IBM to ship DB2 integration software

IBM Corp. plans to announce availability of its DB2 Information Integrator software, for integrating and analyzing multiple forms of information, the company acknowledged recently.

In beta since February, the software is intended to enable customers to manage centrally data, text, images, photos, video and audio files stored in different databases, according to IBM. XML content and Web services also are supported.

With DB2 Information Integrator, IBM hopes to provide customers with more value from existing information assets, said IBM’s Jeff Jones, director of strategy for DB2 information management software, in San Jose, Calif. Developers can save about 65 percent of their time by integrating data via DB2 Information Integrator and its SQL-based interface, he said.

“It’s all about allowing customers to take better advantage of the existing data they already have,” Jones said.

The product also will support an XQuery interface for querying XML-based data when that standard is completed, Jones added.

DB2 Information Integrator is based on IBM’s Xperanto federated data management project as well as on another research endeavor, Project Garlic, for federating heterogeneous databases.

The software requires the purchase of individual data adapters to work in conjunction with DB2 Information Integrator.

Through a single query, a business can, for example, integrate relational data in DB2 and Oracle databases, images in a Documentum document management system, e-mail in Lotus Notes, spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel, and Web services generated by IBM WebSphere Application Server, according to IBM. The data would then be presented in a consolidated view.

The product also will support the concept of grid computing, in which distributed computing resources are pooled together for a single purpose, according to Jones.

“If we move to information as a utility for giant data grids, this is key technology for hiding or making unimportant the location and type of data. This software enables the data to be accessed transparently wherever it might be,” Jones said.

DB2 Information Integrator will be available for US$20,000 per processor and $15,000 per data source connector.

An analyst said the product would remedy data fragmentation.

“It takes the islands of information and builds bridges between them,” said analyst Robin Bloor, CEO of Bloor Research, in Austin, Texas. IBM must now gauge demand for the product, Bloor said.

A third party vendor selling data adapters to function with DB2 Information Integrator emphasized heterogeneity.

“We’re very impressed with it,” said Paul Bach, president of Striva, in Scotts Valley, Calif. “It’s very powerful technology. It allows virtually all of the data within an organization to be accessed transparently, whether that data is relational or non-relational.” Striva adapters, priced at $75,000 each, support access to data types such as IMS, VSAM, Datacom, and Addabas.