The changing face of Attunity

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Content Copyright © 2006 Bloor. All Rights Reserved.

Historically, Attunity used to be a small vendor providing data connectors. In particular, it was one of the first companies to develop adapters to support change data capture (CDC). This gave it an edge on the likes of iWay, which, even today, OEMs its CDC capabilities from a third party. However, it did not particularly give it an edge over Striva, which managed to get itself into a leading position in this emerging market.

Fortunately, Informatica saw this and acquired Striva: good for Informatica customers and good too, for Attunity. Why? Because a lot of Striva’s leadership position was based on the fact that it had cornered the market for CDC connectors with other technology vendors. However, many of these were competitors of Informatica and Attunity was the company to benefit. Today, Attunity OEMs its connectors to IBM, Sunopsis (shortly to be a part of Oracle—a story for another day), Business Objects, Genio (now part of Open Text), Embarcadero (recently taken private), Cognos, Oracle and Microsoft, amongst others. So, Attunity is now the market leader in its space.

The second major change for Attunity was its introduction earlier this year of Attunity InFocus, which the company describes as a “management workplace application”. Briefly, this is a sort of combined portal or dashboard together with search, collaboration and auditing capabilities. In particular, it allows you to initiate activities from within InFocus and track (and audit) all subsequent activities and communications relevant to that subject. This represented a new face for Attunity because, although it uses the company’s connectors, it is otherwise a completely new product, directed at a completely new market.

The third major change for Attunity has happened gradually over the last couple of years. Going back to its connector business, Attunity had three major products: Connect, Federate and Stream, with the focus, in the early days, being on the first two of these. However, over that period the emphasis has switched to Stream.

Attunity Stream captures and delivers any changes that are made to enterprise data sources by using agents that non-invasively monitor those sources and which capture changes as they are made. The product allows you to filter and stream those changes to consuming applications, with changes being delivered in real-time or consumed as required, using standard interfaces. As may be imagined this supports so-called real-time data warehousing as well as event driven architectures: hence the increased interest in this aspect of Attunity’s product portfolio.

So, what has brought all of this to mind? Well, version 5.0 of the Attunity Integration Suite (which includes Connect, Federate and Stream) has just been launched. Apart from the fact that this includes support for new sources, enhancements to both Connect and Federate, and improved performance and deployment options, perhaps the most significant aspect of this is the integration with Microsoft. In particular, there is integration directly with SQL Server Integration Services with a wizard-driven plug-in (based on the automatic mapping of tables based on their names [where those make sense]) designed to take away the complexity of relational database access outside the SQL Server environment. Attunity plans to support non-relational data sources in a similar way in due course, and it also intends to implement support for SQL Server 2005, which is not yet available.