IBM’s Serrano/Hawk Beta Launch
- By John K. Waters
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,
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
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
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached