These days, I am working on a POC (Proof of concept to the uninITiated) on Informatica 8, studying its features, performance and doing a comparitive analysis. I have worked on Informatica 7, so I can only do comparison between the two versions and not between different tools.
Anyway, SOA is a big buzzword, doing the rounds of tech-forums these days. Informatica 8 also claims to have adopted SOA. Tell you what! After looking at the tool, it's just a superficial makeover. Infa Powercenter has Workflow Manager, Workflow Monitor, Repository Manager etc. All these are hosted as servers. They have just renamed it as a service. Does it make the mappings faster? Does it require lesser resources? Does it make these tools more accessible? No. Everything remains the same.
In fact, on promotional material, it looks like a breakthrough. However, actually, its useless. Infa is not an exception. Data warehouse is stocked with buzz words like SOA, CDI, ELT, DSS, ODS etc. It is odious.
All these consultant types are operating at a level, where they don't deal with the intricacies of actual development. And so, are never exposed to the tools at a basic level. Only when you really work on tools, do you realise that the hype machine is just basically pumping out hot air.