Jitterbit is an all-in-one integration platform that serves a variety of use-cases – including API Gateway, API manager, iPaaS, ETL, and more. Although Jitterbit was born as an on-premises offering in 2003, the platform has since been retrofitted to offer cloud-based functionality.
Xplenty is a cloud-native ETL solution that specializes in a single integration use-case: to be the most powerful, easy-to-use ETL solution on the market. Initially launched in 2012, Xplenty was designed to operate in the cloud, so the platform is particularly adept at managing cloud-based data integrations.
Both Jitterbit and Xplenty have their advantages and disadvantages:
- Jitterbit: Addresses almost every integration use-case. However, this can make it feel like a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. It’s also expensive and requires skilled staff to operate.
- Xplenty: Focuses on being a powerful ETL solution that any beginner can use to build cost-effective data integrations. However, it can’t serve your app integration use-cases.
So, is Jitterbit or Xplenty right for you? In this comparison, we’ll look at Jitterbit vs. Xplenty from the most important angles (such as capabilities, ease of use, UI, customer support, and price). By the end of this guide, you should have a clear understanding of which platform is best for your needs.
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Overview of Jitterbit vs. Xplenty
Let’s start with a quick overview of the main features for both platforms.
Jitterbit offers an on-premises version (Data Designer), and a cloud-based version (Cloud Designer), which it uses to serve the following integration use cases:
- Jitterbit App Integration (iPaaS) and API Management: Jitterbit’s application integration tools offer a host of pre-built connectors for the most popular apps and platforms. Whether you’re dealing with a SaaS, cloud, or on-premises application, you can use Jitterbit to connect it with apps, microservices, web services, or microapps. Jitterbit’s API design and management features allow you to expose ODBC or JDBC databases as APIs, create APIs in any format (such as REST, SOAP, JSON, and OData), and more.
- Jitterbit Data Integration (ETL): Jitterbit’s ETL tools let you pull data from the most popular data sources, transform it, and load it into the most popular relational database and data warehouse systems. Jitterbit includes a host of native connectors and prebuilt transformations for simple data pipelines. Experienced developers can also use the platform to code sophisticated ETL processes.
- Jitterbit Cloud Dataloader (JCD) for Salesforce: One of Jitterbit’s most popular ETL features is a free, stripped-down version of Jitterbit called Cloud Data Loader for Salesforce. This app can pull and insert data to and from Salesforce. However, it only provides basic ETL services. For more functionality, you’ll need to upgrade to the full version of Jitterbit.
As an ETL solution, Jitterbit presents three primary challenges.
1) Retrofitted Software
Jitterbit currently offers its web-based Cloud Designer UI for managing cloud integrations. Cloud Designer is a retrofitted version of Jitterbit’s on-premises Design Studio UI. Because it is not a cloud-native platform, Cloud Designer can be sluggish when dealing with cloud integrations.
“What do you like best? Literally nothing. To say that Jitterbit Studio is in its 10th version cycle is absurd, and an insult to developers who stick to versioning cycles. I cannot get the studio to work on macOS, neither can their support team. The windows version frequently stumbles over itself because it doesn't even handle files on the filesystem properly. The cloud UI is slow and bad, good luck finding any relevant information in the activities page. Oh and try turning off schedules in the projects page just to watch them continue to run anyways! TRASH!”
2) Overly Complicated
Because Jitterbit offers both iPaaS and ETL services, it’s often seen as a “Swiss army knife” or “all-in-one” integration solution. The thing is, you may not need all of these services if you’re only planning to use Jitterbit for one use case.
“[Jitterbit] can be a bit bulky with a lot of different features which makes it more difficult to train someone initially as part of an onboarding experience. The error messages could also provide better detail when an upload is not properly loaded.”
- Verified User, Real Estate Industry
3) Steep Learning Curve
Even though Jitterbit platform offers no-code/low-code options for building ETL pipelines, you’ll still need to have training as a data engineer and coding experience to build the sophisticated integrations the platform is capable of.
