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7/26/2006
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Oracle Beefs Up Data Warehouse Technology

The company moved core data transformation functions to its Oracle 10g database and expanded the range of applications from which it can extract information.

Oracle is bundling more of its data extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) capabilities for building data warehouses with its flagship database software. The move is part of a new release of the vendor's data warehouse toolset it began shipping Wednesday.

Oracle Warehouse Builder 10g Release 2 provides enhanced data quality management capabilities, including name and address cleansing and de-duplication for identifying and removing redundant data. The new release also offers the ability to design relational and online analytical processing database structures, support for loading data into non-Oracle databases, and a tool for encapsulating an organization's development standards and best practices as wizards.

Oracle is bundling those features, along with other ETL functions at the core of Oracle Warehouse Builder, with the Oracle Database 10g Release 2 Enterprise Edition, Standard Edition, and Standard Edition One at no extra charge, says Paul Narth, a senior group manager at Oracle. The Oracle database is the foundation for the Oracle Warehouse Builder product. Using the database as the data transformation engine provides better performance than competing ETL products from vendors such as IBM and Informatica, Narth says.

Warehouse Builder 10g Release 2 also includes new options that work with the core ETL functions in the Enterprise Edition database. A data quality option, priced at $15,000 per CPU or $300 per user, provides data profiling and rules functions and the ability to audit data transformation tasks and take corrective action when quality remains low. An ETL option, priced at $10,000 per CPU or $200 per user, includes a data lineage and impact analyzer and a change propagator for responding to changing metadata.

Oracle also offers connectors for extracting data from ERP and CRM applications and loading it into a data warehouse. There are connectors for Oracle's E-Business Suite and PeopleSoft applications, as well as SAP R/3 applications. Connectors are priced at $20,000 per connector per target database. The connectors now support IBM's DB2 and Informix databases and Microsoft SQL Server.

This week Oracle also announced that it is embedding an industry-standard IT governance methodology, called COBIT 4.0, into its Oracle Internal Controls Manager product that's used to document, test, and certify that IT controls comply with regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley. COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology) 4.0 is the latest set of IT-control best practices and metrics developed by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association.

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