through its Rest API connector, you can extract data from any Rest API. This allows you to integrate with a limitless array of SaaS platforms and data sources, including more than 100 out-of-the-box integrations. Xplenty’s drag-and-drop UI makes it easy to set specific parameters for your API, define data fields, enable consolidations by setting a primary key, define headers, and set how frequently you want to connect to the endpoint.
- In-pipeline transformations: Xplenty features a wide array of preload transformation options like sort, join, select, limit, clone, and filter, which transform information within the data pipeline before it hits your data warehouse. Implementing these transformations is easy with a visual, drag-and-drop workspace.
- Easy for inexperienced users but also built for developers: Developers can take advantage of Xplenty’s API for additional customization and flexibility and use service hooks to connect with your existing monitoring systems. Meanwhile, non-engineers will find it easy to integrate data connections through Xplenty's highly-intuitive, drag-and-drop user interface.
- Security and compliance standards: Xplenty includes an array of security and compliance features including an updated Data Processing Addendum (DPA) for GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA compliance needs. Plus, the new Field Level Encryption tool which allows users to encrypt and decrypt their data.
- Excellent customer support: Xplenty has a reputation for offering excellent phone, email, chat, and online meeting support. Xplenty support will help you set up pipelines, navigate complex file formats, and manage large-scale integrations. They will even proactively notify you when a problem has occurred.
Special considerations for Xplenty:
- Micro-batch processing: By uploading data in small chunks at minute-by-minute intervals (if desired), through micro-batch processing, Xplenty keeps your data up-to-date without sacrificing stability or accuracy.
- Programmatically accessible: Embed Xplenty into your SaaS applications.
- 7-day free trial: Xplenty offers a 7-day free trial of its platform with no credit card required, so you can test the full power of and usability of the service before making a commitment.
- Salesforce to Salesforce integration: Xplenty doesn’t just extract data from Salesforce, it allows you to load data into Salesforce. With just a few clicks, Xplenty’s native Salesforce connector permits the integration of Salesforce data with your data warehouse. Xplenty allows you to send third-party information to Heroku Postgres, then load it into Salesforce through Heroku Connect or send it directly to Salesforce. You can also join data from other sources and combine it with Salesforce data before pushing it into your data warehouse.
What Xplenty users are saying about the platform:
“The customer support is one of the best I have experienced. They were very prompt every time I would have an issue with using Xplenty. Moreover, the development team is also quite fast, as they were able to implement pagination for an API I was using in less than 2 days.”
“We just started using them largely because of their recently released UI (April 2018 I believe they said it was released). It’s very pretty and makes things very easy. Added sophistication for more advanced ETL controls beyond ‘click-not-code’, where you can add the needed code as required was what made it a winner for us. They were the best tool that passed our compliance tests (focused on SOC2 largely), and so from our round table stood out as the easiest way to solve our ETL needs.”
"After evaluating 10 or so ETL providers I went with Xplenty because their service has a relatively straightforward GUI, but also allows for a fairly sophisticated level of configuration. Most of the time the GUI is sufficient, but I'm also I'm able to script bits and pieces and add custom SQL to handle the weird edge cases, or make some of the large transfers more efficient (e.g. using a custom date field). I'm also able to do data transformations as part of the pipeline."
– Mike B.
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Skyvia is a simple, cloud-based data integration platform that could be a viable alternative to Alooma. Skyvia's most impressive features include a web-based interface and free tier offerings that allow cost-conscious firms to take advantage of basic ETL features. The platform also focuses on providing basic, easy-to-use extract/load features rather than complex data transformations.
Here are the key points to know about Skyvia as an Alooma alternative:
- Compatible with multiple data warehouse servers: Unlike Alooma, Skyvia isn’t limited to working with BigQuery. You can create data pipelines to the most popular cloud-based data warehouses, like Azure, Redshift, and BigQuery.
- Limited integration possibilities: Many users complain that Skyvia has a limited number of connectors. But for some use-cases, Skyvia's connector offerings – which include Salesforce and other popular platforms – could be all that you need.
- No data transformations: Skyvia focuses on providing extraction of raw data from different sources and loading it into the destination. It doesn't offer transformations, so if you want to perform data transformations, another solution (like Xplenty) would be more appropriate.
- Easy to use: What Skyvia lacks in connectors and transformations, it makes up for with its no-code data integration wizard, which makes it easy for new users to set up extract/load pipelines.
- Short on support: A potential drawback to Skyvia is its delayed customer support. Many users complain that it takes days for Skyvia support to respond to their questions about the platform. This may be due to the fact that Skyvia provides support from the Czech Republic during Czech business hours. Most users said that once support got back to them, they got the help they needed.
- Security and compliance standards: Skyvia is SOC 2 Type II, EU-US Privacy Shield, and HIPAA compliant.
Special considerations for Skyvia:
- Web-based app: The platform features a web-based interface so you can access Skyvia in the cloud without needing to install an application or invest in a specific infrastructure.
