Masala Channels Data Flood

The next version of IBM's DB2 Information Integrator software, code-named Masala, beefs up information handling.

IBM is boosting the speed and search capabilities of its Information Integrator software for DB2 Universal Database to enable customers to manage and combine the flood of data sources pouring into their IT environments more easily.

This week, the Armonk, N.Y., company will announce the open beta trial of the next version of DB2 Information Integrator, code-named Masala, featuring more than 100 new features. Due for general availability later this year, Masala builds on IBMs strategy of allowing customers to use DB2 as a base for addressing a wide variety of data integration tasks. The goal is to help users make more-informed business decisions about application development and general application usage, say industry analysts.

Targeted as a key element to drive value out of existing installed applications, such as those from SAP AG, PeopleSoft Inc., and Siebel Systems Inc. a new capability in Masala connects transactions with business processes to publish data events to middleware including IBMs WebSphere MQ series.

The upgraded version of Information Integrator introduces a proactive infrastructure that uses a "push model" capable of monitoring and tracking events, as well as providing alerts to administrators to help them spot trends or determine the impact of events on performance. The technology is closely tied to IBMs WebSphere Integrator, WebSphere MQ and various WebSphere broker technologies, said Nelson Mattos, director of information integration for IBM.

Masala drastically reduces application development cost and hand-coding efforts in enterprises juggling large amounts of data by speeding query results across federated data sources 10 times faster than prior incarnations of DB2 Information Integrator, Mattos said.

To help ease administration and fluctuating workload burdens, Masala offers a new Configuration Wizard and a new Cache Table Wizard.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read what IBM Vice President Patricia Selinger has to say about Masala and "Stinger," the code name for the next major DB2 release.

Joe Neria, systems programmer for Mazda North American Operations, said he is using DB2 Information Integrator to replicate data from his IBM mainframe running UDB Version 8 to Microsoft Corp.s SQL Server 2000 DBMS platform. This enables any changes and updates made on either system to be registered on the other automatically.

"Before we had Information Integrator, [developers] were replicating data by basically doing a SQL Server select with DB2 connect and pulling all the data down every 15 minutes," said Neria in Irvine, Calif. "It was basically a mess—talk about slowing your network down every 15 minutes."

Analysts say Masalas search capabilities can significantly streamline development by marrying database replication and application integration technologies, which traditionally run side by side but do not interoperate.

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