“We've found that someone with basic SQL skills was easily able to become proficient with Jitterbit. Someone with no previous SQL or other database experience may have a more difficult time with it.”
- Steve S., CIO
Considering these challenges, it’s important to ask the following questions before committing to Jitterbit:
- Are you prepared to deal with a retrofitted on-premises solution that wasn’t originally designed to operate in the cloud? Jitterbit’s sluggish cloud-based operation could be a challenge for remote teams. In light of the social distancing and work-from-home renaissance brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, this could very well end up a chronic problem.
- Do you really need to pay extra for an iPaaS, API Gateway, and API Manager in addition to an ETL platform?
- Could an ETL-dedicated, 100% cloud-native platform that’s easy for anyone to use service your needs more affordably than Jitterbit?
Xplenty is a modern, cloud-native ETL platform that offers sophisticated ETL/ELT capabilities without sacrificing ease of use or affordability. With its intuitive, no-code/low-code user interface, Xplenty makes enterprise-grade data integrations available to everyone, regardless of their tech experience. Non-tech-savvy team members – from marketing, BI, and business analytics departments – can use Xplenty to develop custom ETL workflows at a level that used to require a data engineer.
Plus, with Xplenty’s deep customization features, time-saving automation, and out-of-the-box transformations, the platform is powerful enough to satisfy the most advanced ETL developer needs.
“Xplenty is on PAR with enterprise-level tools.”
Moreover, Xplenty integrates with the most popular data warehouses, comes with an impressive list of native connectors, and features a powerful REST API connector to integrate with virtually any data source/destination. Here are some of Xplenty’s native connectors:
(Image Source: Xplenty.com)
There’s another feature that Xplenty brings to the table: Two-way Salesforce-to-Salesforce integrations. Xplenty can extract your Salesforce information, perform the needed transformations, and inject the data back into Salesforce. This capability is only available on the most expensive, megalithic platforms – like Jitterbit, MuleSoft, and Talend – but Xplenty does it for a portion of the cost.
Here’s what you get with Xplenty:
- Purpose-built for the cloud and cloud integrations
- Cloud-native platform that operates 100% in the cloud
- Xplenty does not require any on-site hardware or server to run
- No-code/low-code UI for creating complex ETL workflows
- Intuitive tools for creating sophisticated workflows that define tasks between dependencies
- More than 100 prebuilt, in-pipeline transformations
- Large variety of pre-built connectors for a wide variety of sources/destinations
- Native REST API connector special cases when a prebuilt connector doesn’t exist
- The most advanced security and compliance features available
- Advanced error logging capabilities
- Automatic email alerts with no special configurations required
- Easy copy-and-paste of previously-built packages for quick replication to other accounts
- Scalable to virtually any processing and aggregation requirements through a dynamically-created cluster (contact Xplenty for more details)
- Unlimited telephone and video chat support to guide you through any data integration use-case
- Two-way Salesforce to Salesforce integrations that extract Salesforce data, transform it, and inject it back into Salesforce (and more)
Compared to Jitterbit, Xplenty offers three distinct advantages:
1) Ease of Use
As we discussed above, Xplenty brings the process of building sophisticated ETL workflows down to earth – so anyone can create data integrations without any special experience.
“Xplenty's easy-to-use interface makes it possible for less-technical members of my team to dive in and create/edit ETL jobs and schedules. We use Xplenty to enhance partner data, transform and add flexibility to how we structure and consume various data streams. Xplenty makes this easy.”
- Nick M., Director of Client Success
2) 100% Cloud-Native Platform for Remote Teams
Because Xplenty is a 100% could-native platform, its user interface is extremely fast, efficient, and accessible from anywhere. This is valuable for remote teams that are sheltering-in-place during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the remote team trend continues in the post-pandemic world, Xplenty can help you reap the cost savings, health benefits, and productivity increases of remote-working arrangements.
