Why CoSort Is Better


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IRI CoSort: The Price-Performance Leader in Big Data Management

Learn why CoSort is a smarter alternative to other software products, hardware upgrades, and in-house attempts to speed: high volume sorts, RDB loads, ETL tools, and data preparation (wrangling) operations for BI/analytic platforms.

Embedded BI icon Speed
BIRT icon Simplicity
Splunk icon Versatility
cloud icon Value


For more than 40 years, IRI CoSort has defined the state-of-the-art in sorting, DW transformations, BI performance optimization, and database acceleration. CoSort is repeatedly reported to be the fastest commercial-grade sort for Unix and Windows, and the fastest join and aggregation solution off the mainframe and without Hadoop. CoSort leverages multiple cores, non-compiled execution, task consolidation, advanced I/O methods, and other trade secrets to optimize integration and staging performance. No competitor can match the velocity or scalability of CoSort in large, properly configured environments.

From the standpoint of time-to-information (production), no other product stack can match the combinatory efficiency of feature-functions built into the CoSort SortCL program, nor the speed of solution design in IRI Workbench, the free graphical integrated development environment (IDE) built on Eclipse™ available to all CoSort users.


While most legacy sort tools, ETL packages, ELT appliances, and shell/programming languages have steep learning curves and metadata challenges, CoSort users define their data and manipulations in self-documenting 4GL scripts that are easy to learn and use. The familiar and widely-adopted syntax of the SortCL program behind CoSort is the base of many IRI product functions. This means that CoSort users can easily express and run many of their data transformation, conversion, protection, and reporting tasks in only one explicit job scripts (and I/O pass).

However, for those who do not want to learn another language, the IRI Workbench IDE produces those scripts automatically through hand-holding wizards, workflow diagrams, and other graphical methods; it is a matter of which design methodology best suits you.

Megavendors and Hadoop distributors acquire or bundle component technologies that do not seamlessly integrate. CoSort and its Eclipse GUI cohesively and visually align metadata: discovery, conversion, lineage, and management with integrated UIs for job design, execution, team-sharing, and version control.


Only CoSort performs and combines ALL of the following against more than 125 data sources:

  • multiple data transformations like filtering, sorting, joining, aggregation, expressions, and re-mapping
  • database, file-format, data-type, and file/field-level endian conversion
  • change data capture and slowly changing dimensions
  • pivoting and reformatting
  • data cleansing and validation
  • data federation and replication
  • field-level encryption, data masking, and pseudonymization
  • find/replace, sub-string, and composite data functions
  • lookup and user-defined transformations
  • metadata and master data management
  • custom detail and summary reporting
  • test data generation
  • multi-output targeting

CoSort job scripts run on the command line, in batch, from programs, or the IRI Workbench GUI. IRI Workbench connects to and interacts with network-accessible data sources and remote systems for job design and execution. CoSort users IRI Workbench can also extend their operational reach through free and commercial contributions to Eclipse™, like BIRT, KNIME, DTP, Wicked Shell, Toad, Git/SVN, StatET for R, and WSO2.


Only CoSort provides robust data transformation, data migration, reporting, and masking functionality in one product, scripting language, and graphical IDE, and even one I/O pass! CoSort consistently offers the most speed and functionality for big data users at the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO); and, it does not require more hardware or a risky paradigm shift (e.g., to Hadoop or an appliance).

CoSort is sold for perpetual use under flexible licensing models that include discounts for: multiple copies, ISV integration, disaster recovery, enterprise-wide deployment, and competitive replacement. In fact, because IRI is such a stable, conservative company, it always bests high-end data transformation and ETL platform alternatives on price, too. CoSort package licenses include metadata converters, command-line executables and API libraries, the entire IRI Workbench graphical IDE, documentation, and a year of technical support.

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