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Aberdeen says information integration growing

The market for Enterprise Information Integration (EII) technology, the infrastructure that aggregates data and coordinates transaction across back-end data sources in an enterprise, seems to be taking off. A recent report from market watchers at the Aberdeen Group (''Enterprise Information Integration -- The New Way to Leverage E-information,'' Second Edition) pegs that market's growth rate at 80% and claims that it is ''on the brink of strong growth and implementation by a wide variety of Fortune 1000 companies.''

Aberdeen credits the entrance into the EII market by such major vendors as IBM for this growth. Big Blue's Information Integrator is a key component of IBM's on-demand strategy, and it has thrust EII products in general into the spotlight, according to Aberdeen. But EII may simply be the right solution at the right time. EII products make all back-end information in a company appear as though it came from a single source and offers the promise of big improvements to the real-time characteristics of business intelligence (BI), while easing mergers and speeding development of enterprise portals and e-business integration applications.

EII should not be confused with EAI (Enterprise Application Integration), cautions the report's author, Wayne T. Kernochan. EAI solutions integrate applications internally within an organization; EII, which Kernochan calls ''one of the best Swiss army knife-type multiple-use tools ever to come along,'' deals with information.

Kernochan admits that there is some confusion between the two technologies, which is understandable in a market that is all but drowning in acronyms, but he believes that IT shops are beginning to sort out the differences between these complementary technologies. The advent of larger suppliers into this market -- companies such as Business Objects and BEA, which are beginning to acquire EII capabilities from the smaller suppliers -- seems to support this opinion.

According to Aberdeen, the rapid growth in the EII market will be paralleled by an increasingly key role for EII in such areas as business process integration and so-called legacy modernization.

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About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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