“On average, remote employees worked 1.4 more days every month, or 16.8 more days every year, than those who worked in an office. And on those workdays, they spent more time getting things done.”
3) Better Security
Routine data integrations are not very risky when importing/exporting data on-premises. However, remote teams take a risk each time they log into an on-prem system. Because Xplenty is a fully cloud-native integration platform, it reduces security risks by automating routine ETL tasks and isolating your pipelines from human-caused security breaches.
“Even if they’re using a VPN or remote desktop to access your on-premise systems, you’re still introducing an additional element of risk. That risk could be eliminated by adopting an automated ETL tool like Xplenty that can handle these processes without human intervention.”
Jitterbit Price vs Xplenty Price
Although Jitterbit doesn’t disclose pricing information on its website, we did some digging and uncovered some valuable information. First, Jitterbit charges monthly through an annual contract. Licensing fees depend on (1) whether you choose the standard, professional, or enterprise tier of the platform, (2) the number of integrations you need, and (3) other business requirements.
As for the cost of the platform, this Reddit user was pricing MuleSoft and Jitterbit. The user received a quote from Jitterbit for $90,000 a year:
“MuleSoft $100,000 quote. Worth it? Hey y’all, my company is trying to make the decision between MuleSoft and Jitterbit. With the amount of connections, Jitterbit comes in about $10,000 cheaper. Has anyone done this comparison and made a choice? What was your choice and the deciding factors? Is MuleSoft worth the sticker price?”
It’s important to remember that significant auxiliary costs will be required to operate Jitterbit. In fact, these costs will usually dwarf Jitterbit’s initial licensing fee:
- Hiring expert integration staff: You’ll need to hire developers with the skills and training required to operate Jitterbit. This can cost as much as $100,000 in labor per year per team member.
- Training/certifying replacement staff: Each time an employee leaves, you will incur additional training and certification costs to replace the staff member.
- Hosting Jitterbit’s on-premises software: You may incur additional costs related to hosting Jitterbit’s on-premises integration software.
Other Reddit users were quick to point out the massive auxiliary costs users should expect with a Jitterbit-scale integration platform:
“The cost of owning middleware is a lot more than just the cost of the licenses… Despite the product pitch on the ease of building integrations – it requires deep technical skills to do it well. In a decent-sized organisation this could be several people – all paid a lot of money. So this isn't a difference of $10,000 – it's the lifetime total cost of ownership which is going to be in the millions for both in a typical organisation.”
“This is easily a 100k job even in many midwest locations and worse on the coasts. And that doesn't include the cost of benefits etc (another 30+%). That's one single admin/dev that trumps the cost of the licensing … This isn't a magic bullet that's going to miraculously solve problems for you for $80-100k, and neither one of these should be something you throw at a random dev or admin and say, "Hey figure this out and start dumping out endpoints/services/ETL stuff.”I have zero insight into your business or staffing, but I’ve seen this happen a lot and this is how improperly secured endpoints, breaches, and overall bad expectations/deliverables happen.”
At the end of the day, Jitterbit licensing fees often range from $80,000 to $250,000 a year (or a great deal more). More importantly, when you add auxiliary costs into the mix, some enterprises with significant integration demands could be on the hook for over $1 million a year in licensing, labor, and other costs to operate the platform.
Here’s what a user of Jitterbit says about price:
“As the product has evolved the pricing model has been somewhat confusing. Perhaps a clearer definition of "endpoints", or tiered pricing based on types of endpoints would make more sense, e.g., endpoints within an organization (file shares, business systems), external endpoints and web services (Salesforce, AWS), etc. Ironically, the ease with which you can build out additional integrations makes it difficult to determine your pricing.”
Xplenty offers an annual contract with an affordable, monthly pricing structure that charges by the connector – not by the volume of data that passes through the integration. This means that you can plan your ETL budget in advance, and you will never incur additional fees if data volumes spike unexpectedly one month.
Xplenty is dramatically less expensive than Jitterbit. In fact, the monthly bill for Xplenty users with a small number of integrations could be a fraction of Jitterbit. Best of all, Xplenty pumps unlimited data through these connections at whatever frequency you need.
