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Sybase Takes Two For Info Management

Sybase bought two ways to help it handle data for customers with its purchase of information integration and management software makers.

The Avaki purchase will help companies that traffic a lot of data integrate their software assets into one cohesive system. Sybase will incorporate the technology into its information management software suite.

Sybase also purchased ISDD Ltd., a privately held provider of unstructured data management. ISDD helps companies query and analyze structured and unstructured data from fixed and mobile sources.

Terms of both deals were not disclosed.

Sybase Director Haridas Nair said Avaki's integration software lets customers cull data from multiple sources, allowing developers to build applications in a service-oriented architecture (SOA) . The data can be accessed through one console as if it were a single source via SQL or as Web services .

In one scenario where Avaki's technology might be used, Nair said, a developer writing an application has to worry about what data he needs, where to get it from and how to retrieve it. The data could come from three or four different systems.

Avaki's software helps developers solve the "where" and the "how" dilemmas of data retrieval. With two-thirds of the problem solved, the developer can focus on the "what" part, Nair said. As more projects need to access data, they go through the common Avaki mechanism instead of creating the "where" and the "how" for each project.

The executive said ISDD technology queries unstructured content, such as e-mails, PowerPoint and PDF documents, as well as structured data from databases and Web sites. ISDD software looks at documents, populates them into categories and isolates specific paragraphs of information in a document.

Nair said the purchases will help fill out the company's Unwired Enterprise strategy for managing information from the data center to the end user. The idea is to provide data services that let clients manage, move and access data.

Sybase launched its data services push last year, announcing auditing and archiving software, as well as so-called real-time data services that bring information to users on the fly.

Analysts say technologies that allow an enterprise to access and manage volumes of unstructured data from a variety of sources are becoming popular among customers struggling with the glut of data.

Sybase isn't the only company searching for better integration products, which can prove lucrative.

While it remains focused on its Unwired Enterprise play to pipe data to any user anywhere in real-time, rival IBM recently locked up and integrated its purchase of Ascential Software. Ascential gives Big Blue considerable extraction, transformation and loading software heft.