IBMs spending big on

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2005-05-13 Print this article Print

this"> As I understand it, the problem with metadata is its a negotiation between human beings as to what a given entity, say, a transaction, encompasses: what business processes it encompasses. Its never cut and dried. There has been a lot of research in the last few years. [Weve gained] the ability to develop taxonomy that can model these different terms across the enterprise, and relations between them, in a hierarchical fashion. We also have things like versioning. Lets say a version evolves over time. Maybe I have a different version when I employ my Siebel platform.
[Were] allowing terminology, business objects, to evolve over time using versioning. The whole notion of taxonomy and the ability to do semantics did not exist in the early 90s when metadata systems were developed.
None of this sounds easy. Integration is not an easy problem. I am not saying that this is a piece of cake. It is not. And this is why IBM, years ago, decided to go after this space, knowing wed have to make significant investments in this space. We have over 1,500 people working in information integration today. We have a history of taking on the big challenges. I feel very comfortable that we are on the right path. With the delivery of Hawk, well be able to show that [IBM] can take a handle on metadata challenges in support of the four major consumers: business users, data architects, developers and administrators. Think of it: who [else] has spent $1.1 billion on technology for information integration [as IBM spent on Ascential]? Has anybody come [even] close to spending that much money? Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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