Informatica Creates Real-Time Tool for Data Warehousing

Informatica Corp. addresses the need for historical and current data analysis.

The name data warehousing suggests it deals with older data, but business demands now require a mix of historical and current data for analysis. To address this need, Informatica Corp. has created a spin-off of its PowerCenter integration product for real-time refreshes of enterprise information.

PowerCenterRT (Real Time) expands the feature set of PowerCenter to allow enterprise applications to update data as it changes, rather than batch-processing data on event or calendar cycles. As a result, users can access both fresh and historical data from a single application, simplifying their access to information.

Diaz Nesamoney, COO of Informatica, believes the around-the-clock business world that has emerged in the last decade now requires real-time data refreshes. "There is no time when a data warehouse can be shut down or do a batch refresh," he says. Because users may be accessing applications at all times, administrators cannot rely on updating warehouses late at night, and customers now expect immediate results from information systems, so there is little tolerance for stale data.

Each version of PowerCenter works by taking data in message queue services (such as IBM Corp.'s MQSeries or TIBCO Software Inc.'s Rendezvous) and moving it to data warehouse repositories. There, analytic applications can use the data.

PowerCenterRT's twist on data integration is its ability to always "listen" to the message queue and immediately update the repository when new data is placed in the queue. Other products simply refresh at a set time or when particular events occur.

Obviously, a fresh data store is little use to a business if applications can't use it. Informatica also provides connectors for popular enterprise applications such as SAP, PeopleSoft, and Siebel, allowing the applications to "talk" to PowerCenter.

Other business intelligence vendors are pledging their support for PowerCenter. Spotfire Inc., which makes analytic applications, announced a product to work with PowerCenter. DecisionSite Informatica Bridge creates a link between PowerCenter and Spotfire's DecisionSite analytic application. Informatica provides ISVs with an API and software development kit (SDK) to aid them in tailoring their applications to PowerCenter.

Informatica expects PowerCenter to be available in the third quarter of this year, with pricing to start around $200,000.