Pentaho vs Talend: A Head To Head Comparison


February 12, 2021


December 7th, 2022

“Without a systematic way to start and keep data clean, bad data will happen.” – Donato Diorio

Data has been the crux of all businesses, all industry segments, be it any size, segment, or geography. With technology penetrating all domains, there is unimaginable data getting generated which can yield great results, if handled properly. Not all data is clean or usable or secure. It must be made usable and secure. Duplicate data must be removed, errors must be rectified, private and confidential information must be protected, data must be aligned to make it appropriate for analysis and decision making.

For the best use of data, comes in the processes of ETL and Data Integration. ETL – Extraction, Transformation, and Loading is a trilogy of processes that collects varied source data from heterogeneous databases and transforms them into disparate data warehouses. These processes help in transforming the unstructured data into valuable, structured information. Two popular names in the world of data integration are Pentaho and Talend. Both have been the favorite of many, owing to their salient features.

Before we move on comparing both, let us quickly look at an overview of both.

What Is Pentaho?

Pentaho is business intelligence (BI) software that provides data integration, OLAP services, reporting, information dashboards, data mining, and extract, transform, load (ETL) capabilities – Wikipedia

Originally launched by Pentaho Corporation and currently owned by Hitachi Vantara, Pentaho has been a leading business intelligence and data integration platform. It offers both – an enterprise edition and a community edition.

Pentaho Data Integration (PDI), known as Pentaho Kettle, is the constituent of the Pentaho suite and offers ETL abilities. It is utilized for data migration, data cleansing, real-time ETL, and data warehousing. Pentaho ETL offers ease of use, no-code graphical interfaces, speed, performance, easy collaborations, and modern tools – these few things make PDI well-known and widely-used.

Key Features Of Pentaho:
  • Low integration time
  • Great community support round the clock
  • Scalable and can attend to a huge bulk of data
  • Great pricing model
  • Wide variety of data sources, visualizations
Major Benefits Of Pentaho:
  • Lesser infrastructural cost
  • User friendly and easy to learn
  • One-stop solution to all data integration needs
  • Highly customizable
  • Can be extended and embedded at multiple places

Organizations Using Pentaho:

  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Jnit Technologies
  • Bank of America
  • Voice Communications
  • Kier Group PLC
  • Aptara and more

Pentaho Alternatives:

  • Talend Data Integration
  • Informatica PowerCenter
  • Apache NiFi
  • Microsoft SQL
  • Google BigQuery
  • IBM InfoSphere DataStage
  • Cleo Integration Cloud
  • PieSync

Good Read: What Is ETL Developer? Roles, Responsibilities, Skills, And More

What Is Talend?

Talend is a cloud data integration leader that offers clean, complete, uncompromised data for everyone. It helps you transform your data from a liability into an opportunity. – Talend.com

Founded in 2005, Talend is an open-source software integration platform that assists in effortlessly converting this data into business insights. It offers data integration and data management solutions.

Talend Open Studio is an Eclipse-based developer tool that can create and execute different ETL jobs. There is no requirement of writing any code since it automatically creates the Java code for it. The Talend ETL tool comprises Talend Data Fabric – the only platform that merges governance and data integration to offer highly secure and trustworthy data with ease.

Key Features Of Talend:
  • Faster development and deployment
  • Cost-effective and has a great community support
  • Pre-built widgets for database integration
  • Offers all requirements under a single solution
  • Provides integration project support
Talend Benefits:
  • Ease of use
  • Reduces data handling time
  • Highly dependable
  • Simple learning curve
  • Strong data integration tools

Organizations Using Talend:

  • Wells Fargo
  • Unitedhealth Group
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Accor
  • Bayer Pharmaceuticals
  • Calor Gas
  • DTN
  • Domino’s Pizza

Talend Alternatives:

  • Informatica PowerCenter
  • StarfishETL
  • Dell Boomi
  • Pentaho Data Integration
  • MuleSoft Anypoint Platform
  • Jitterbit
  • Zapier


Pentaho vs Talend – A Comprehensive Comparison

As we look upon two of the most popular data integration and ETL tools, here is a direct comparison between the two – Talend vs Pentaho ETL, based on various parameters.

