IBM has announced new software and investments in research and development to help customers and developers leverage information on demand by effectively integrating, analyzing, and managing their business data. The offerings include new technologies and assets immediately incorporated into IBM's portfolio following completion of the acquisition of Ascential Software, a provider of enterprise data integration software.
The software technologies and investments unveiled include an expanded IBM information integration product roadmap that features the next generation WebSphere Data Integration Suite (code-named "Hawk" by Ascential). The new release of the platform is focused on massive simplification of data integration. It provides a unified platform for information analysis (understanding source data), data cleansing (ensuring data quality), data transformation, and metadata management. It also introduces productivity benefits for individuals and teams who manage, administer, and develop in the environment. IBM plans to deliver the "Hawk" software platform to customers this year, as part of the company's next generation WebSphere Information Integration solutions portfolio; an open customer beta test program of the WebSphere Data Integration Suite will be launched in the second quarter of 2005.
As part of its increased research and development investment, IBM will expand former Ascential research and development centers located in Westboro, Mass., Boca Raton, Fla., Secunderaband, India, and Middlesex, England with additional resources, including developers and software engineers. The expanded centers will be used to help customers more rapidly test, assess, and integrate IBM's information integration software, including the WebSphere Data Integration Suite. Development work at the expanded centers also will support the creation of software technologies in key on demand initiatives such as business performance management, multi-channel commerce, RFID, merger and acquisition consolidation, and master data management.
IBM has also introduced a new software solution designed to help customers comply with regulations and manage risk across disparate silos of unmanaged content, accelerating their move to an on demand business. The new IBM Federated Records Management technology combines IBM DB2 Records Manager and IBM WebSphere Information Integrator Content Edition into an integrated solution that is designed to eliminate the complexity of centrally managing recordkeeping policies for all distributed content throughout an organization. This new solution leverages the capabilities of IBM's information management software portfolio to create a solution optimized to help clients identify, integrate, manage, and analyze information, in real-time and regardless of the type of information, platform, or vendor.
With IBM's Federated Records Management technology, records can be automatically declared, classified, and managed throughout their lifecycle from almost any end-user application or interface. Records can be consolidated into an enterprise repository such as IBM DB2 Content Manager or left in their native repositories, but managed from a single integrated records management engine. Federated Records Management also enables customers to locate and access documents and records on demand for legal discovery and compliance purposes.
The records are subject to a central set of retention and disposition rules managed by IBM DB2 Records Manager and can be stored in their original repository or migrated to a new repository. Records management can be applied to content stored across FileNet, EMC Documentum, OpenText, IBM DB2 Content Manager, and other content management systems. This is intended to help clients effectively control multiple isolated repositories of unstructured data while helping address global compliance issues and maintaining greater control over the information handling procedures. Recordkeeping policies can also be applied to structured data stored in various databases, business applications and mainframe systems. For example, the solution can access SAP, Siebel, Oracle, and IBM DB2 Universal Database applications to declare structured information as a record alongside other related business content or supporting documents stored in various repositories.