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Sybase Ready to ETL?

Data integration software maker Sybase  announced a "comprehensive" applications suite today that actually falls a little short of comprehensive.

It's not unusual for a company to introduce an application suite in phases, but when the application is supposed to tie together components that are already in the market, eyebrows do get raised.

The Sybase Data Integration Suite is being billed as a scalable solution comprising five components: replication, data federation, real-time events, data search and integrated development and administration.

The suite will be made available in October, but Sumit Kundu, director of product management for the information technology solutions group at Sybase, admitted that several key elements are not yet in place.

For example, the solution includes the ability for data to be captured and analyzed in real time. But the solution doesn't include a native data quality component.

Kundu told internetnews.com that Sybase is still evaluating potential partners so that this will feature will be available to customers in October.

Beyond having eliminated Business Objects , no decision has been made where this issue is concerned.

But Kundu said that a partner will be in place by the time the solution is brought to market so that customers will have that capability.

That's no small issue, noted Rich Ptak, of IT consulting firm Ptak, Noel & Associates.

The point of data integration is to make quality data more readily available throughout an enterprise.

"It's not just a check-off item, it's a real problem you have to consider," he said.

Kundu also revealed that the application will not have an extract-transform-and-load capability  until the second phase is rolled out next year.

Kundu nevertheless maintained that the application suite will accomplish what it sets out to do at launch.

The suite, he said, "provides a common development and metadata management environment," he said.

Large enterprises in particular are plagued by heterogeneous or discrete systems that collect data in silos but cannot share it or compare it with other related data.

The data integration suite, he said, is what makes impact analysis possible and shows how changes in data in one area or silo impacts other areas of the company.

Kundu said that Sybase is making the solution available in easy-to-digest chunks so that companies can pick elements of the suite that are most important to them and add onto the suite according to their needs.

"No one else is offering such a comprehensive and modular solution," he said.

Ptak said that it isn't unusual for companies to introduce solutions in phases.

"It gets them something into the marketplace now, so that someone else doesn't beat them to it," he said.

Moreover, he added, customers may ultimately prefer it that way.

"If it can be implemented in increments, a lot of people won't mind doing that," he said.

Kumar said that pricing was not yet finalized, but would be announced in October.