Ipedo’s EII Platform Gets a Retrofit for Service-ability
Ipedo last week announced a refresh of its EII suite that’s tweaked for service-ability, officials say.
In essence, enterprise information integration (EII) is a product of service-enablement, at least in the sense that the loosely coupled vision at the heart of SOA also enables—or is, rather, the condition of the possibility for—EII.
Perhaps that’s one reason EII vendors were so quick to service-enable their own offerings. IBM Corp.—which effectively took EII mainstream three years ago (with its then DB2 Information Integrator product)—has long been at the forefront of service-enablement, for example, while EII pure-plays such as Composite Software Inc., MetaMatrix Inc. and the former Avaki (which Sybase Inc. acquired last year) have also exposed their data federation capabilities via Web services or by means of other well-defined (i.e., standard) interfaces. The idea is to make it easy for customers—and (increasingly) for ISV partners, too—to invoke EII capabilities from within custom-built or third-party applications.
Add Ipedo Inc. to that list, too. The EII specialist last week unveiled an SOA-ready revamping of its bread-and-butter XIP integration platform, complete with a new Web Services Publishing Wizard and requisite support for both SOAP and representational state transfer (REST)-based Web Services.
It’s an important release for the EII player, which—more so than pure-play rivals (and EII superstars) Composite and MetaMatrix—is under pressure to break free and differentiate itself from the rest of an otherwise teeming pack. And in several key respects, says James Kobielus, a principal analyst for data management with consultancy Current Analysis, XIP 4.2 helps do just that. “Ipedo’s SOA and XML/relational features in XIP 4.2 allow it to contend effectively against its nearest pure-play EII rivals [Composite Software and MetaMatrix], which offer equivalent features, and also against IBM,” he points out.
Kobielus points to improvements in XIP 4.2’s hybrid XML/relational query engine, which boasts new cost-based query optimization features, pushdown techniques, and join algorithms. XIP 4.2 marks Ipedo’s come-to-software-as-a-service (SaaS) moment, too, boasting canned integration with Salesforce.com’s SaaS stack.
Ipedo also makes much of XIP 4.2’s improved logging capabilities, which officials say facilitate tracking and auditing user activities. Elsewhere, the revamped XIP includes new Impact Analysis reports, which let administrators see how changes to data sources affect views downstream. Ditto for Data Lineage reports, which allow managers to trace views back to the source data. Ipedo’s newest XIP release also boasts availability improvements, such as support for dynamic failover redirection. As a result, if a primary data source isn’t available, XIP can automatically connect to a pre-defined replica of that source.
In a number of ways, however, the XIP 4.2 serves merely to bring Ipedo to parity with its primary pure-play rivals. “Ipedo’s XIP 4.2 functionality does not differentiate it clearly in the competitive EII segment. Both of Ipedo’s closest EII rivals, Composite Software and MetaMatrix, support SOA via the ability to expose data views through SOAP [and] WSDL,” Kobielus comments.
To be sure, XIP’s hybrid XML/relational engine remains a key differentiator for Ipedo, but the company’s pure-play rivals have also introduced hybrid XML/relational implementations—for modeling, metadata, and even query processing—of their own. “All [Ipedo’s rivals] integrate with a comparable range of third-party data sources and modeling/metadata tools. In addition, most of the other development, performance, availability, and data governance enhancements in XIP 4.2 simply keep pace with Ipedo’s rivals,” he comments.
Kobielus also says Ipedo hasn’t done enough to amplify the service-ability of the revamped XIP 4.2, which—in several key respects—is unique among EII pure-plays. “Ipedo’s SOA value proposition is buried in the go-to-market message for XIP 4.2. The vendor has not highlighted its partnership with UDDI registry vendor Systinet, in which Systinet has embedded Ipedo’s XML database in its forthcoming SOA platform,” he concludes. “None of Ipedo’s closest competitors has a comparable relationship with a UDDI vendor—though both Composite Software and MetaMatrix do integrate with Systinet’s UDDI registry. In addition, Ipedo has not highlighted its ability to publish its EII interfaces to Systinet and other UDDI registries.”
Finally, Kobielus notes, none of Ipedo’s competitors offers REST support as an SOA alternative to SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI.
Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.