Highly customizable and good Data Modelling feature, stable workflows but performance is below par

What is our primary use case?

We have multiple sets of data coming in from various upstream systems, SAP being one of the main and most dominant systems. We have non-SAP as well, such as Microsoft systems, Oracle Database, and some other legacy databases. We need an MDM tool where we can merge the data and get the main records out of it after merging and matching everything.

The tool has merge and match features and allows us to get the golden record out of it as a single source of truth and then use it as a master of our data, as a Master Data Management tool. We also stored the Data Governance Rules using the information Governance Add On.

How has it helped my organization?

We have used EBX to collate data from multiple source systems, a majority of them are SAP systems to create and update the Master Data and Reference Data. Also to to perform the Match and Cleanse activities and then store the set of Golden Records to feed the various downstream BI and ML systems.

What is most valuable?

The product is highly customizable. 

The product is extremely flexible. 

The Data Model view and compare feature.

The Workflow once created is very stable.

If not much customization is needed the product overall is quite stable and runs consistently.

They are working at adding in match and merge capabilities in future versions . 

There is also an expected good amount of improvement on the UX . 

What needs improvement?

We are currently using TIBCO EBX, however, we are not very happy with the performance of that tool. 

The product does not scale well horizontally particularly in the cloud. We find the scalability to be quite inferior to other options. 

The product has some compatibility issues with Azure SQL also. We heard that it works best with PostgreSQL which is not an ideal Cloud Database as it has scalability issues.

The business team is not very happy with the product's UI/UX. It could be a lot more clear. Right now, they struggle, for example, with creating certain views from the UI. A lot of irrelevant questions are asked during the view creation which actually confuses a Non Technical user. Also, simple things like copy, paste, bulk copy, and bulk paste features are not available(one has to insert separators manually between the different data elements manually). The multi-index search feature is either not there or not very useful.

These are some other problems which the business users have mentioned, as they don't have the technical knowhow to manage these tasks. If they directly want to change a particular set of data within EBX, they cannot do it directly as direct editing in EBX is not available - it may be for a good reason, but the tool still should allow this with the check and balances in place. This involves a Data Engineer in between which slows down the process a bit . 

The hierarchy, in terms of downward or upward drilling, is not great as the links are not well preserved. Sometimes when you are searching multiple tables, child tables or linked tables in a particular Dataset, there is a possibility that you might get lost and struggle to go back to some upstream table. The bread crump needs further improvement.

The learning curve is pretty steep, as you need to learn a lot of things in Java and do some coding to implement certain customizations.

Some other modules have also been removed in future version. For example, Information Governance, which we were using , will no longer be available in Version 6 is what we heard. Without that, the integration of Data Governance Rules with the transformations might be impacted. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution for three years at this point. Initially it was fitting our Bill as the SAP data was handled separately at that time using SAP MDM and MDGM.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The tool is quite stable and very rarely goes down or crashes.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution doesn't scale as well as we would expect. Although it has some dependency on the underlying database but still we would expect better MPP features and also the tool should be able to optimize the underlying clusters more effectively.

How are customer service and technical support?

As our SI partner interacted and we did not interact directly with the TIBCO support we would not be able to comment on this. 

As our SI partner takes care of the further upgrades and patches so we would not exactly know about the effective of TIBCO's support as the SI themselves handle that. But at times we felt that it could have been a bit faster.

How was the initial setup?

The initial installation is not very complex, however, it was not extremely straightforward either. Our SI partner did it for us and it was on time. Also after the initial installation and configuration we were happy with it overall.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it though our SI partner who are preferred Implementation partner of TIBCO.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This is one area where I think EBX scores well. There licensing is quite straight forward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As we are not totally happy with this product in the present scenario, we've been looking into alternatives that may be better suited to our needs and the needs of the company. We are trying to shortlist tools at this time. We're doing some research around it right now from both ease of implementation and Use and Licensing terms. 

What other advice do I have?

We're just customers and end-users. 

Whether I would advise another company to choose this solution or not depends a bit on the use case they are going to develop. I would say that, if a company has a basic use case, a basic means of getting data from a few sources like Oracle, SQL Server, Teradata etc., then maybe it is sufficient. However, if you are having an enterprise-level situation for SAP or Oracle Apps , it might scale up that well.  Performance is also an issue as it does not optimize the underlying clusters to a great extent as compared of its competitors. One good thing is that, with the data model, you can just go and see the data model very well, to the most granular level and identify if there are any gaps. It also has a rich compare data model feature.

 However, again, for the workflow, you cannot edit it in the visual editor. You have to go back to that tree setup and there after complete editing during compile only one would be able to see if any errors has crept in or not. Having said that I would say the Workflows once created are very robust.

There are some competing tools that allow the editing of workflows in the visual setup itself. That is very easy for users. If you can edit it in the visual setup, you can directly see the impacted upstream and downstream tasks or jobs in that workflow and conflicts if any. This speeds up the updating of the workflows by the data engineers or data stewards.

I'd rate the solution at a six out of ten. The solution is average from an enterprise standpoint.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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