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It is almost a year ago to the day that Progress announced that it was acquiring Persistence and its EdgeXtend product. Now the company’s Real-Time Division has announced the first fruits of that acquisition and its integration with existing Progress technology (including the ObjectStore database and PeerDirect synchronisation together with additional technology from Sonic and DataDirect).
The new product suite is called DataXtend and it will consist of three products, DataXtend CE, DataXtend RE and DataXtend IE, where the suffixes stand for Caching, Replication and Integration Engines respectively. The first two of these products are available now and the IE product will be released next year.
In order to understand how these products fit together it is important to understand what each of these do and how they work. First, what they do. DataXtend CE is effectively the replacement for EdgeXtend. That is, it provides high performance caching and object-relational mapping on your application server. DataXtend RE is what its name suggests: a replication and synchronisation product that will compete with the likes of GoldenGate. Finally, describing DataXtend IE is a little more difficult: it has overlapping capability with EII (enterprise information integration) products but has a greater emphasis on supporting updates, while it is more data-oriented than EAI (enterprise application integration) or integration brokers and is intended for real-time environments so does not really compare with ETL (extract, transform and load) – so, it will represent a new class of product – but is designed to support such things as master data management.
Okay, so that’s what the products do. Now consider the major technologies you need for each of these. First, they all require connectivity and all the DataXtend products use a common connectivity platform (with both push and pull capabilities) for this purpose. Secondly, all the products need the ability to synchronise data so this is similarly a shared function. On top of these, CE requires object-relational mapping, local storage (caching) and object binding at the front-end. RE, on the other hand, requires additional synchronisation capabilities, some mapping capabilities (to/from databases) and some local storage (for example, for mobile environments). Finally, IE needs a lot of mapping capabilities (for integration transformations) and local storage (for data integration hubs).
The point is that there are a lot of common requirements across this product range. What Progress has done is to extract those elements that are required in common and provided this as a part of the platform and then extended these for each product as is most appropriate.
In my view, this is the real strength of this suite. EdgeXtend was already the leading product in its space but the replication market is extremely active, as is the integration space. To grow its business in the RE space on its own, or to enter the IE space with a new concept would be extremely difficult taken in isolation. This is where Progress has been clever. It has recognised the synergies between these different areas and has developed products that leverage each other’s strengths. Each can sell off the back of the other and Progress can offer a more comprehensive solution. It is well-known that “united we stand, divided we fall” and Progress has used this maxim to good advantage in DataXtend.