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Technologies like Software as a Service (SaaS) and the like may be very trendy, but there can be problems when the real world impinges, such as integrating the data generated by SaaS systems and legacy applications into some form of meaningful whole. This is the market spotted by data integration software specialist, Informatica, which is claiming to be first into the market for on-demand data integration with the announcement of its On Demand Data Replicator.

For now the service is specifically targeted at salesforce.com customers looking to bring their off-site data together with data from in-house systems, for tasks such as business intelligence. "But it is part of a broader initiative to enable integration of off-site data with in-house data. We will be extending it to other vendors in the future," says John Hegstrom, director for product management at Informatica.

"Customers can use it for a variety of purposes such as business intelligence. They can, for example, combine sales data from their salesforce.com SaaS application with fulfilment data from their in-house applications," he goes on.

Informatica - based in Redwood City, California - says the new service is a response the growth of SaaS and, specifically, salesforce.com's growing customer base. Until now it has not been possible to combine data from off-site and on-site sources easily and this has been seen as an obstacle to the wider growth of SaaS.

Hegstrom says the service will also cover data generated by SaaS applications built by third-party developers for salesforce.com's Apex platform. “Salesforce.com is in the process of leveraging the Apex AppExchange to give customers more SaaS options and we can extend the On Demand Data Replicator capability to include these applications."

Informatica supplies the On Demand Data Replicator as a subscription-based service and, for a limited time, will offer a free, 30-day trial to all salesforce.com customers. ®

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