Informatica recasts PowerCenter 7 for SOA

SAN FRANCISCO (11/10/2003) - Informatica Corp., a leading provider of data integration and business intelligence software, will unveil this week PowerCenter 7, the next release of its integration platform.

Version 7 is a major upgrade based on a Web service-oriented architecture (SOA). It will give IT the ability to invoke PowerCenter through a Web service or invoke a Web service process from PowerCenter to a third-party application residing at an external customer or business partner site.

For example, to measure customer profitability the process would run like this: an internal-invoking application would make a call to PowerCenter to bring back customer data; PowerCenter would tap into a Siebel CRM application through a Web service for customer names and sales history; the CRM application would return back the data as XML to PowerCenter; PowerCenter would call out to Dunn & Bradstreet to get a credit rating on the customer; Dun & Bradstreet would return back data as a Web service; and finally, PowerCenter would push the data to PowerAnalyzer, Informatica's business intelligence tool, which in turn would send the results through XML to the internal application on the portal.

Joshua Greenbaum, principal at Enterprise Applications Consulting added this one caveat to the example given above by Sanjay Poonen, senior vice president, worldwide marketing at Informatica.

"This is a huge advantage to the customer, provided Web services (on the third-party applications) is available to do it," said Greenbaum.

The benefit to the enterprise comes from putting a broad range of support for BI functions under a single umbrella.

"In the past, customers had to deal with a hodgepodge of solutions on the integration side to support a hodgepodge of business intelligence solutions," Greenbaum added.

The PowerCenter data integration engine has also been rewritten to leverage grid architectures.

"PowerCenter now can intelligently adapt to the environment. If it has a task that takes a lot of CPU horsepower, it can distribute that processing across a grid-like architecture," said Poonen.

The grid architecture will allow IT to load data around the clock, moving it off the mainframe in bulk or in real time, Poonen added.

Other additions to the platform include built-in pattern recognition, to visualize data relationships and analyze data, and team-based features to control check-in and check out, version history, and configuration management.

Security is provided via a partnership with VeriSign for Web service processing and RSA encryption for data transmission.

PowerCenter 7 will ship on Dec. 5, priced starting at US$200,000.

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