Brandon Gubitosa
MAR 4, 2024
4 min read
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Talend Open Studio was a free and open-source data integration solution that was launched by Talend in October of 2006. When French founders, Bertrand Diard and Fabrice Bonan bootstrapped the company in 2005, it was the market’s first commercial open source software vendor of data integration software.

Fast forward 17 years later and in November of 2023, Qlik (who acquired Talend earlier that year) announced that they are discontinuing Talend Open Studio at the end of January 2024.

“Accordingly, after careful consideration and to allow us to focus our resources on those enhancements, we will be discontinuing the open-source product: Talend Open Studio, effective January 31, 2024. Talend has been known for its open standards and extensibility. This decision does not change our commitment to leveraging open standards and delivering extensible products. ”

This announcement was out of the blue and left users relying on Talend for their data integration platform to quickly scramble for an alternative. We’ll dive more into that in a minute, but this situation opens up a bigger question for engineering teams.

Is open-source software slowly losing the trust of end-users?

Throughout this post, we’ll cover what’s going on in the open-source community, why Talend made this switch, and alternatives to Talend Open Studio.

Should you Avoid Open-Source Software (OSS)?

Recent events in the open-source space are slowly eroding the trust of engineers.

No, we aren’t saying OSS is going away forever. After all, a 2022 report from GitHub pointed out that 90% of companies use open-source software.

But companies relying on OSS are often being left with a bitter taste in their mouth when OSS vendors either:

  1. Sunset support for their OSS product (and push their enterprise solution as a better alternative with a dedicated support channel.)
  2. Change their licenses from open source to other licensing forms that are restrictive and prevent specific use cases of software (thus pushing you to buy their enterprise solution)

While OSS is still quite popular for organizations, we are starting to see a pattern emerge among OSS vendors. Talend wasn’t the first vendor to cause frustration among the OSS community (and it likely won’t be the last.) 

In 2023, HashiCorp shook the OSS community by moving to a closed-source license, to have more control around commercialization, especially for their product Terraform, a cloud management tool. 

The outrage in the community led developers to fork the OSS version and create a new project called OpenTofu. While it remains unclear at the time how this community version will affect the closed-source license version of Terraform, it’s a good reminder that OSS products in the end require a heavy number of resources to support users and maintain over time.

And, with the recent economic changes, organizations are answering the hardest question of them all, “Do we continue to support our OSS product that serves as a business pipeline and doesn’t generate immediate revenue?”

While we won’t go into too much detail regarding this topic, it’s important to remember that just because the initial costs of getting started with OSS are lower than a SaaS product, there are additional costs that come into play over time. 

For starters, hiring engineers to maintain the OSS software is not cheap, and finding a reliable solution to host the infrastructure adds up quickly. When hosting OSS infrastructure three options are popular among engineering teams.

  1. Use a Cloud-provider’s managed service of that OSS for a premium.
  2. Buy the OSS vendor enterprise or equivalent offering where they manage the infrastructure for you.
  3. Self-host the OSS yourself and dedicate an engineer’s time to deploying and maintaining the application over time on Kubernetes.

You get the point, just because it’s free from the start doesn’t mean it’s necessarily cheaper than buying software from a SaaS vendor.

Why Talend Open Studio was Discontinued

As of January 31st, 2024, Talend Open Studio reached the end of its life as a product. While this announcement might seem shocking, there are a few reasons why it happened which are worth calling out to better understand the implications.

