IBM to Roll Out Database Integration Software

IBM has come to terms on
pricing for its DB2 Information Integrator software and plans to formally
launch the product at its IBM Software Symposium next Tuesday.


DB2 Information Integrator software is tailored to help customers integrate
information in multiple locations as if it were stored in one location. It
is platform-agnostic, allowing business to manage data, text, images,
photos, video and audio files that sit in a variety of databases. Products
like this one are indicative of the push for integration software by
enterprises looking to assimilate disparate software products into one
central system.


In one example of how it works, a business can access and integrate
relational data in DB2 Universal Database and Oracle, images in Documentum,
e-mail in Lotus Notes, spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel and Web Services
generated by WebSphere Application Server — in one query. The resulting
data is presented in a consolidated view.


Why is this so important? It saves IT folks time. IBM said in-house testing
shows that DB2 Information Integrator can slash the requirements for
hand-coding programs by as much as 65 percent.


Giga Information Group Research Director Philip Russom praised DB2
Information Integrator when it was announced this past February,
but stressed that the market for enterprise information integration (EII),
as it’s known, is far too nascent to predict whether IBM’s on-demand
computing strategy will work with the new DB2 products. Small pure plays in
this space include Nimble Technology. MetaMatrix and Enosys, although BEA
Systems offers Liquid Data, a comparable integration tool.


Russom said one of Big Blue’s key differentiators is the fact that the new
software offers allows businesses to access and integrate both structured
(text documents) and unstructured (e-mail messages and flat files)
information, as if it were stored in one place. Most rivals, he said, only
handle structured data.


“IBM’s EII platform is much more comprehensive than small-to mid-size
vendors,” Russom told internetnews.com. “One difference that is in
your face is that everyone besides IBM is offering real-time data
integration for structured data, but IBM also provides this for unstructured
data. Another is that a customer can say ‘I just want to use EII for
queries.’ IBM says ‘we can do that’.”


Russom said most EII systems are read-only, but IBM’s Information Integrator
allows customers to write back.


IBM counts Verizon, who recently switched from Oracle9i to IBM DB2, as one
of its first customers for DB2 Information Integrator. Faced with the
challenge of managing disparate infrastructure, Verizon used DB2 Information
Integrator to achieve federated access and real-time information integration
across Oracle to DB2 as part of the database migration project. Verizon
plans to use the software to create a virtual data access layer to soften
the impact of changing or upgrading database products in the future.


The software springs from IBM’s Xperanto research project, a research and development effort focused on tackling
rapidly changing data management needs.


IBM DB2 Information Integrator is available immediately from IBM and
authorized resellers, and is priced at $20,000 per processor and $15,000 per
data source connector.

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