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Informatica Releases New Data Integration Platform

As the quest for seamless real-time data integration on a single platform continues, Informatica Corp. has released the first in a series of updates to its PowerCenter product.

PowerCenter Advanced Edition is the first of three releases over the next 18 months, Informatica says. The new release includes features including metadata analysis and data-ready reporting capabilities; the next two will focus on further extending PowerCenter's enterprise and cross-enterprise deployment capabilities, and delivering a single data integration platform for a broader number of users.

Mark Cothron, a data warehouse architect at Ace Hardware Corp., says the upcoming features in the new releases may be able to replace processes that he's currently handling manually using FTP scripts. Ace uses Informatica for real-time operational updates, data warehousing loads, and communications between ACE and an outside company that hosts the Web site.

According to Bill Carson, VP of application software at 1-800-Flowers.com, the consolidation of multiple features into a single product is appealing. 1800flowers is using Informatica version 6.22 right now on a Sun Solaris system, primarily as an ETL tool for the data warehouse. "It works well for consolidating information into the data store," Carson says.

The ability to incorporate various functionalities into a single suite would be a driver for moving to a new version, Carson says. As one example of a future need, he cited using plug-ins to the company's Web site to extract data from the Web environment and create Web logs.

"Performance is always key," Carson says. "I like that I can run Informatica on a bigger Sun box, or on multiple smaller boxes."

The second PowerCenter release, scheduled for fall 2005, will add greater grid performance across multiple servers, RSA encryption and compression for better security, support for unstructured and semi-structured documents, and support for Java coding, according to the company.

Informatica's plan for the third release, scheduled for fall 2006, is to add seamless virtual and physical integration within a single environment, including the ability to integrate and deliver data in batch, change, real-time, or dynamically on-the-fly directly from operational centers. It will include a fully extensible data integration architecture, and expanded metadata services.

About the Author

Linda Briggs is a freelance writer based in San Diego, Calif. She can be reached at lbriggs@lindabriggs.com.

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