June 11, 2021 update – This post hasn’t aged as well as I would’ve
hoped. George makes a strong statement in it: “Fivetran is not
fundamentally a company that is focused on data transformation.” That
statement appears to be less true today than it was in October of 2020.
In a recent conversation, George indicated to me that data
transformation had become a core part of the Fivetran strategy. And as
the company moves towards the GA release of Fivetran Transformations,
it’s become increasingly hard for the two companies to continue what was
once an extremely close commercial relationship.
While we continue to be excited about Fivetran’s adoption of dbt as a
standard for data transformation, the relationship between the two
companies is a bit more like the relationship between Snowflake and AWS:
sometimes allies, sometimes competitors. And that’s ok—these kinds of
evolutions happen in fast-moving markets like the one we’re in.
We continue to have a lot of respect for Fivetran (and use their data
ingestion product internally!). Many Fivetran employees make fantastic
contributions to the dbt Community and the company is working on some
tooling contributions that it hopes to release as open source software
soon. All of this is fantastic.
As the ecosystem evolves, I do want to be extremely clear about our own
stance: we believe that dbt Cloud is by far the most robust tool on
the market for both authoring and productionizing dbt workloads. And
as we continue to ramp our product and engineering velocity that gap
will only increase. This shouldn’t be surprising—we’ve been working on
this problem for five years now and it’s been our sole focus that entire
time. It will continue to be our sole focus moving forwards.