IBM’s Serrano/Hawk Beta Launch

IBM’s plan to combine technologies from its recent acquisition of Ascential Software with its existing information integration portfolio moved forward with the company’s announcement of the beta release of two new products: IBM Rational Data Architect and IBM WebSphere Information Analyzer.

IBM is building the two products around technologies from Ascential’s Project Hawk and IBM’s Project Serrano, explains Nelson Mattos, IBM distinguished engineer and VP of information integration. IBM finalized its acquisition of Ascential in early May, and immediately announced plans to combine the Ascential and WebSphere data integration technologies.

“The combined Hawk and Serrano capabilities have resulted in a series of development enhancements, which we are using to create a single, unified information integration platform,” Mattos says. The combined technologies will intimately be leveraged across the entire information integration portfolio, he says.

IBM’s Project Serrano focused on metadata tools and advanced enterprise search capabilities. Built on the open-source Eclipse platform, the new IBM Rational Data Architect draws on Serrano to provide data architects with tools for data modeling and design that go beyond the traditional capabilities of these kinds of tools, Mattos says.

“Typical data modeling tools will give you to the ability to go in and specify the attributes of customers,” he says. “But with this tool, once you have developed a data model with another tool and imported it into the Rational Data Architect, you can automatically discover sources, data inside those sources, and the relationships between the two, and instantiate an integrated customer record automatically.”

Rational Data Architect is also designed to allow developers and data architects to automate integration tasks as they build new data models or reconcile multiple ones resulting from mergers and acquisitions.

Project Hawk was an enterprise integration suite under development for several years at Ascential. IBM is using that technology to provide everything from information analysis to data cleansing, data transformation and metadata management. The brand-new IBM WebSphere Information Analyzer draws on technology from Project Hawk to provide end-to-end data profiling, auditing and analysis in a single solution, Mattos says.

“This tool is all about providing business and data analysts with a view of the quality of the data in an organization,” he says. The Information Analyzer shares a central repository with the WebSphere DataStage and WebSphere QualityStage products (also in the portfolio) which facilitates immediate metadata sharing and traceability across those products.

The Analyzer also introduces what IBM is calling a “revolutionary new user interface,” which features a task-driven design and best practices to streamline processes. It also has the ability to dynamically adapt to user interactions, and offers a methodology-driven user experience. The company plans to roll out the new interface across the entire information integration platform.

The two beta offerings are part of a much larger WebSphere-branded product portfolio that includes the IBM WebSphere Information Integrator OmniFind Edition, which provides an open, extensible framework for text analytics based on the IBM Unstructured Information Management Architecture (UIMA); IBM WebSphere Information Integrator Content Edition, which supports multi-vendor content repositories; the recently redesigned IBM WebSphere QualityStage, which employs the design-as-you-think user interface for interactive visual design of data quality rules; IBM WebSphere DataStage, for data transformation; IBM WebSphere DataStage TX, transformation of information with industry-specific formats including HIPAA, SWIFT and EDI; and IBM WebSphere Information Integration Replication Edition, which supports queue-based replication architecture for Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server and Informix.

Rational Data Architect and WebSphere Information Analyzer will be available for beta testing throughout the summer, Mattos says. This release is an open beta, so everyone is welcome to kick the tires. More information is available at:

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at [email protected].