Needed: Automated Database Integration

 It’s long been a truism that data is one of the key assets, if not the key asset, for an enterprise. Our recent conversations with customers are putting a new spin on this insight. They are telling us why database integration and automation are increasingly important to them to not only reduce costs, but to increase agility. Integration Requirements By integration we mean the ability to quickly and easily combine data from multiple source relational databases into one, or more, central databases while keeping the original databases intact. Such integration allows customers and suppliers to share production and parts information without the expense of implementing EDI. Field auditors at a federal agency are using our own DataPortal to easily share relational databases of audit records to give managers a cross-geography view of agency performance. An online retailer could use such integration to combine information from multiple suppliers and distributors into a single database so web customers can get an up-to-date view of stock on hand and ship dates. Much of this information is stored in relational databases. Our customers are telling us they need to integrate these databases without stripping out the table structures and table references that allow ad-hoc queries. They also need to retain the complex data types (anything from engineering change orders to marketing images) they store in relational platforms. Customers also need to be able to identify which database fields originated in which source database. Such tracking by the source of information is important for anything from identifying which supplier has the lowest prices or most inventory to identifying the source of cost or sales issues within multiple business units. Customers also tell us they need to perform this integration easily and quickly. Ideally, they’d like to see it automated. This not only reduces data management costs, but helps an organization respond with greater agility to changing business needs. For example, the more quickly a major aerospace manufacturer can see database information from new suppliers, the more quickly it can fill its needs for critical parts. The more quickly a CFO can see integrated cost and sales databases from various business units, the more quickly he can see and fix problems.  Our Solution Traditionally, database integration has required days, weeks or months of work by skilled database administrators using database management tools. These days, that is unfeasible both from a cost and a time perspective....

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