Informatica Corp. Increases Scalability and Reach

The rush of new products that has flooded the data warehousing and decision support market during the past few years is finally beginning to slow. The torrent is giving way to an uneven flow of upgraded versions emerging from the vendors that survived the first gush. Late last year, Informatica Corp. (www.informatica.com) made its contribution to the next phase of the market's development with new versions of its PowerCenter and PowerMart products.

PowerCenter 1.5, Informatica's data integration hub, and PowerMart 4.5, its data mart and analytic application design tool suite, both contain a number of improvements designed to enhance the products' scalability, according to Mike Fine, product manager for PowerCenter. These improvements include an ability to transform data being received via FTP while the file is still being transmitted; a recognition of sorted source files so aggregated data can be compiled as source data is read; improved data handling for sorts; the ability to handle unlimited data and joins; and the ability to run multiple transformation sessions in parallel from multiple or partitioned sources across multiple PowerCenter servers.

According to Henry Morris, director of data warehousing and information access at International Data Corp. (www.idc.com), the new releases "solidify some things they have and increase the scalability and reach of the platform."

Other new features include increased mainframe support, extended support for multidimensional data, and additional application support, including PowerCenter Integration Server for SAP and Hyperion Integration Server.

Informatica is preparing to release another version of both products this summer, Fine says. These versions will focus on incorporating business semantics into the design and interaction process, and tighter integration with ERP systems.