Agilent picks IBM for data search

Agilent Technologies has selected IBM Corp.'s DiscoveryLink data integration software to anchor its Synapsia bioinformatics product family, the companies said Wednesday.

DiscoveryLink has been made compatible with Agilent's recently announced Synapsia software, which is designed to help scientists in drug discovery so pharmaceutical companies can bring drugs to market quicker, an IBM spokeswoman, Theo Chisholm, said.

DiscoveryLink, based on IBM's DB2 database, allows researchers to query diverse data sources in research terminology and get a result in a single format, leaving the underlying databases intact. DiscoveryLink also searches databases running software from IBM rivals Oracle Corp. and Sybase Inc., Chisholm said.

"In this research environment there is more data then ever before, coming from multiple sources and increasing in size rapidly. DiscoveryLink gives customers the data integration component they will need," she said.

Synapsia provides a single environment for documentation of information related to a research project, and enables multidisciplinary scientists to work together and share their interpretation of data, according to the company. The software is designed to allow visual analysis and filtering of data and creation of compound-centric models. The combination of DiscoveryLink and Synapsia software will help users connect disparate information sources, according to IBM and Synapsia.

Agilent, of Palo Alto, California, won't sell IBM's technology. Users of Agilent's scientific instruments will have to buy it from IBM, of Armonk, New York. That should not be too much of a problem, because Agilent customers often call on IBM for supercomputer and database needs, according Chisholm. IBM and Agilent will work together to implement the products, she added.

DiscoveryLink for Agilent's Synapsia products is available worldwide. Pricing depends on the customer situation.

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