IBM unleashes its latest integration software

IBM Corp. rolled out a new version of its enterprise software that integrates information from numerous sources by using automated features and search technology.

The DB2 Information Integrator, code-named Masala, was released in open beta on Monday and according to IBM, delivers more than 100 new features focused on automation, faster access to relevant corporate data, simplified application deployment and integration across the broadest array of information assets.

The DB2 Information Integrator enables businesses with a single view of their information and real-time access and integration of both proprietary and emerging data sources, including structured and unstructured data and regardless of the vendor the DB2 can tap into existing IT investments, IBM said.

The software enables enterprise organizations to both mange their data and access their data, explained IDC Canada Ltd.’s Warren Shiau, senior analyst, software in Toronto.

“[In] a typical corporate environment, you’ll have all sorts of different places where your data will reside, [it could be a database] from Oracle Corp., [Microsoft Corp.’s] SQL Server, or DB2…so the problem is how do you easily or efficiently access all the data or information that resides in these different places?” Shiau said. “If you have different stacks in your environment and you want to look at one business process that works across different databases…how do you efficiently from one point or tool access all that data.”

Businesses today are faced with a flood of information, including e-mail, spreadsheets, text files, flat files, XML content, voice mail and information from business partners across multiple business repositories and gaining access to this information is a huge issue, IBM said.

IBM said that companies could now speed query results across federated data sources up to 10 times faster than before, reduce hand-coding requirements and automatically be alerted to changes that could impact their systems performance.

Accessing information in a timely manner is a problem for the enterprise, IDC’s Shiau said.

“When you can look at data in a static sort of fashion…a week or month after the fact your IT guys or your business analysts pull together all the information from different databases because you need to know how this business process is doing. That’s OK, but it’s only giving you a look back, it would be far better if you could look at this business process in real-time,” Shiau said.

The competition in the integration space is competitive, but there is a demand for integration software and tools, Shiau added.

“There are a lot of vendors who push the same sort of message, Oracle is a good example. For a few years now, they’ve been pushing the message around time management of process…so it is fairly crowded, but the IBMs and the Oracles tend to have an advantage over some of the other [vendors] because they have a very comprehensive product,” Shiau said.

IBM said 40 per cent of an organization’s annual IT budget addresses integration, a number that Shiau said is realistic, considering that the integration product commonly targets more complicated IT environments in the enterprise.

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