Stratify tackles stray data

Stratify Inc. has joined a growing band of companies that support Web services by injecting the standards into its platform for managing the flow of unstructured corporate data, such as documents, e-mail, and presentations.

The addition of SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and WSDL (Web Services Description Language) support to the company's Stratify Discovery System is designed to simplify the process of incorporating unstructured information into applications such as CRM, ERP, and SFA (sales-force automation), according to Bonnie Crater, chief marketing officer at Mountain View, Calif.-based Stratify.

Until now, developers lacked standard methods for integrating information from unstructured documents into business applications. Using SOAP and WSDL, developers can rapidly feed this unstructured and difficult-to-access data into a range of enterprise applications, Crater said.

With this move, Stratify keeps pace with Web services adoption seen by both infrastructure vendors and content management players such as Interwoven, Vignette, and Documentum.

Stratify hopes that standards-based Web services interfaces will help drive new applications that focus on managing typically hard-to-access, unstructured data, according to Crater. "With standard Web services APIs, it will now be easy to incorporate unstructured info into applications," Crater said.

According to Rob Perry, senior analyst at the Yankee Group in Boston, the need for automated management of unstructured data is growing. Opening up Stratify's software as a Web service will make it easier to integrate with a company's existing IT infrastructure and solve the unstructured information management problem at a deeper level, Perry said.

Data stratification

Tapping Web services will help simplify the process of incorporating unstructured information intoapps.

* SOAP: The meta data stored in arepository is now available through SOAP calls.

* WSDL: WSDL specifies SOAP interface requirements so that apps can use the service.

* UDDI: Enterprises can publish Stratify's Web services into an UDDI directory.

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