IBM Corp. is offering a technology that it boasts will slash integration costs for companies that want to seamlessly integrate disparate data and content repositories without having to reformat it.

IBM recently announced the beta availability of its DB2 Information Integrator and DB2 Information Integrator for Content software. IBM claims the application is meant to let users access heterogeneous databases and other sources through a single query. The DB2 Information Integrator, for instance, could be used with a call centre application to extract and present customer data stored in a variety of applications and repositories, such as in e-mails or text files. Nelson Mattos, director of information integration at IBM, said the technology will be tightly coupled with the IBM WebSphere Business Integration application and Web server platform, but will also work with similar products from Microsoft Corp. and other vendors. It also connects to IBM’s WebSphere MQ application messaging product, which could be used to send transaction updates throughout an enterprise, Mattos said.

Group to push Linux for desktop computing

The widespread use of Linux on the desktop hasn’t caught on so far – but don’t count it out quite yet. A new group, the Linux Desktop Consortium, is being formed by a growing number of Linux and application vendors to promote the use of the open source operating system on corporate and home desktops.

The group says its organizing members include Linux vendors SuSE Linux AG, MandrakeSoft SA and Lycoris Inc., as well as a host of Linux application companies including Codeweavers Inc., Ximian Inc. and NeTraverse Inc. Also included are open source organizations such as, and The consortium is still in the planning stages, but a “formation committee” has been created to get the organization on its feet. A statement on the fledgling group’s Web site said it will strive to be a “well-balanced, vendor neutral organization” that advocates Linux on the corporate desktop. Jeremy White, interim chairman of the consortium and the CEO of Codeweavers, said a 90-day timeline is now in place, with the goal of bringing in OEMs and major technology companies to give it a broad reach, he said.