Why Leading BI Vendors Choose Simba ODBC Connectivity

This week’s unveiling of the latest MicroStrategy Analytics application reminds me again, how much did the landscape of analytical applications has changed.

Just five years ago, not many analysts heard about that new “Hadoop thing”, and even less would think that a large and ever-growing share of their data would be stored in non-relational data sources. Back then, if your analytics tool could connect to the “Big Three” databases—Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft—your data access needs were pretty much covered. And for anything else, you could always count on an ODBC driver provided by the database vendor.

Today, assuring access to the ever-expanding number of data sources that analysts need to work with became a non-trivial task. While every data source provides some native interface, these are rarely supported by the common analytics applications. Extract and load approach works for smaller datasets but it requires specialized skills, intermediary systems, and introduces delays in the analytical workflow.

An alternative solution to the mismatch between the data sources and BI tools is a special type of an ODBC connector that, in addition to providing an ODBC interface, adds the missing SQL capabilities to a NoSQL (and increasingly, Not-Quite-SQL) data sources. Given the proliferation of the data sources, and growing need to extract business insights from the massive volumes of data, it is not surprising that BI tool vendors are on the quest to add support for the growing number of data sources.

So given the number of different suppliers offering ODBC connectivity options, why do leading BI tool vendors select Simba’s connectors? Why companies like MicroStrategy, Tableau, Microsoft, SAP, TIBCO, Alteryx, Sisense, and many others rely on Simba’s drivers?

Of course, there are several factors that influence this selection, all of which are important. Standard-based connectivity was the sole focus for Simba for the last 25 years since Microsoft partnered with Simba to co-develop original ODBC specification. The quality, compatibility, performance and maturity of underlying technology are also very important, as well as the breadth of the available drivers.

But the single most important reason influencing the choice is the fact that Simba is the de facto standard for ODBC and JDBC connectivity. Top Hadoop distributions, like Cloudera, Hortonworks, MapR and Amazon EMR, all license Simba’s ODBC and JDBC drivers as the native drivers shipped with the distribution. Many NoSQL data sources outside of Hadoop ecosystem, like Google BigQuery, Couchbase, Spark, and Cassandra, also standardize on Simba’s drivers.

So when BI vendors select ODBC connectors for distribution with their application, Simba is a natural choice, because Simba’s drivers are trusted by the data source vendors and guaranteed to be compatible with the latest versions of the data source. And being built on the common foundation of SimbaEngine driver technology, they provide consistent, standard compliant interface, with predictable behavior across a wide range of data source.

If you are considering licensing an ODBC or JDBC drivers to distribute with your product, please get in touch with us and we will help you find a solution to your data connectivity needs.