Web Services Go Mainstream in Data Quality Offerings

New release from Trillium highlights increasing importance of Web services in data quality space

Trillium Software new Web services interface for its flagship data quality suite boasts customized support for prominent J2EE application servers from IBM Corp. and BEA Systems Inc. The new Web services interface is just one of several enhancements that are included in version 7.5 of its Trillium Software System.

According to Rob Lerner, an analyst with consultancy Current Analysis Inc. who covers the data quality and data warehousing beats, the new release helps Trillium, a division of Harte-Hanks, up the ante in a bitterly contested data quality space in which vendors are scrapping to differentiate their products and offerings from one another. “This new version of the company’s core offering provides a Web services interface that enables users to access all of the company’s data-quality technology with a single call from a J2EE-based application server,” he notes.

Although Web services support has moved beyond the bleeding edge and into the mainstream, says Lerner, the customizations that Trillium has developed for both IBM’s WebSphere and BEA’s WebLogic J2EE application servers help to differentiate its Trillium Software System 7.5 from its competitors.

“[W]hile the introduction of [Web services] technology into the data-quality market has lagged that of other markets, it is nevertheless making its way through this market, and it will eventually force those vendors who do not yet support the technology either to develop support to become marginalized,” he argues.

If nothing else, canned support for WebSphere and WebLogic provides Trillium with an instant entrée into IBM and BEA accounts, Lerner points out. “Trillium should be able to leverage this support among BEA and IBM customers to bring more attention to its technology, and perhaps more support for its technology by these important players.”

For the record, Trillium stresses that the new Web services interface can be deployed with any J2EE-based application server.

Elsewhere, Trillium Software System 7.5 features a new Data Quality Director; it monitors the transaction flows and controls the distribution of data quality requests. Trillium officials say that Data Quality Director accelerates data quality processing for high volume transaction applications, which Lerner says could give Trillium a foothold in such environments. “The optimization of performance will certainly appeal to customers in distributed environments, as will the product’s ability to handle new requests, processes, and applications in real-time, giving users the ability to respond on demand,” says Lerner, who notes that the Data Quality Director may be superfluous in IBM and BEA environments because both WebSphere and WebLogic perform many of the same tasks.

Also new in version 7.5 are several enhancements to the Trillium Software System itself, including interface improvements (via a new graphical statistical viewer) and French language support in Trillium’s user interface menu system. At the same time, Lerner notes, Trillium’s new Web services interfaces addresses only part of the challenge associated with delivering Web services-based solutions. “[Trillium] has offered nothing in this release that addresses the security of its Web services. While it can leverage the security of the supported application servers, this may not be enough for non-BEA and non-IBM environments, and it will an increasing concern among larger and security-conscious organizations,” he speculates.

Nor, notes Lerner, does Trillium yet support one of the most important Web services standards: “[T]he company is not yet offering its technology through the UDDI, the most important Web services registry. The company stands to lose opportunities by not supporting the UDDI … and it also opens itself up to charges from competitors that its technology is not fully fleshed out or mainstream.”

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.