IBM is to release its DB2 Information Integrator software for integrating and analysing multiple forms of information next week.
The software, which has been in beta since February, is intended to enable customers to manage centrally data, text, images, photos, video and audio files stored in different databases. XML content and Web services also are supported.
IBM's Jeff Jones, director of strategy for DB2 information management software, said developers could save about 65%of their time by integrating data via DB2 Information Integrator and its SQL-based interface.
The product also will support an XQuery interface for querying XML-based data when that standard is completed.
DB2 Information Integrator is based on IBM's Xperanto federated data management project as well as on another research endeavour, 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. 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.
"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 $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, chief executive officer of Bloor Research.
IBM must now gauge demand for the product, he added.