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Microsoft Bolsters Data Management With Zoomix Purchase

Zoomix software automatically cleans data of redundant instances, analyzes and classifies data, and learns from its previous actions.

Microsoft announced Monday that it will purchase Israeli data management company Zoomix, continuing a bit of a spending spree on Israeli software startups and adding technology that could eventually improve SQL Server and related products.

The 9-year-old Zoomix makes data management software, Zoomix Accelerator, that automatically cleans data of redundant instances, analyzes and classifies data, and learns from its previous actions as it works in order to maintain quality data, for example by correcting product names. As the amount of data stored by big businesses grows to unwieldy levels, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep that information consistent and correct.

Zoomix software will be wrapped into future versions of the SQL Server data platform and "accessible to the ordinary enterprise," Fausto Ibarra, Microsoft's director of product management for SQL Server, said in a statement.

The Zoomix technology will eventually add functionality to the master data management technology Microsoft acquired last year when it bought Stratature and its +EDM product, according to a blog post by Microsoft group program manager Kirk Haselden, who has been leading the company's master data management efforts. Master data management software aims to maintain a single, accurate version of data and can do things like show accumulated data on one customer from an array of data sets.

It's unclear when Microsoft's master data management software, code-named Bulldog, will be released, or whether Zoomix will be a part of the first release, but a Bulldog technology preview was released to select customers late last year and the software will be part of the next version of SharePoint. A document on Microsoft's Web site notes Bulldog will integrate with Microsoft's business intelligence apps, Dynamics ERP and CRM, Excel, and SharePoint.

Though Zoomix's technologies will be used by the SQL Server group and Microsoft's master data management software, the company's staff will be wrapped into Microsoft's Israeli research and development team.

Zoomix is Microsoft's third acquisition of an Israeli company in 2008. Israeli media reported that the deal could have been in the range of $25 to $35 million, but Microsoft and Zoomix aren't disclosing the acquisition's terms.

Among the leaders of the data quality software space, where Zoomix lies, are IBM, DataFlux, Business Objects, Trillium Software, and Informatica.

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