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From Patrick Surry <>
Subject ANT for simple ETL plans?
Date Wed, 23 Jul 2003 14:05:25 GMT
I'm looking at various make-like systems to implement simple
extract-transform-load data-build plans.  (Top candidates are ANT and SCons at
the moment.)

Two initial questions that I can't answer after reading the documentation and
the 'Ant book'.

1. Can you control the degree of parallelism, eg. I want to do something like
'ant --maxParallel=4 ...' or:

 <parallel numThreads="4"/> 
   <... lots of tasks ...

and have Ant only kick off new tasks when old ones finish to avoid having too
many running at once (they have big resource requirements).

2. Is there any good way to manipulate dates held in properties?  The ETL plan
is typically parameterized by a target date (say <property name="targetDate"
value="2002-12-25"/> with an xsd:Date value), and the required outputs depend
on characteristics of the date (is it a Friday, a month-end, etc), and possibly
on related dates (extract records between now and 1 calendar month ago).  I
guess I could do this by shell scripts outside of ant and read results into
properties, but it seems painful.

Patrick Surry, PhD  Tel 617 457 5200 Fax 617 457 5299

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