Managerial Applications Of Information Technology
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This article describes the technology that enables clients of IBMs federated database engine to access and integrate the data and specialized computational capabilities of a
wide range of relational and non-relational data sources.
By enabling the database access for their clients, they are creating value to their company by gaining information
IBM Federated Database Technology
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Laura Haas, Senior Manager, IBM Software Group
Eileen Lin, Senior Software Engineer, IBM
01 Mar 2002
In a large modern enterprise, information is almost inevitably distributed among several database management systems. Despite considerable attention from the research community, relatively few commercial systems have attempted to address this issue. This article describes the technology that enables clients of IBMs federated database engine to access and integrate the data and specialized computational capabilities of a wide range of relational and nonrelational data sources.
More dW content related to: companies using databases to add business value
In a large modern enterprise, it is almost inevitable that different portions of the organization will use different database management systems to store and search their critical data. Competition, evolving technology, mergers, acquisitions, geographic distribution, and the inevitable decentralization of growth all contribute to this diversity. Yet it is only by combining the information from these systems that the enterprise can realize the full value of the data they contain.
For example, in the finance industry, mergers are an almost commonplace occurrence. The newly created entity inherits the data stores of the original institutions. Many of those stores will be relational database management systems, but often from different manufacturers; for instance, one company may have used primarily Sybase, and another Informix IDS. They may both have one or more document management systems — such as Documentum or IBM Content Manager — for storing text documents such as copies of loans, etc. Each may have applications that compute important information (for example, the risk of a loan to a given customer), or mine for information about customers buying patterns.
After the merger, they need to be able to access all customer information from both sets of stores, analyaze their new portfolios using existing and new applications, and, in general, use the combined resources of both institutions through a common interface. They need to be able to identify common customers and consolidate their accounts, although the different companies may have referred to their customers using totally different identifying keys. Federation technologies can significantly ease the pain in these situations by providing a unified interface to diverse data.
IBM has made significant investments in federation technologies that have resulted in market leading capabilities across the Data Management product portfolio. Today, federation capabilities enable unified access to any digital information, in any format — structured and unstructured, in any information store. Federation capabilities are available today through a variety of IBM products including DB2 UDB (and DB2® Relational Connect), DB2 DataJoiner, and IBM Enterprise Information Portal (EIP). This set of federation technologies continues to be enhanced and our customers investments in all of these products continue to deliver real business value.
This paper focuses specifically on advanced database federation capabilities, implemented through a technology sometimes referred to by the code name “Garlic”, which represent the next generation of information federation enhancements from IBM software. These enhancements will enable clients to access and integrate the data and specialized computational capabilities of a wide range of relational and nonrelational data sources. The Garlic technology will be incorporated into all IBM software offerings that provide federation technology over time. Customers may rest assured that not only will their investments in existing products be protected, but also that in the future, no matter which product is selected, they will be able to leverage the advanced capabilities described here.
IBMs federated database systems offer powerful facilities for combining information from multiple data sources. Built on best-of-breed technology from an earlier product, DB2 DataJoiner , and enhanced with leading-edge features for extensibility and performance from the Garlic research project, IBMs federated database capabilities are unique in the industry. DB2 DataJoiner introduced the concept of a virtual database, created by federating together multiple heterogeneous relational data sources. Users