Informatica Focuses on Data Value, Unification

With new data-integration software, Informatica aims for trusted data.

Informatica has unveiled version 8.6 of its eponymous flagship data integration package at Informatica World 2008 in Las Vegas.

This is a comprehensive, unified platform for data integration, which lets enterprises squeeze the maximum value out of their data by accessing, transforming, integrating and cleansing all their data so it can be trusted.

It has four components: PowerCenter RealTime Edition for real-time data integration, On-Demand Data Loader for integrating data from with on-premise data, B2B Data Exchange for data transformation and exchange; and Proactive Data Quality with Identity Resolution to enable searching, matching and resolution of identities across multiple systems and in more than 60 languages.

The last is a result of Informatica's acquisition of Identity Systems from Nokia (NYSE: NOK) for about $85 million in cash earlier this month.

All four are available in software as a service (SaaS) (define) form.

The platform will help enterprises ensure they remain in compliance, improve their global competitiveness and help them "use IT infrastructure more effectively to do more with less," Ash Kulkarni, Informatica's senior director of product management and marketing, told

Informatica 8.6 uses a common metadata (define) structure that "lets us leverage all the different components or platforms seamlessly," Kulkarni said.

Kulkarni explained that 80 to 85 percent of data are in unstructured forms such as spreadsheets or Word documents, and the cloud holds a lot of data from (NYSE: CRM), ADP (NYSE: ADP) for payroll or Hewitt Associates (NYSE: HEW) for human resources information -- or with trading partners in their supply chain," Kulkarni explained. "All that data needs to be brought together for you to get meaning." P>Informatica 8.6 lets users see what source systems their data came from when they're building a report. That end-to-end view of the data's lineage can be extended across the corporate firewall by using the B2B Data Exchange, Kulkarni said.

Kulkarni said coding is unnecessary with Informatica 8.6 because it's all graphical. "That gives you a quick time to market whether you're doing data integration or cleansing or trading with your partners," he added.

Informatica 8.6's particularly interesting feature is enhanced data cleansing, according to David Inbar, director of worldwide marketing for integration products at Pervasive Software, a relatively small data integration vendor targeting small and medium-size businesses and departments of enterprises.

"We, among other vendors have been talking about and delivering a unified platform for tackling integration across the enterprise for a number of years," Inbar told

Informatica 8.6 is not a single unified platform but "a series of different products they put together," Inbar added. "We offer a single unified platform; you buy Pervasive Data Integrator from us and get 150 adapters out of the box."

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