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Ascend extends flex-code data connectors

The data platform vendor looks to enable organizations to more easily read and write data from different data sources with a new low-code connector framework.

Data platform vendor Ascend on Sept. 30 introduced a new set of flex-code connectors that are in preview immediately, with general availability expected by the end of the year.

Connecting to different data sources is often a challenge for enterprises, posing two key problems: how to read data and how to write data.

With the new connectors, Ascend is aiming to help its users with both data connection challenges.

Ascend first introduced its read-only flex-code connectors in December 2020 as a low-code approach to building out data pipelines.

The new flex-code write connectors will enable users to write data back to an original source from connected applications that could include data analytics and business intelligence tools.

"The extension of the flex-connector framework with new flex-code write connectors is a natural progression for Ascend, and it's something data teams are asking for as they progress down their data transformation journeys," said Mike Leone, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group.

Why writing data with Ascend flex connectors matters

Leone noted that Ascend already serves as an intelligent intermediary between data sources and the data tooling ecosystem.

Screenshot of Ascend flex connectors
Ascend's new flex-code write connectors provide a low-code interface for users to create data pipelines.

In his view, the flex-code write connectors are enabling data teams to add more value to data stakeholders. Teams could write processed data from the Ascend platform directly to the external tool of choice, including BI platforms, notebooks or other analytic platforms, using the same languages and tools customers are already using.

Sean Knapp, founder and CEO of Ascend, said he was shocked by the high level of adoption for the initial flex-code connectors that only provided read access.

The extension of the flex-connector framework with new flex-code write connectors is a natural progression for Ascend, and it's something data teams are asking for as they progress down their data transformation journeys.
Mike LeoneAnalyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

He noted that before the flex-code connectors, Ascend had a less customizable set of connectors for data sources. and users were typically focused on connecting to data in data lakes. With the flex-code connector model, more customers started to find it easier to connect to operational systems and databases.

"Once we brought out the flex-code model with the low-code interface, we just saw a flood of data," Knapp said.

Data awareness core to Ascend flex-code write connectors

Enabling write access to data sources involves complexity, for data governance as well as data lineage.

The Ascend platform provides data orchestration for extract, transform and load (ETL) operations.

Data lineage is part of that core platform and will now also extend to the flex-code write connectors. The term that Ascend uses for tracking data is "data aware," which provides awareness and visibility into sources of data.

"Data aware is basically the smarts for how we automate data pipelines," Knapp said.

Enterprise Strategy Group is a division of TechTarget.

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