IBM Helps Companies Harness Information to Improve Business Insight

New DB2 Information Integrator Software Delivers Faster Performance and Self-Managing Capabilities

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SOMERS, NY - 07 Jun 2004: IBM today announced first-of-its-kind software that helps organizations gain immediate insight on business information scattered throughout their enterprise to make faster and more effective business decisions. The software helps businesses increase efficiencies, better service customers and suppliers, and reach new markets by enabling them to access all types of data as if it is stored in one location.

With today's announcement, IBM is delivering the open beta of the next version of DB2 Information Integrator software, code-named Masala, which delivers more than 100 new features focused on automation, faster access to relevant corporate data, simplified application deployment, and integration across the broadest array of information assets.

Companies can now speed query results across federated data sources up to 10 times faster than before, reduce hand-coding requirements, and automatically be alerted to changes that could impact their systems performance.

Businesses today are faced with managing a flood of information sources -- including everything from e-mail, spreadsheets, text files, flat files, XML content and voicemail, to information received from business partners, suppliers and customers -- across multiple data repositories. Gaining access and insight into this information is one of their greatest challenges -- in fact, today 40 percent of an organization's annual IT budget addresses integration, analysts say. Today's news builds upon IBM's Business Integration efforts, a $10 billion market opportunity by 2006, according to Dataquest.

IBM DB2 Information Integrator provides businesses with a single view of their information assets, regardless of where the information resides. It provides real-time access and integration of both proprietary and emerging data sources, including structured and unstructured data, as if it was stored in one place. DB2 is unique in its ability to tap into existing IT investments regardless of the vendor, including software from Oracle, Microsoft, Documentum and others.

Highlights of today's news include the following new features:

Autonomic features
DB2 Information Integrator helps customers simplify and automate many tasks associated with maintaining an information infrastructure, so organizations can increase efficiencies and focus on aligning technology to support strategic business initiatives.

The software delivers new capabilities that automatically detect and alert administrators to changes that can impact system performance. If the customer rolls out application updates that affect the configuration, administrators are automatically notified so they can react quickly and make modifications throughout the system.

The software can automatically speed query results across federated data sources by as much as 10 times as compared to previous technology. It can also be configured to service queries from premium clients more quickly, so an online brokerage firm can speed delivery of results to high-worth customers through their corporate portal.

New tooling helps administrators easily configure, monitor and maintain the data infrastructure -- even in the midst of software updates and unpredictable workload. The new Configuration Wizard guides administrators through discovering information about enterprise data sources, so configuration is handled in a matter of minutes. DB2 Design Advisor analyzes query workloads and recommends caching strategies. A new Cache Table Wizard then guides administrators through setting up data caching to speed query processing.

Finding, Analyzing and Integrating Data Wherever it Resides
DB2 Information Integrator helps customers make better business decisions by cross-referencing historical information, such as sales records in data warehouses, with real-time information or unstructured content such as account balances or contracts. Users can build a 360-degree view of financial, customer or product data and view the information on a "data dashboard" or corporate portal, so an analyst can determine whether a spike in customer demand is an anomaly or expected seasonal variation. Also, it can improve performance when combining remote data with warehouse data up to 10 times faster than previous technology, eliminating the need for hand-coded integration.

New replication capabilities can move more than twice as much data, faster than before, at half the computing cost. The new replication function manages data synchronization between multiple databases to support business continuity, workload distribution, and reference data management scenarios and can sustain replication of more than 10,000 rows/second.

The software also delivers advanced search and analytic capabilities that identifies relevant business information from across the enterprise, streamlining searches for employees looking for information across corporate sources. This makes it easier to take advantage of huge amounts of data stored in a variety of formats and dispersed across the enterprise resulting in higher productivity, higher customer satisfaction, and better decisions.

Search is another fundamental capability within a company's information infrastructure, accessing up to 85% of enterprise data stored in unstructured form. DB2 Information Integrator introduces high quality, scalable, secure enterprise search that provides the best search results with sub-second response from enterprise content. Only simple administration is required, and pre-integrated analysis makes it easier to achieve high quality search results without extensive tuning.

Adding value to business integration investments
More customers are embarking upon large integration projects to drive down costs, create new opportunities for growth, and transform themselves into on demand businesses. However, integration technologies brought in for one project often cannot be used for another, which forces customers to struggle with integrating their integration assets. To remedy that, DB2 Information Integrator helps businesses link data and processes with their existing environment. It now connects data "events," or changes, with business processes by automatically publishing the changes to message-oriented middleware, such as WebSphere MQ. A manufacturer can trigger delivery of price updates to its sales force, retailers and Web channels -- all based on the single change to the corporate price table and using the existing messaging infrastructure.

This new feature is a key element of IBM's services-oriented architecture (SOA) strategy, which relies on business processes built on reusable standard interfaces to integrate applications inside a company as well as externally with customers and suppliers. IBM has been laying the groundwork for SOAs through driving industry standards for Web services as well as software leadership, deep industry knowledge, and products and services that solve customers' business problems.

Shorten Development Time
DB2 Information Integrator software speeds deployment and reduces the need for custom coding through broader support of data sources, business partner solutions, Web services, and tools.

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