Composite Information Server is, technically speaking, an enterprise information integration (EII) platform. What this means is that it does four things:
- It virtualises your data—it makes all relevant data sources, including both databases and various application environments, appear as if they were in one place so that you can query that data (or report against it) as such.
- It abstracts your data—that is to say, it presents the data to interrogating applications in a consistent fashion regardless of any native structure and syntax that may be in use in the underlying data sources.
- It federates the data—it allows you to pull data together from diverse, heterogeneous sources (which may contain either operational or historical data or both) and present that in a holistic manner, while maintaining appropriate security measures.
- It presents the data in a consistent format to the front-end application (typically, but not always, a BI tool) either through relational views (via SQL) or by means of web services. Testing facilities are provided to ensure the validity of web services.
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