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Kalido has recently announced Kalido 8. For those of you unfamiliar with Kalido, which is pronounced as in kaleidoscope, it is a spin-off from Shell. At the product’s heart is a data warehousing solution that provides an associative layer on top of the warehouse itself. This allows you to implement and change business models independently of the structure of the warehouse. For large organisations (Unilever, BP, Owens Corning, Interbrew [now Interbev] and others) this is a major benefit.

Perhaps the most significant feature of this new release is the official launch of Kalido M, which is the company’s master data management solution. To put it simply, this provides a single view of corporate data and the ability to manage the structure of that data. In effect, this is the Kalido data warehousing solution (now called Kalido E) but without the need to store transactions. There is also a third option, Kalido E+, which is the company’s federated data warehousing solution.

From a technical perspective these three solutions, together with the integration services that Kalido is currently developing along with its partners Ascential and Business Objects, share a common platform which provides common services to these packages.

In addition, there are two other major features of this release; new scalability features and a Visual Modeler. The former has been significantly improved (Kalido is claiming linear scalability now) by amending the storage model used in the product. Previously, you could put a name or a code on to anything in the warehouse even though, in practice, this wasn’t always necessary. Indeed, you could even assign a name to a name. What this meant that were more rows than were necessary in generic tables which, in particular, increased the complexity of joins. By restricting this naming capability to where it makes sense they have reduced the number of rows, simplified the SQL necessary for processing, and reduced the complexity of join operations; all of which adds up to improved scalability. As a side-effect it also reduces storage requirements and improves performance.

The final new feature is actual a “preview” product. That is, it is a first-cut tool intended to promote user feedback. As I have noted, a major feature of Kalido is the independence of its business model. However, there was previously no way to view that model in any sort of graphical way – it was simply generated via a wizard and then documented. If you wanted pictures of it you drew them on a whiteboard.

With Kalido 8 there is a Visual Modeler that allows you to look at your model graphically, though it is not used for generation at this stage. An initial look at this is promising (not surprising perhaps, given that the CTO of Kalido was the chief architect for Oracle CASE in a previous existence) and I expect feedback to be positive, not least because this is a feature that users have been asking for.

Finally, one further point to note about Kalido is the company’s growth in the United States. It now has half its salesforce there and is generating more sales there than anywhere else, to the extent that the company expects that it will not be long before the US represents its largest market (in terms of user base, it already is in terms of prospects). Lots of companies try to make the leap across the pond, but few manage it successfully, so congratulations to Kalido.

Copyright © 2004, IT-Analysis.com

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