Users wary about metadata standards timing

Standardisation of metadata within Australia will be rapidly adopted for most databases and data warehouses within the next 18 months, according to Unisys Australia.

Although users and analysts were enthusiastic about the standardisation, they expressed wariness at the predicted timeline.

"Metadata is one of the things that needs to be universal. However I think it is unlikely we would see the standardisation this calendar year," said Graham Penn, senior analyst storage at IDC.

Penn said there would need to be an education process to make vendors aware of the standardisation, as the terms used by metadata are very broad and the learning curve is quite sharp.

And Clive Bailey, manager of systems development and integration at Perpetual Trustee Australia agreed saying, "Unfortunately it normally takes ages for something like this to take effect.

"The main benefit from the standardisation would be that it would make the metadata process simpler and create more openness."

Common Warehouse Metamodel (CWM) is the Object Management Group's (OMG) standard for metadata. Sponsored by Oracle, IBM, Unisys, and Hyperion for warehouse definition, the OMG announced the standard last month. It competes with Microsoft Open Information Model.

Traditionally, metadata software from different vendors was incompatible; however the new standard is expected to enable interoperability.

CWM is the most comprehensive metadata standard for managing enterprise data in databases and information portals, according to Unisys.

"Unisys Australia is working closely with our counterparts in US to leverage OMG metadata standards in the area of component-based development and deployment," said Alan Smith, marketing communication manager for Unisys Australia. "As [a supplier] supplier of metadata and model driven engines optimised to run on popular operating systems and middleware platforms conforming to OMG and W3C family of standards, Unisys is poised to be the de facto standard supplier of metadata driven tools in the industry," Smith said.

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