Ardent Boosts DataStage Product Line

Ardent Software Inc. today expanded its DataStage product line with software that provides meta data management and data-quality management capabilities. The vendor is also developing what it calls its Enterprise Information Architecture (EII), an Extensible Markup Language-based framework for providing a single point of access for users of multiple business intelligence tools and analytical applications. Ardent's current DataStage software lets users extract information from one data source, such as a database or an enterprise resource planning system, and move it to another. Like other ETL (extract, transform, and load) tools, DataStage is used for moving operational data into data warehouse systems for analysis.

The software's new meta data management functions will make it easier to integrate multiple data warehouse and business intelligence tools, while the data-quality management functions will improve the tools' data transformation capabilities. Ardent acquired the meta data management through its 1998 acquisition of Dovetail Software Inc. and the data-quality technologies through its buyout of Prism Solutions Inc. earlier this year. The company is also releasing a version of DataStage XE with added mainframe management functions such as job scheduling. It will be called DataStage Enterprise.

The Hartford Life Insurance Co. is running Ardent's DataStage Enterprise on a trial basis this week, says information systems manager Fred Robinson. The insurance company was a Prism customer before its acquisition by Ardent, and Hartford is looking for a complete product suite to aid in its assembly of a data warehouse for its investment products division. "We are still committed to implementing integrated tool suites," Robinson says, noting that suites eliminate the need to integrate multiple point products. "The time you invest in building those bridges can be very expensive."

The EII framework will be designed to provide a single architecture for an enterprise's entire business intelligence system, including structured and unstructured data, Ardent says. EII will provide users with a single access point to data in multiple locations and a means of determining where a piece of information originated. Ardent sees the DataStage suite as the first phase of EII, while future phases will include an XML-compliant repository based on Ardent's O2 object-oriented database system, an XML-based portal, and a directory subsystem. No schedule for the future phases and availability of the portal has been set.

Ardent will continue to sell DataStage 3.6 for data movement tasks, priced starting at $47,500. Pricing will begin at $140,000 for DataStage XE and at $370,000 for DataStage Enterprise. All three are available immediately.

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