Here's an interesting topic, today let's look at some of the key differences between the IBM Websphere DataStage ETL product and the Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services suite. This topic has been written in my notebook for a while but an email I received from a code camp attendee pushed me to finally publish it.
First, DataStage (DS) has been around longer and traditionally has been more accepted within the corporate world. DS is now on version 7.5 with version 8 to be released in the fall. DS 8 will be the first all new version for quite a while and there are some excellent, much needed enhancements in the product.
SSIS got it's start as DTS (Data Transformation Services). DTS is a decent tool but not on the scale of DataStage, and the SSIS product certainly makes it a viable, and in some cases, better competitor to DataStage.
Main differences in the product out of the box is that DS has connectors to many different source systems, while SSIS is limited in the provided connectivity, although that is going to change shortly. DS is a powerful tool that provides for very simple ETL building jobs, utilizing Basic code as the supporting language. SSIS is a very powerful tool with many "stages" and options available, but in some cases I've found it harder than I'd like to create simple jobs. SSIS uses Visual Basic for the supporting language, and has great support for scripts. DS has hash files as high performance data stores, and SSIS has raw files. Both products have bulk loader capabilities, and both products are designed for high performance systems. One significant difference is that, not surprisingly, DataStage works with both Unix and Windows OS while SSIS is only available on a Windows platform.
The primary difference is cost, with DS costing 4-5x as much as SSIS for some applications. This is a key reason I believe that SSIS is going to be the future of ETL tools. Not only does it do a majority of the same functionality as DS, it costs much less. With the growing acceptance of ETL tools as business process drivers, look for SSIS to expand the market for ETL and business intelligence tools.
In short, while both DS and SSIS are very powerful, SSIS's cost advantage makes up for some of the weaknesses of the product.