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IBM expands offerings and tightens Cognos 8 integration

by Lyndsay Wise, President, WiseAnalyticsFriday, June 6, 2008

This week alone, IBM announced several new offerings to support its on Demand business initiative focused on combining IBM’s services and consulting expertise with data to bring the business value of information to organizations. New software offerings and releases included InfoSphere Change Data Capture (CDC), IBM InfoSphere Master DataManagement Server, IBM InfoSphere Balanced Warehouse, IBM InfoSphere, and  integration with Cognos 8. 

The general offerings expand IBM’s current portfolio and give customers additional deployment options.  Although these offerings aren’t necessarily ahead of the curve regarding data integration and management options in relation to the industry at large, these new announcements represent a move forward by offering customers more variety within their current information integration stack.

The descriptions below offer a highlight of the components of IBM’s new and enhanced offerings:

InfoSphere Change Data Capture

InfoSphere Change Data Capture enables two-way replication of data.  Only new and updated data is loaded to lessen the time it takes to update tables while providing up- to- date information. This allows organizations to react to market and company changes in near real-time, which is ideal particularly for companies in the retail or manufacturing industries that are concerned with just-in-time inventory.  The new software is a result of IBM’s 2007 acquisition of DataMirror.  With more than 2,200 customers, InfoSphere Change Data Capture is currently being used for heterogeneous data movement across databases outside of IBM’s product suite including Teradata, Sybase, Oracle, and SQL Server.

With change data capture (CDC), organizations use ETL (Extract Transform and Load) processes to increase the number of data updates available and lower batch windows.  These benefits alone allow customers to use real-time data to enable up- to- date decision making.  For organizations looking for trends analysis, it is important to note that not all CDC databases focus on the collection of data over time – in a sense acting as a secondary transactional database.

InfoSphere Master Data Management Server for System z

IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management Server is designed to enhance the management of master data of current IBM mainframe users by acting as a data hub.   The product provides security rules enabling users to create and edit data.  Additionally, users can use built-in functionality to analyze current processes to help improve business operations across multiple business units.

In general, the ability to integrate MDM into an organization’s overall database infrastructure by using one provider seems to be the direction in which the market is shifting.  Since MDM is becoming an important priority, organizations will need to integrate their MDM initiatives into their overall business strategy.

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