- Free tier: Unlike other platforms, Skyvia offers a free tier that has a variety of basic features like being able to set up one endpoint, running five queries a day, scheduling one integration per day, and a lot more.
What Skyvia users are saying about the platform:
“A simple tool through the browser which enabled me to connect to SQL database in Azure. I was able to connect to Azure SQL database, and saved the connection details for future uses. I didn't have to log in to Azure and in order to use Microsoft tool.”
– Geri R.
“I was able to dive in and get started pretty quickly.... without having to slow down to learn MySQL queries, etc. With all of the tools, out-of-the-box integrations and generally pretty clear documentation I found connecting our systems with Skyvia to be a good experience.”
– Alex R.
One thing I thought about that may be an area for improvement is the support. They are really good and they come back with great and helpful answers, but often it takes a few days to get the answer.
Stitch Data Loader
As a part of the Talend suite of applications, Stitch Data Loader is a simple ETL service that benefits from Talend’s longstanding reputation in the data integration space. Stitch offers a reliable ETL solution for your data integration process, including basic features that are easy for new users to master, and more advanced features for developers.
Here are the key points to know about Talend as an Alooma alternative:
- Compatible with multiple data warehouse servers: Unlike Alooma, Stitch lets you integrate data with the most important data warehousing options, including Redshift, Snowflake, Azure, BigQuery, and more.
- Limitless integration possibilities: Stitch integrates data to and from a wide array of data sources through its list of prebuilt connectors. Plus, the platform’s Rest API connector lets you set up integrations for any Rest API if your connector isn't available. The platform includes the Singer integration tool, an open-source ETL standard that lets you replicate data from any source to the destination of your choice.
- Data transformation options through Talend: The Stitch platform offers limited data transformation options, preferring instead to focus only on the transformations required for a particular destination. However, through Talend, through the Talend suite of products, you can define data transformations via a graphical user interface or by coding them in Python, SQL, and Java.
- Easy for inexperienced users but also built for developers: Stitch is a powerful ETL service made for developers, but its drag-and-drop interface empowers non-savvy users to operate the platform.
- Security and compliance standards: Stitch is SOC 2, GDPR, and HIPAA compliant.
- Solid customer support: Stitch has built a reputation for responsive customer support, including in-app chat support. Unfortunately, their phone support is only available to enterprise tier customers.
Special considerations for Stitch:
- Free tier and 14-day free trial: Stitch has several pricing tiers – including a free tier and an unlimited 14-day free trial – so you can test the platform before committing to it.
- You're limited to just one data warehouse: Although you can use any type of data warehouse with Stitch, users are limited to using just one data warehouse at a time. That could be a problem for large enterprises that need to operate multiple data warehouses.
- Pricing based on data volume: Stitch's pricing schedule charges according to the volume of data you import. When importing massive amounts of data, pricing could become impractical. This could make Stitch inappropriate for large, data-driven enterprises that rely heavily on their ETL processes.
What Stitch users are saying about the service:
“Stitch gets the important things about data integration right: reliable integrations for leading sources and destinations, reliable infrastructure, sensible billing structure, and excellent customer support … We’d like some integration with incident management software to route alerts to the right engineers in cases where a source/destination integration is broken (e.g. password change).”
– Assaf L.
“We help customers map marketing spend all the way through existing customer sales. In most cases, Stitch is all we need to consolidate their data in a database or BigQuery and stick Google Data Studio on top … I would like to see better error reporting. I think they only come via email. Slack integration would be helpful as well as greater visibility into the issues as well as rejected errors.”
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Final remarks about Alooma: Alooma is a powerful ETL platform if you're dedicated to using the Google data warehouse ecosystem (BigQuery) and you have an experienced team of developers at your disposal. However, if you want to use other data warehouses, or if your ETL platform needs to be accessible to non-engineers, this platform might not be for you.
Final remarks about Xplenty: At the end of the day, we're going to recommend you give Xplenty a try for your ETL and data transformation/integration needs. After all, we're the Xplenty team and we believe in our product! The thing is, there are some key factors that set us apart from the competition, like Xplenty's ability to pull data out of Salesforce, transform it, then push it back into Salesforce with our native Salesforce connector. Xplenty's programmatic accessibility features and its commitment to meeting all security and compliance standards also shine above the competition.
Final remarks about Skyvia: If you mainly need the "E" and the "L" of ETL, and Skyvia's limited connectors fit your needs, this simple, affordable, data integration platform could be what your organization needs.
Final remarks about Stitch: Stitch is a cost-friendly option for small organizations that want to focus on analyzing their data for business intelligence insights, especially if they're not focused on building data pipelines. However, Stitch might not be appropriate for large, data-driven enterprises that are using multiple data warehouses and importing massive amounts of data.
Try Xplenty: It's Free!
Before March 2020 arrives and you settle on an Alooma alternative, consider letting your team give Xplenty a free, 7-day test spin. Developers and new users alike love our visually-stunning, powerful, easy-to-use interface. But most of all, they love the results: Secure data, where you want it, when you need it, fast, and reliable.
If you'd like to know more about Xplenty, contact our team for more information now!