Kalido gets a competitor

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Kalido essentially markets two products: its MDM solution, for which it has a number of competitors, and its data warehousing solution for which, it has not, historically, had any competition. However, that is no longer the case.

The main issue that Kalido addresses and that is not resolved by other data warehouse solutions is that of supporting change. Conventionally, when the business model changes, for example when your organisation takes over another company, or when there is internal restructuring, then the data warehouse has to be re-organised, a process that is often time consuming and complex. The aim of Kalido is to enable changes to the business model without impacting on the data warehouse in this way. Another major emphasis is on very rapid implementation of the data warehouse.

Kalido provides a pre-defined data warehouse that uses a metadata mapping layer to relate business requirements to the physical schema. The metadata repository is the heart of the system, providing the necessary adaptability that enables alteration of the use of the physical data warehouse instantly, thus contributing to overall business flexibility. The metadata represents not just the current business mapping, but also every historical version, so that no historical information is lost when a change is implemented.

The way that Kalido manages to achieve this flexibility is by using a method of data modelling that treats information as belonging to one of three categories, either as business context data, transaction data or as metadata, where the last of these is used to describe the other two via business rules and other mechanisms.

So, Kalido’s unique selling feature was this isolation from change. But no more. Further, the downside of this capability was that because Kalido was the only company in the market that could offer this sort of functionality then it could charge commensurately.

What has changed is that there is now a Dutch company called BIReady that is offering comparable capability at a much lower price point. BIReady describes its approach as model-driven data warehousing and the basic principle is that you define an ER (entity-relationship) business model from which you generate views into the data as well as staging tables and then, from these, a black box (which is really the only place where there is any architectural difference from Kalido) generates data warehouse and data mart tables along with DDL, process instructions and mappings. In short, you design, generate and populate your warehouse or mart directly from your business model.

Of course there is a bunch of other stuff but the nub of the matter has been described: similar functionality at a much lower price point. Of course, there are limitations: BIReady, for example, only works with Oracle and SQL Server whereas Kalido also works with DB2. Moreover, BIReady is relatively small and unknown—however, to counter this, the company will provide a proof of concept to demonstrate its capabilities. It is certainly worth consideration.