IBM in the first half of this year is pledging to offer the first products based on its Xperanto technology for integrating multiple data points, as part of IBM's OnDemand initiative for leveraging existing technology assets.
Xperanto represents a significant extension of IBM's DB2 database technology, allowing for federated access to data, regardless of whether the data resides in DB2 or in data management systems from vendors such as Oracle, Sybase, and Microsoft, said Nelson Mattos, IBM Distinguished Engineer and director of information integration.
"Xperanto has the means to access all the data in real time in an efficient way, without requiring the customers to move the data," Mattos said.
"We believe this is very significant because for companies to become more efficient and be able to better respond to changes in the marketplace, they need to embrace a technology strategy that reflects the way [businesses] actually work" with suppliers and partners, said Mattos.
IBM believes there is "a major shift happening in the data management industry, which is moving away from the notion of a data management system that is only managing information that is physically stored in the repository toward a data management infrastructure that is managing, integrating, accessing, and analyzing all the information in the enterprise," he added.
IBM differs from Oracle in that Oracle favors a centralized approach to data management, Mattos contended. "Oracle encourages customers to solve the integration problem by centralizing or moving all the data into the Oracle system, and that does not allow customers to obtain information on demand because if I'm going to centralize, I need to know what information I need to move into the Oracle system," which is not always able to be done these days, Mattos said.
Oracle officials, however, said IBM with Xperanto is not offering anything new as far as data federation because both IBM and Oracle already have federated data management capabilities.
"There's not much new there," said Benny Souder, vice president of distributed database development at Oracle.
He rejected notions that Oracle requires centralization. "You can centralize and save money, but sometimes you can't centralize," Souder said.
"In those cases, we deal with that just fine; we have a complete distributed capability inside the Oracle database," said Souder.