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October 24, 1995

INFORMATION BUILDERS TOOLS AUTOMATE WAREHOUSING

By CBR Staff Writer

New York-based Information Builders Inc has launched a suite of tools designed to transform and scrub data from disparate sources and then load a data warehouse with the data without the need for programmers to write any code. The Enterprise Copy Manager is based on the company’s well-established middleware, EDA/SQL which provides transparent access to a variety of data sources. The company said that because of this, it had managed to keep the price of the product in the tens of thousands of dollar region, rather than hundreds of thousands. And it has also announced EDA/Hub Server for RS/6000 and HP-UX that provide bi-directional transport for requests and answers in three-tier client-server architectures, whether or not a data warehouse is being implemented. The company said this will offer users of these systems the ability to gain a single view of data held on any of 63 different data sorce on 35 types of operating systems.

Batch transfers

The company described Enterprise Copy Manager as more than just an extract tool, a way of managing the whole process of building a data warehouse; it is said to offer high volume data transfer which can be scheduled for regular intervals. It has been designed to enable database administrators to run batch transfers of data. They can either do a quick transfer which can be used for prototyping a warehouse in an iterative cycle. Or there is Power Copy which performs fieldname and datatype conversions, computations and formulae for the actual warehouse build. The product has a Windows-based front end, called the Query Builder, which is connected to an EDA/SQL hub server offering transparent data location access to a myriad of sources. From this interface the administrator creates copy requests against the SQL-based view of the data wanted in what the company said is a simple point and click exercise. The request specifies how the data will be summarised in the data warehouse and it then sits on the target system, ready to work when triggered. The administrator also defines the type of database the warehouse’s system will be, using Target Builder, which also controls how data is loaded and how updates and apended logic is handled. The Data Transformer facilitates creating data transformation rules and applies data cleansing logic; so it changes obscure field names to more obvious ones, applies if-then-else logic and so on. It also has a calculator that enables to administrator to apply more complex data transformation parameters. Then there is a Schedule Builder that automates the process once all the definitions have been made. The actual retrieval and loading of data is done automatically by EDA/SQL. The company added that Enterprise Copy Manager will be upwardly compatible with future releases of EDA/SQl. At the moment, the system works under MVS and Unixes from AT&T Global Information Solutions, Hewlett-Packard Co, Sun Microsystems Inc, Pyramid Technology Corp, Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG and IBM Corp. It reckons the product will do well with existing EDA/SQL users; costs here will be between ú3,600 to ú12,700, but don’t forget to allow for the company’s consultancy charges. However the company reckons some people just want the copy management function and would pick sufficient of the EDA/SQL technology to support the product. This will be from ú5,000 to ú20,000. Information Builders is also part of Oracle Corp’s Warehouse Technology Initiative and has announced a world-wide product integration agreement with Sun Microsystems Inc, which will sell Information Builders middleware and enterprise decision support products to customers buying its products for warehousing. And Information Builders will use Sun’s symmetric multi-processing boxes as its development base for its Unix-based data warehouse software.

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