Firstly, here are some of the key features and benefits that both – Pentaho and Talend have in common, making them both the most sought-after data integration and ETL tools:

  • Robust, dependable, and user-friendly open-source tools
  • Can be integrated into Java code
  • Using a comprehensive and user-friendly IDE
  • Equipped with great documentation and community support

Just like no two technologies are the same, Pentaho and Talend have their own set of distinct characteristics and dissimilarities, here are they:

Parameters Pentaho Talend
Nature of Tool The commercial open-source data integration tool The open-source data integration tool
Data Quality Partnership with leading data quality solution organizations and has its own firewall to ensure the security of data Talend cloud services offer various tools like pattern manager, data profiler to ensure data quality
Data Integration Possesses excellent data integration capabilities, includes migration from the database to the application Enhances data integration efficacy with easy graphical development
Files Storage Stores file in XML format. Users can store files in personal systems or in centralized databases. Talend operates at the file system level. Users can store files in the personal system.
Connectivity Wide range of connectivity to vast databases Limited connectivity to concurrent databases
Extent of Support Targets USA, UK, Asia Pacific regions Targets more in the USA regions
Speed Pentaho is almost twice faster compared to Talend Talend is slower as compared to Pentaho
GUI Pentaho Kettle GUI is quite modernized and easy to understand Talend GUI is a little tough to grasp
Approach Meta driven multi-threaded approach Single threading code-generating approach
Deployment Needs an independent Java engine to execute on a separate machine The Java and Perl file can execute independently on any machine
Documentation Supports online documentation Documentation is in PDF format
Support for Platforms Supports web-based platforms Supports web-based platforms and iPhone apps
Client Segment Mostly consists of small, medium, and large businesses Mostly consists of small and medium businesses

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Is Pentaho an ETL tool?

Yes, Pentaho is an ETL tool apart from being a popular BI tool with other capabilities such as data integration, reporting, and analytics.

  • Is Pentaho easy to learn?

Yes, Pentaho is easy to learn since it simple, intuitive and has good community support.

  • Is Talend a good tool?

Yes, Talend is one of the leading data integration and ETL tools in the business scenario.

  • Is Talend Open Studio free?

Talend Open Studio is a free-to-download software that can easily be utilized for data integration.

  • Is Pentaho still Open source?

Pentaho is now a subsidiary of Hitachi Vantara and it is an open-source platform for data integration and analytics.

  • Is Pentaho Kettle free?

Yes, Pentaho Kettle is free of charge.

  • What is Talend data fabric?

Talend data fabric is a comprehensive data integration platform that combines data integration, integrity, and governance in a single, unified platform.

  • What is Pentaho Data Integration?

Pentaho Data Integration is a part of the Pentaho Open Source BI Suite and is considered best for data integration and ETL jobs.

  • What is Talend Cloud?

Talend Cloud is a comprehensive data integration and management platform, for business and IT to work collectively to provide trusted data all through the organization.

On A Final Note

After the detailed comparison, we can conclude that both have their own set of pros and cons and both are good, robust, user friendly, and trustworthy. Based on the organizational objectives and requirements, a choice between the two can be made. Choose either, it is sure to go great guns. Let the world of data be benefited by Pentaho and Talend – the two big names in the world of data integration and ETL!

Delivering Digital Outcomes To Accelerate Growth
Let’s Talk

SPEC INDIA, as your single stop IT partner has been successfully implementing a bouquet of diverse solutions and services all over the globe, proving its mettle as an ISO 9001:2015 certified IT solutions organization. With efficient project management practices, international standards to comply, flexible engagement models and superior infrastructure, SPEC INDIA is a customer’s delight. Our skilled technical resources are apt at putting thoughts in a perspective by offering value-added reads for all.

Delivering Digital Outcomes To Accelerate Growth
Let’s Talk