Software Transforms Data

By John S. McCright  |  Posted 2003-06-30 Print this article Print

Jim Green, whose career has focused on information technologies that connect pools of information, has taken the helm at a new integration startup.

Jim Green, whose career has focused on information technologies that connect pools of information, has taken the helm at a new integration startup.

The company, called Composite Software Inc., is a Silicon Valley startup developing software that takes data in any format and makes it available to applications in any format required.

Green—whose history includes heading development of the CORBA specification at Sun Microsystems Inc., founding Active Software Inc. and acting as chief technology officer at application integration software vendor WebMethods Inc.—said that in the client/server days, an enterprise database was the place where data was stored for use in enterprise applications and thus it was all in the same format—rows and columns.

Now, with Web services presenting important data in XML format and enterprise applications needing to tap into the flat files from applications such as Microsoft Corp.s Excel, aggregating data for analysis and processing is becoming a challenge. Thats where Composite Software comes in, Green said, transforming data from rows and columns into XML or whatever format is needed.

Green said the Composite Software technology, which he declined to name, accesses what he called transactional data from enterprise applications and information data from portals and dashboards. It breaks down the data into different building blocks, called "views," that can be reassembled into new applications.

The new composite applications could, for instance, knit together a customer name from a customer relationship management application and guess at what kind of product that customer might buy from a predictive analytics application.

"Its about providing the right information to the right people at the right time all over the network," Green said. "We have increasing numbers of applications and databases across the network, and its not getting better, its getting worse. As we move into a world of Web services, the proliferation of points of information is mind-boggling."

The software wont be generally available until at least this fall. Composite Software was officially founded last August by Mike Abbott, who is CTO. The company employs six former CTOs. It is based in San Mateo, Calif.

Companies have bought so many applications that they need to have a single place to look at data from those different sources, and something like what Green is offering could be useful, said Kimberly Knickle, an analyst with AMR Research Inc. But she is looking for more information on how Composite Softwares product works.

"I pay attention because Jim Green is involved," said Knickle, in Boston.


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