IBM is offering a technology which it boasts, will slash integration costs for companies that want to integrate disparate data and content repositories seamlessly without having to reformat it.
The DB2 Information Integrator and DB2 Information Integrator for content software will let users access heterogeneous databases and other sources through a single query.
The DB2 Information Integrator, for example, 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 would be tightly coupled with the IBM WebSphere Business Integration application and web server platform. It will also connect tightly to IBM's WebSphere MQ application messaging product, which could be used to send transaction updates throughout an enterprise and work with similar products from Microsoft and other suppliers.
Indiana University staff members are implementing the product, said Craig Stewart, director of research and academic computing of the university
The department uses IBM's Discovery Link biosciences data cataloging offering. But with Information Integrator's native XML support, the university will be able to expand the types of sources that can be queried.
It is the university's goal to let researchers access any relevant public or internal information "without knowing or caring where the original data resides", said Stewart.
Electronic bill services provider CheckFree said their existing process takes e-mail and attachments and store them directly in the company's DB2 database. The company hopes to create a virtual database that spans various repositories and Information Integrator could be used to publish the data into an MQ message queue for transmission across the company.
That product may be especially appealing to companies that need to access heterogeneous data but cannot afford to rip out their existing repositories and collapse that data into one database, said RedMonk analyst James Governor.
However, installing it could lead to culture shock in some enterprises, as anyone in charge of a database hates anyone touching it unless permission is given, Governor said. So far, this technology has mostly been deployed in life sciences, and more enterprises will have to install it before widespread buy-in among corporate users takes place.
General availability of DB2 Information Integrator and DB2 Information Integrator for Content is expected in six months' time.