Open Source Reverse ETL For Everyone With Grouparoo


January 7th, 2022

44 mins 56 secs

Your Host

About this Episode


Reverse ETL is a product category that evolved from the landscape of customer data platforms with a number of companies offering their own implementation of it. While struggling with the work of automating data integration workflows with marketing, sales, and support tools Brian Leonard accidentally discovered this need himself and turned it into the open source framework Grouparoo. In this episode he explains why he decided to turn these efforts into an open core business, how the platform is implemented, and the benefits of having an open source contender in the landscape of operational analytics products.


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  • Your host is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Brian Leonard about Grouparoo, an open source framework for managing your reverse ETL pipelines


  • Introduction
  • How did you get involved in the area of data management?
  • Can you describe what Grouparoo is and the story behind it?
  • What are the core requirements for building a reverse ETL system?
    • What are the additional capabilities that users of the system ask for as they get more advanced in their usage?
  • Who is your target user for Grouparoo and how does that influence your priorities on feature development and UX design?
  • What are the benefits of building an open source core for a reverse ETL platform as compared to the other commercial options?
  • Can you describe the architecture and implementation of the Grouparoo project?
    • What are the additional systems that you have built to support the hosted offering?
    • How have the design and goals of the project changed since you first started working on it?
  • What is the workflow for getting Grouparoo deployed and set up with an initial pipeline?
  • How does Grouparoo handle model and schema evolution and potential mismatch in the data warehouse and destination systems?
  • What is the process for building a new integration and getting it included in the official list of plugins?
  • What is your strategy/philosophy around which features are included in the open source vs. hosted/enterprise offerings?
  • What are the most interesting, innovative, or unexpected ways that you have seen Grouparoo used?
  • What are the most interesting, unexpected, or challenging lessons that you have learned while working on Grouparoo?
  • When is Grouparoo the wrong choice?
  • What do you have planned for the future of Grouparoo?

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Parting Question

  • From your perspective, what is the biggest gap in the tooling or technology for data management today?

Closing Announcements

  • Thank you for listening! Don’t forget to check out our other show, Podcast.__init__ to learn about the Python language, its community, and the innovative ways it is being used.
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The intro and outro music is from The Hug by The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

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