How To Learn Informatica

A question that I often receive is:

“What should I do to learn how to develop ETL mappings using Informatica PowerCenter?”

Here are the steps that I would take to learn how to do extract, transform, and load with Informatica PowerCenter.

I assume that you already have knowledge of SQL. If you don’t know SQL or need to learn more about SQL, I would recommend that you buy Learning SQL by Alan Beaulieu.

You also should have access to the Informatica PowerCenter tool in your environment. If not, you should get the Informatica server and client tools installed on your desktop.

A great place to start to learn Informatica is the Getting Started Guide found in the documentation folder of your PowerCenter client tools installation. This guide is really good at teaching you the basics. You will need to have access to create tables in a database, as the guide teaches you by loading some sample tables/data and teaches you all the basic ETL concepts using the sample data.

The tutorials in the guide will teach you how to:

  • Create Source Definitions
  • Create Target Definitions
  • Create Target Tables
  • Create a pass-through Mapping
  • Create Sessions and Workflows
  • Use the Workflow Monitor
  • Create Aggregate Transformations
  • Create Expression Transformations
  • Create Lookup Transformations
  • Create Filter Transformations

Make sure that you do all the tutorials and not just read them. You will learn the concepts better by following the tutorials step by step. All of the tutorials are very basic, but they will give you the foundation you need to develop ETL processes using Informatica PowerCenter.

The next guide I would skim is the Transformation Guide. This is a great reference guide to all the transformations available in Informatica PowerCenter. I would not suggest you read the guide from cover to cover, but to instead read the Working with Transformations chapter and the overview section for each Transformation. This will give you a good idea of the transformations available that you can use in your mappings, so that when you are trying to develop a mapping you will have some background on what transformations are available. When you need to do a new transformation for the first time, you can read the entire section of the Transformation Guide for that transformation for more details.

Next, you should actually develop your first mapping in Informatica PowerCenter.  There is no better training than actually doing it.

A great book you should buy for learning the Extract, Transform, Load process is The Data Warehouse ETL Toolkit: Practical Techniques for Extracting, Cleaning, Conforming, and Delivering Data.

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