MetaMatrix zeros in on Web services

MetaMatrix ON MONDAY will issue the beta release of Version 3.0 of its data integration solution, with added support for SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and XML modeling technology to help modernize existing data assets for Web services and XML formats.

MetaMatrix System Version 3.0 is expected to be generally available on Aug. 29, according to officials at the New York-based company. Pricing was unavailable.

The company bills itself as an EII (enterprise information integration) provider, with a focus on data modeling, creating an abstraction layer that sits on top of application silos, and managing metadata in a virtual database. The MetaMatrix System is comprised of a Java-based data integration engine dubbed MetaMatrix Server, and MetaBase, a data management system and repository.

"We are a software space that sits between data warehousing and EAI [enterprise application integration]," said Michael Lang, executive vice president of development and sales at MetaMatrix. "We are middleware, but for all practical purposes we look and behave like a database because that's what our market wants to buy."

The database look and feel is meant to appeal to the comfort level IT currently harbors for managing things like SQL queries and using database tools for administering, modeling, and creating schemas, Lang said.

New features in Version 3.0 include a SOAP interface to the MetaMatrix Server's other APIs, which will allow integrated information from myriad systems to be exposed as Web services. The product has also beefed up support for the dynamic conversion of native data from sources such as relational databases and legacy apps into XML documents that comply with various schemas.

Other new features include MetaViewer, a Web-based search tool that lets users search metadata models and user-defined data types over the Internet or intranet.

The modeling approach to data integration -- which promises trim integration costs by eliminating the need to re-code data mapping between applications when a process or application is changed -- is heating up among a variety of vendors, including startup Enosys and Contivo. Last month, Contivo released Version 3.5 of data integration product with support for Web services, better run-time functionality, a new parser, and improved testing and user interfaces.

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