Feeds

The evolution of integration platforms

MDM + DIP = IMP

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Comment Once upon a time there were ETL (extract, transform and load) tools and then, quite separately, products for data cleansing and matching started to appear.

However, it took some time before the vendors of the former realised the synergies that existed with the latter. The (partial) exception was Prism, which developed its Quality Manager product as a tool primarily for monitoring the process of data cleansing as opposed to the actual activity of cleansing. However, when Ardent bought Prism, it did so to get its hands on what is now DataStage TX, rather than for Quality Manager.

Nevertheless, it was the descendants of Ardent (subsequently Informix, then Ascential and now IBM) that were the first to recognise the benefits of an integrated platform comprising both ETL and data quality capabilities, which by this time had been augmented by data profiling and analysis.

This trend has continued ever since with, in turn, SAS, Informatica and Business Objects all acquiring major data quality vendors. These companies have been relatively late to follow what is now IBM's lead, but they have done so for a reason in that SAS and Informatica, in particular, have concentrated on metadata management and a unified (as opposed to merely integrated) environment in the first instance and then acquired complementary software, whereas Ascential/IBM did it (is doing it) the other way around.

However, this isn't the end of the story, because data integration has also expanded into, first, support for semi-structured data (SWIFT messages, EDI and so forth) and, more recently, unstructured data. In addition, EII (enterprise information integration) and federated query capability has been added into the mix, with Informatica embedding source code from Composite Software, Business Objects acquiring Medience (recently launched as BusinessObjects Data Federator), IBM integrating with WebSphere Information Integrator, Synopsis building its own facilities, and so on.

This is, effectively, the state of play today (or soon will be) in terms of data integration platforms: ETL, EII, data quality and metadata management in a unified platform. However, things do not stand still and the next step will be to include master data management (MDM) within this platform. As usual, some vendors (notably IBM and SAS) will include their own capabilities while others, at least initially, will partner with third parties. For example, Purisma already runs in conjunction with Business Objects' platform.

Now, if you include MDM along with data integration I think that extends beyond what most people think of as data integration and we might prefer to call that an Information Management Platform (IMP). So, I believe that we will see the extension of data integration platforms (DIP) into IMPs.

Having come to this conclusion, I am planning research for the remainder of this year that will mirror this trend: we have already published an ETL report this year, and an MDM report (written by Harriet Fryman) will shortly be available, while I am starting work on a Data Quality report, which I will follow with a renewed look at the EII/Data Federation market. Finally, I will put all of that together into a Platforms report that will cover both DIPs and IMPs.

Copyright © 2006, IT-Analysis.com

A short biography of Phillip Howard is here.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?
Google's app permissions far too lax – security firm survey
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
OpenWRT gets native IPv6 slurping in major refresh
Also faster init and a new packages system
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.