What alternatives are there to dbt?


(I also asked this question in the Slack channel.)

I realise that dbt is very new, unique idea – but what would you say are the most similar products, or alternatives to dbt today? What is the main competition?

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Stephen Levin has written the best post about this so far. I don’t 100% agree with every line of it but I think on the whole it is quite fair:

Def if you use gcp you might look into something new soon … they acquired something like dbt recently … but I cannot remember the name


good dbt will have another competitor - to get better …

There is probably someone better placed to tell this history more accurately than me, but I will give it a go (note that it’s also in one of the linked posts, but I think it’s worth surfacing more obviously in this thread).

Dataform was originally built on top of dbt. My understanding is that they got to market with a dbt Cloud like offering before (then) Fishtown Analytics did (and FWIW, their early cloud version was called ‘sinter’).

Eventually dataform decided to replace dbt underneath with their own tool, which leads to what you find now. A very dbt-ish experience from a totally separate platform (although with distinct differences, like javascript rather than Python-based templating)

good dbt will have another competitor - to get better

This will be interesting to see. I’m all for competition in the space, but it seems like Dataform is a long way behind in terms of marketshare (if GitHub stars/folks is any indication. BigQuery is experiencing some major growth, and I bet there’s folks who (assuming they integrate dataform well into the GCP ecosystem) would love to keep things all-in-one.

One last thought, I can’t quite help but think of Looker, whom Google also acquired. They’re still an outstanding tool but QC and service seem to have gone backwards since the acquisition. It may be telling for Dataform’s future…