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Navigating the Data Analytics and Software Integration Market

Lars Fiedler 0

We recently had a potential client list similar products to Composable, and ask how they are different from us.  The data analytics / software integration / end-user development space can be very confusing.  From a 10,000 ft level, all the products looks the same.  And the marketing sites don’t seem to help. This space is confusing, and I couldn’t even imagine navigating it if we weren’t a player in it.  Everyone is speaking the same language.  Most of the marketing sites have key take-aways like:

  • Build applications fast
  • Create beautiful dashboards
  • Integrate any datasets
  • Real-time analytics
  • Fully customized / drag and drop UIs
  • Scalable Cloud and On-Premise Solution

This isn’t very helpful … So how is Composable different?  Well, it depends on the class of products you’re talking about.  And Composable fits into a number of them.  But lets compare it within the ETL / Analytics / Dataflow market.  This include products like: Composable, Rapid Miner, Lavastorm, Knime, Actian, AzureML.

Alteryx, Knime, Kepler, Lavastorm, Actian aren’t web-based (designer that is). We are.

Kepler and some of the others are actor-based. We are not. Our modules are state-less. Why does this matter? It makes development of extensions easier, and it makes reusing them even easier. You’re not cobbling together functionality into 1 non-reusable node. I’d also argue that we can scale out better too.

In Composable dataflows, all of a modules configuration can be inputted through connections. Why does this matter? This allows for any configuration or inputs to be set dynamically / externally – extreme flexibility. Alteryx and Knime can’t do this (not sure on Kepler). Alteryx doesn’t have any of the web service authoring capabilities we have. They also don’t have any of the activation connectors.

We have a whole slue of web service endpoints, fluent APIs, so you don’t need to use the UI for anything if you don’t want. Yes, the competitors have APIs, but they’re using older methodologies.

Some of the other products only have a dataflow editor in an IDE (i.e Eclipse). Only developers are ever going to download an IDE. The creators made the explicit decision that they’re a developer ONLY tool. We are not.

We’re not just a Dataflow analytics technology. You wouldn’t use Alteryx, Knime, AzureML, or Kepler for anything else. We’ve got Data Modeling, Forms, Query Views, Slicing / Dicing , Alerting, Pub / Sub, Custom Interfaces, just to name a few big features. None of the systems in the Dataflow Analytics space have those.

You build your system and custom vertical products on top of Composable – nothing else is required, other than your favorite database. Some of our features are more akin to a Salesforce or FileMaker. People aren’t building entire systems on products like Alteryx, Knime, Or Lavastorm – They are products for proof-of-concepts, not platforms.

We are a collaborative platform for building software (between software engineers, data scientists, business analysts, and stakeholders). Yes, I said software, not just some silly analytic or mashup.

We have a whole fine grained access control model for the various resources, allowing for sharing with groups, users, etc. Our competitors have none of this.

I think this space (us included) need to do a much better job at differentiating the products. A few of our goals in the New Year is to beef up our marketing site and present a clearer view of what Composable is great at, and what it probably shouldn’t be used for.

Lars Fiedler

Lars has comprehensive expertise building large complex software systems, and has served as a Software Engineer at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory since 2010, where he began developing Composable Analytics. Prior to joining Lincoln Laboratory, Lars worked as a Software Engineer at Microsoft Corporation from 2006 to 2010. Lars received his MS in Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2004, and his BS in Computer Science from Georgia Tech in 2003.