Astera Data Integration Review

Astera
Product:
Vendor:
Founded:
Headquarters:
Data Integration
Astera
1990
Simi Valley, CA
Ownership
Customers:
Deployment Model:
Free Trial:
Private
150+
On-Premise
Yes
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Data Integration At A Glance

Good: Data integration capabilities doesn't have to be IT's responsibility, flexible software, lower total cost of ownership.
Bad: Centerprise software only available for on-premise deployment, no out-of-the-box connector for SAP.
Bottom Line: Astera's solutions are developed with the business user in mind; complex data integration processes are re-designed for even a novice user to utilize the software.

Product Overview

Data integration has long been the responsibility of IT departments in most companies. As more and more tasks fall on IT’s shoulders, the challenge is to utilize their limited resources while controlling costs. The data integration process can instead be done by business users with a flexible and easy-to-use software.

Astera’s data integration solutions are designed with the business user in mind. It offers three solutions: its flagship Centerprise Data Integrator, EDIConnect, and ReportMiner.  We will talk briefly about each.

Centerprise offers these benefits for business users: their IT division can focus on other important tasks/duties, lower total cost of ownership, anytime, anywhere access to data, and increased ability to make better business decisions.

Astera’s Centerprise is available in two versions: the Centerprise Professional and Centerprise Enterprise. The Centerprise Professional has a built-in runtime engine and includes several of these features: file connectors in delimited, Excel and fixed lengths formats, base database connectors (SQL Server, Access, etc), unstructured data mining, data transformation, data profiling, EDI, premium database connectors (Oracle, Teradata, etc), advanced data connectors (CRM, Quickbooks, etc), data quality mode, team project and version control integration, and .NET extensibility APIs. The Centerprise Enterprise has a server-based runtime engine; aside from all of the features of the Professional version, it also has workflow automation, job scheduler, and job parameterization. The Centerprise version can be purchased as licenses on a per-year basis – up to nine licenses can be purchased for $1,000 and a 10-pack license is $6,000.

Astera’s ReportMiner enables users to extract data from printed documents for integration into the company’s databases. Data can be extracted from these formats: PDF, TXT, PRN, XLS, and XLSX. Data is exported and mapped to any destination, including Excel, delimited formats, fixed-length format, and most databases (SQL Server, Access, MySQL, and PostgreSQL). ReportMiner processes large amounts of data in a short time, and  specific report models is reused at any time.  And in a single-click preview window, users can verify data conversion errors and test report models. It is available as a license on a per-year basis – for example, companies can purchase up to nine licenses for $500.

Astera’s EDIConnect is an electronic data interchange (EDI) functionality that allows systems to conduct business transactions without human involvement. For example, customer information can be transferred from a CRM system to a billing system. The EDIConnect includes a transaction builder, a repository manager, automation orchestration, and job scheduler.

For more information about Astera’s  products, please check out their video here.

Features

  • Ad Hoc Analysis?
  • Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)?
  • Predictive Analytics?
  • Profit Analysis?
  • Trend Indicators?
  • Ad Hoc Reporting?
  • Automatic Scheduled Reporting?
  • Customizable Dashboard?

Target Market

Astera provides solutions that are targeted to specific industries, such as manufacturing, healthcare, retail, government, media, utilities, and non-profits, among others. We’ve listed several of its customers below:

  • Hewlett-Packard
  • AutoTrader.com
  • Novartis
  • Scholastic.com
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Volvo
  • Xerox
  • Wells Fargo
  • USDA
  • Raymond James Financial

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Implementation/Integration

Astera offers four training options: three-day training at the customer’s site, one-day online overview course, customized online training, and on-demand training via video tutorials, product documentations and articles. Astera focuses its training strategy on methodology, expertise, benefits, and ecosystem.

Customer Service & Support

Users can contact Customer Support via phone or email. They can also access the Support site, where they will find a knowledge base, get information on future releases or upgrades, and submit a service request. Customer support requests are responded within one business day and critical product issues are resolved within 48 hours.

Pricing

Astera provides an online store where users can purchase its solutions. The Centerprise Express is priced at $2,999 per user per year (those interested in the Centerprise Enterprise should contact Astera directly for a price quote. Its Report Miner Express costs $750 per license per year for 1-9 licenses, while 10 licenses cost $6,750 per year.

Shortcomings

The Centerprise software is only available for on-premise deployment, not for web-based or SaaS. Additionally, Astera doesn’t yet have an out-of-the-box connector for SAP. These features are all in the development pipeline.

For ReportMiner, there is no ability currently to extract data from Word, RTF, or HTML files. This is also currently in the pipeline.

Screenshots

Astera Screenshot 1
Astera Screenshot 2
Astera Screenshot 3

About

Astera is a leading developer of enterprise solutions that help simplify the data integration process by delivering intuitive and fast structured and unstructured data integration. Its mission is to help business users learn and use data integration functions quickly and effectively without depending on IT – its Centerpiece solution is unified and code-free. It also aims to provide affordable software that contribute to users’ low total cost of ownership (TCO).

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