Battle Still Raging For Data Integration Leadership

Last month both Informatica and IBM, both long regarded as among the leaders in the data integration market, made further announcements to their products in attempts to keep their noses in front of the others in this market. Informatica announced their 8.5 release of PowerCenter and PowerExchange while IBM announced further extensions to their Information Server suite of data management tools. The Informatica 8.5 announcement includes the following:

  • Power Exchange Real-time change data capture
  • Integration of data quality services with SAP operational applications for on-demand data quality as you use the SAP applications (currently this is for name and address data only)
  • An overhaul of the Power Center Metadata Manager to provide search, filtering and personalisation capabilities. This also includes the ability for users to annotate metadata
  • A data masking option to keep secure data safe when generating test data
  • Re-entrant data services and parallelised data quality for more scalability (this adds to the grid computing and the push down optimisation support added in release 8)
  • A Data Quality Assistant to allow Data Stewards to participate in data integration workflows so as to review and edit poor quality data records
  • Web based data quality reports and dashboards
  • Pre-built Data Migration tool on top of the Informatica platform to address this kind of data integration problem

Involving data stewards in the data quality process through the new Data Quality Assistant and the Pre-built Data Migration tool certainly stand out as differentiators. The latter of these is certainly the beginning of a trend among data management vendors in that it introduces the first of potentially multiple patterns on top of the Informatica data management platform.

Not to be undone, IBM responded with the following enhancements to Information Server:

  • A new look WebSphere Business Glossary
  • A new product WebSphere Business Glossary Anywhere to access business metadata from your mobile device
  • Integration of Information Server and WebSphere Customer Center Master Data Management
  • A New Multi-Domain Master Data Management Server with pre-built integration with Information Server
  • WebSphere QualityStage pre-built integration with SAP and Siebel
  • Information Server Fast Track which automatically generation of DataStage ETL jobs (this adds to IBM™s ability to automatically generate EII virtual views and mappings for their WebSphere Federation Server)
  • Metadata Asset Interchange to move metadata between different instances of Information Server (e.g. Development, Test and Production)
  • Data Masking for data security
  • Column level impact analysis
  • Real-time Change Data Capture and Replication (from the acquisition of DataMirror)
  • Pre-built integration of Information Server with WebSphere Integration Developer (WID) and WebSphere Portlet Factory
  • Enhancements to Information Services Director so as to invoke information services via multiple interfaces including web services, EJB, JMS, REST (XML/JSON) and RSS
  • More connectivity
  • The Introduction of the Information Server Blade i.e. Information Server pre-installed with Tivoli Workload Schedule LoadLeveler on an IBM HS21 BladeCenter hardware blade

It seems the two vendors in particular are fighting it out at the head of the pack.  Oracle, SAP and Microsoft will have to move fast if they are to keep pace.

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