Unlike Jitterbit, there are no auxiliary costs associated with running the Xplenty platform:
- No integration staff requirement: Xplenty is so easy to use that it completely eliminates the expense of hiring skilled data engineers and integration specialists. Whether it’s an executive assistant from marketing or a team member from the business intelligence department, any ETL beginner can use Xplenty to create data integrations.
- No training/certification requirement: Xplenty’s awesome support team will quickly train your staff on how to use the platform and walk you through the process of setting up any integration – no special training required.
- No on-prem hosting requirement: As a 100% cloud-native solution, Xplenty is accessible from any internet-connected device. You will never incur additional costs to host the platform.
Here’s what Xplenty customers are saying about price:
"Very easy to use. The pricing point is very welcoming. Once up and running, it is stable and does not require maintenance. We searched for various products, and some were either too simple or too complicated and some products were just extortionate in price. This product allowed us to start off fairly small at a reasonable price, and upscale if/when required."
“The cost of their service is well worth the accuracy, consistency, and time savings it provides. I would recommend them to anyone looking to connect data in CRM systems like Salesforce to SQL databases, and anything in between.”
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Jitterbit offers two graphical UIs that you can use to build data integrations: Design Studio and Cloud Studio.
Design Studio is an on-premises integration platform with a graphical user interface that facilitates the development of ETL processes. To operate Design Studio, users need to install it on an instance of iOS or Windows – either on a physical machine or a hosted server. Most Design Studio users choose the hosted server route for better stability. Until the release of Cloud Studio, Design Studio’s on-prem requirement was one of the biggest setbacks of the Jitterbit platform. Nevertheless, many users prefer Design Studio because it’s a faster, more reliable platform.
Here’s an image of Design Studio:
(Image of Design Studio, Source: Jitterbit Youtube)
Cloud Studio is essentially a browser-based retrofit of the Design Studio platform. While Cloud Studio does liberate Jitterbit users from the need to manage on-premises software, users have complained that the platform is slow, and an overall deterioration of the original product. It’s not the smoothest running or “prettiest” cloud-based ETL platform on the block.
Here’s an image of Cloud Studio:
(Image of Cloud Studio, Source: Jitterbit)
As for Jitterbit’s ease of use, both Design Studio and Cloud Studio are graphical user interfaces with point-and-click functionality. However, it takes a considerable degree of skill to operate them. Jitterbit is not a solution that you can throw at a developer and ask him/her to “figure it out.” You need trained ETL developers and data engineers with coding experience, who are not only skilled with ETL but also experienced at using Jitterbit. Ultimately, most Jitterbit workflow pipelines require a certain degree of coding to finalize.
Here’s how one user describes Design Studio and Cloud Studio user interfaces:
“Take the time to consider the depth of scripting expertise that you might require of your Jitterbit developers. Jitterbit is focussed on the low-code developer, but some processes may require more of a 'traditional' coding approach.”
- Scott D., Lead Integration Developer
“Most know Jitterbit for the data loader side, and there's a surprising amount you can do with the free version. But Jitterbit oversells what you can do declaratively with the paid tool and the documentation isn't great, especially given the price. Even their cloud agents aren't that reliable… My frustration is that you're somewhat limited with their paid cloud agents.
Xplenty UI and Capabilities
Xplenty’s graphical interface was designed so ETL beginners can quickly and intuitively master the process of building ETL pipelines without any coding knowledge or experience. After a one-hour session with an Xplenty integration specialist, non-tech savvy users are able to click through Xplenty’s no-code UI to create sophisticated data integrations and transformation workflows.
