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Informatica’s Zeus on Track for Year-End Release

The upgrade of Informatica’s flagship data integration platform, PowerCenter 8, previously code-named Zeus and due at the end of the year, is “the most innovative release in the company's history,” the company says. It’s also a sign that the company’s strategic shift from data warehousing into the burgeoning data-integration market is on track.

"I've been here through five major product releases," says Ivan Chong, VP of product marketing for Informatica, "and this is by far the most significant release that Informatica has offered."

Informatica is a provider of enterprise data integration software. Its products are designed to allow companies to access, integrate, migrate and consolidate enterprise data across systems, processes and people.

"We’re seeing that people are changing their investment in data integration from a departmental-level investment into an enterprise-wide investment," Chong says. "That is something that is getting a lot of attention in this release. A lot of the capabilities we're adding to this product are coming about as a response to input from early adopters in this area."

PowerCenter 8 is designed to allow federated data queries that create a virtual data access layer. The idea is to make it possible to quickly integrate, say, new data from an acquisition, but also generally to widen data access to business users, Chong says. "We're implementing the true notion of a service, by hiding or abstracting some of the physical details about the architecture from the consumer," he says.

The company is also taking on the enormous problem of managing unstructured enterprise data. Information that won't fit into the neat cells of a relational database—e-mail, Web pages, sound and image files, texts docs, PDF files—accounts for the majority of data generated today--between 80 and 90 percent, depending on which analyst you talk to. PowerCenter 8 is designed to combine structured, unstructured and semi-structured (basically XML docs) data to create a unified environment for deploying many data types across the enterprise.

The new version of PowerCenter 8 also includes new grid computing capabilities; grid was supported in the old version, but the new version comes with intelligence designed to improve handling of grid resources users have allotted to their PowerCenter implementation.

There are also new productivity enhancements for developers in this release. PowerCenter 8 supports Java transformation to leverage existing Java libraries, and a new mapping template reduces repetitive tasks, Chong says. PowerCenter 8 supports template creation and mapping generation from within Microsoft Excel and Visio.

More information is available at Informatica.

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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