  1. Reduced community contributions: An open-source project is only as strong as its community. This is not to say that the talent in the community wasn’t elite, rather, the contributions from community members decreased as Talend Open Studio matured. At its peak, Talend Open Studio was equipped with over 1000 connectors. You can imagine how hard this is to maintain over time for the Talend team. It’s why for 17 years they relied on community members to help keep up with the ever-growing demand.
  2. Increased demand for enterprise solutions: Data is far too valuable to not have the strictest of requirements when it comes to data availability. To meet those demands, customers are increasingly looking for solutions with direct vendor support to ensure their connectors are reality available. A main friction point in adopting OSS is the lack of support you get at times. This is not to say that all OSS support is like this, just if a connector is valuable to your business you shouldn’t have to wait days for a bug to be addressed/looked at by the vendor or community members for code approval.
  3. Failure to keep up with the evolving data landscape: The seismic shift in the data industry has turned every role in a company into a data role in one way or another – either as a producer or consumer. Talend Open Studio was unable to keep up with the latest industry trends, particularly when it comes to the democratization of access to data. 

All of these reasons led to Talend Open Studio being discontinued for Talend to focus its resources on its commercial offering, Talend Studio. 

Can I still use Talend?

Can you still use Talend as it is now, yes. Should you continue to do so?

Like everything in engineering, it depends.

First, you should understand that there will be no more updates to Talend Open Studio. Thus, leaving your organization vulnerable to any security issue or breach found in the code. And, with data being as valuable as it is today, that’s a risk that most companies won’t take. Any organization that values its user’s data (which should be all organizations), won’t allow their company to be exposed to attacks and vulnerable to exploits.

Lack of security shouldn’t be the only reason that you consider moving your existing workflows from Talend Open Studio to an alternative offering. With the software no longer being updated, you miss out on all the improvements made to technology. When software isn’t updated it can no longer benefit from new technologies or features (like machine learning models or AI.)

So yes, you still can use Talend Open Studio, you’ll just be exposing yourself to major security risks, missing out on technology updates, and working with legacy software. 

Alternatives to Talend Open Studio

If you are looking to migrate off Talend Open Studio there is an array of options available.

Migrate to Talend’s Commercial Offering Talend Studio

There are some scenarios where it might make sense to keep your existing workflows in your Talend environment and upgrade to the commercial offering. The one thing to consider here is that the price gap between using the OSS offering and the paid version is quite astronomical. 

Talend also doesn’t offer the best support for third-party data sources, due to its slow journey to adopting modern cloud native data integration features. If you are still sticking with Talend, you are still using a legacy offering, which defeats the purpose of adopting cloud-native technologies. It’s worth highlighting that Qlik’s acquisition of Talend introduces an element of uncertainty regarding Talend’s future. Before this acquisition, Qlik already had products in competition with Talend. Consequently, there is a chance that opting for the paid version of Talend might eventually lead to a transition to another Qlik solution.

Manually Build Data Pipelines

If you are still using Talend Open Studio you likely care about keeping your costs as low as possible. One of the ways organizations achieve this is by manually building and deploying their data pipelines. While this sounds appealing, when you consider the number of data sources an organization might use, plus the complexity of building data connectors, merging different data sources, and how expensive data engineer talent is that is needed to build and maintain this process over time, this cost can grow exponentially.  Unless you have a very basic use case and maybe need one or two data pipelines, this option likely doesn’t make sense in the long run.

Choose Another ELT Platform like Rivery

Over the past few months, we have seen an uprising in organizations shifting their workflows from Talend Open Studio to Rivery, a modern solution for building end-to-end ELT data pipelines fast, with little to no coding required. Rivery is a modern response for clients looking for an ELT cloud-based solution, with several components of the modern data platform combined in a single platform. With over 200 no-code fully-managed connectors, advanced workflow orchestration, Data transformations via SQL and/or Python, reverse ETL (data activation), and data operations (full support for the development lifecycle/DataOps) Rivery works to best fit your data needs.

Unlike other ELT platforms, Rivery doesn’t charge by the number of databases or tables you’re loading into your data warehouse, nor does it charge by the number of rows or sync frequencies. Rivery offers on-demand pay-as-you-go pricing so you only pay for what you use.

Looking to join over 350 brands that use Rivery to create robust end-to-end data pipelines at scale, speed, and with full transparency? Get started with 1,000 free credits

Minimize the firefighting.
Maximize ROI on pipelines.

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