Here’s a sample of Xplenty’s no-code UI:
By empowering non-tech-savvy team members to design complex integration tasks, Xplenty alleviates your in-house data engineers from needing to carry out tedious ETL work. Without involving a single person from your IT department, users with no ETL experience and zero coding ability can easily:
- Define data fields
- Name Headers
- Set primary keys for consolidations
- Schedule the timing of integrations
- Set API parameters
Xplenty also features over 100 prebuilt transformations so you can quickly set up transformation workflows such as ranking, cross joining, cloning, asserting, sorting, aggregating, limiting, and more. Creating a workflow is a simple, five-step process:
- Select “Packages” from the Main Menu.
- Select “New Package.”
- Select the desired “Workflow” from the dropdown.
- Select the transformations.
- Identify the conditions for the transformations.
Xplenty’s ease-of-use means that individual departments don’t have to wait for IT to respond when they need to make a last-minute change to their data integration strategies. Moreover, if you ever get confused, Xplenty’s support team will walk you through each step of setting up your data integrations.
Here’s what users say about Xplenty user interface:
“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 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.”
“There are mostly two types of ETL as a service on the market: one is super easy to use and can migrate your data across services and databases but lacks transformation capabilities, while the other needs full-time data engineers to operate but tailored solutions are available programmatically. Xplenty sits in the golden middle letting analysts and engineers deploying custom transformation jobs in minutes even based on multiple data sources.”
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Jitterbit User Support
One of the high-points of Jitterbit is its excellent customer support team. All pricing tiers receive telephone and video chat support with the following guaranteed response times:
- Standard: 48-hour minimum response time.
- Professional: 24-hour minimum response time
- Enterprise: 6-hour minimum response time and 24-hour emergency hotline
Here’s what customers say about Jitterbit’s user support:
“The Jitterbit premier support team is top-notch too. I have put (non-critical) support tickets in only to have them responded to in an hour or two. They will set up a Webex and look into your issue, and unlike most support services out there, I've never heard them say, “That’s another platform issue. Go contact their support.” They really invest in actually solving the issue. I have no interest in looking at other systems.”
“When I've had questions on how to best accomplish my needs support has been very responsive and knowledgeable.”
Xplenty User Support
Xplenty also has an excellent user support team. In fact, Xplenty’s dedicated account service representatives are the “secret sauce” that brings the platform together. Each account receives a dedicated integration specialist. New users work closely with an integration specialist to learn the ins-and-outs of the platform while setting up nuanced and sophisticated data connections.
Best of all, every Xplenty tier – whether you have a single integration or a thousand – receive unlimited phone, video, and text-based support. They are always just a phone call away.
Here’s what online reviewers say about Xplenty’s amazing support team:
“What we love best about Xplenty is the near real-time support we get from the team. Xplenty's point of difference is the customer support we receive. The product itself is good. Easy to use at a high level. The people at Xplenty are the difference – which is unusual for Cloud proposition. A nice change from dealing with a faceless machine.”
"Xplenty is an ETL and ELT platform that has helped my data team immensely. Overall the best part is how much they value my company as a client. You can’t find that in many ETL companies. I searched for many other companies, and I am happy I chose Xplenty."
Final Thoughts on Jitterbit vs. Xplenty
If you’ve read this far, you should have a clear understanding of how Jitterbit and Xplenty stack up. But just in case, here’s the “too-long-didn’t-read” version of what we’ve covered:
As an all-in-one integration platform that handles a lot of different use-cases – such as iPaaS, API management, app integrations, ETL, and large volume data integrations – Jitterbit could be a good match for large enterprises that can use all of these services. Just remember two things with Jitterbit: (1) You’ll need a team of skilled integration specialists with the training and expertise required to use the platform; and (2) Jitterbit’s extensive auxiliary costs often dwarf the already-hefty licensing fees associated with the platform.
In contrast, Xplenty is a highly-focused, ETL-only platform that empowers non-tech-savvy users to build powerful data integrations, transformation workflows, and connect virtually any data source to any destination. Xplenty has also eliminated the burdensome auxiliary costs associated with all-in-one integration platforms like Jitterbit, without sacrificing any enterprise-level capabilities, to provide an affordable cloud-native solution for large volume data integrations.
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