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IBM data tool soothes Quad Graphics pain

Believing that businesses need an infrastructure that connects a breadth of data sources and applications, IBM (www.software.ibm.com/data) has created what it calls DB2 Information Integrator software. Officials say the software helps people to access, integrate, manage and analyze all forms of information, regardless of platform, and that it can even expand beyond the enterprise.

Quad Graphics, a print production company in Sussex, Wis., has been beta testing the software. "We were doing an evaluation of DB2 Version 8.1 and didn't want to utilize the older Relational Connect product," explained Pat Maher, director of data services. Quad Graphics uses DB2 Information Integrator to allow applications connected to DB2 Universal Database access data in Sybase databases "as if the data existed in the DB2 database," Maher said.

"Information Integrator acts as the gateway between the two platforms and makes the accessing of data on multiple platforms transparent to the application," Maher added.

Indeed, IBM officials tout DB2 Information Integrator as a tool that provides for centrally managed data, text, images, photos, videos and audio files stored in a variety of databases. The software, according to officials, works behind the scenes to access and integrate any information, in any repository, from any vendor in real time, wherever it resides.

Quad Graphics still relies on files in DB2, Oracle, Sybase and SQL Server databases. "Without a product like Information Integrator, we would be stuck utilizing various methods of copying or replicating data between platforms," the firm's Maher noted. "This would not only make having current data available on all servers difficult, it would require extensive human resources to implement and maintain."

IBM officials say the product provides real-time access and integration of both proprietary and emerging data sources, both structured and unstructured, as if it were stored in one place. Based on open industry standards, the software is priced at $20,000 per processor and $15,000 per data source connector.

"The implementation was fairly easy and the administration end of things was pretty straightforward," Quad Graphics' Maher said. "I was impressed with how stable the product was even at the beta level."

About the Author

Lana Gates is a freelance writer based in Mesa, Arizona. She can be reached via e-mail at freelancewriter@gates-works.com.

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