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iWay, the Information Builders subsidiary, has introduced an EIM (enterprise information management) offering. Since the term EIM may not necessarily be clear I had better explain that this is a platform-based approach that spans data integration, data quality and master data management. It also has some interesting wrinkles that are not available from other vendors, which I will come back to.
iWay has for some time offered an ETL (extract, transform and load) capability including B2B capabilities for things like converting EDI, HL7 or SWIFT messages so I will not go into these except to say that these are built on top of the company’s Integration Server and which leverages the company’s extensive range of connectors. The new EIM capabilities are also based upon this platform. It is, however, worth noting that Integration Server is itself based upon the company’s ESB (enterprise service bus). This is important because this ESB, unlike a number of others, is agnostic. That is, you can use it in conjunction with other messaging products as well as SOAP, FTP and so on.
In so far as the new EIM facilities being introduced, there are three of these: of which the first two are iWay Data Quality Center, which includes profiling, cleansing/matching, enrichment and all the other sorts of facilities that you might expect; and iWay Master Data Center, which includes support for both registry and hub-based approaches to MDM (master data management). In fact both of these are formal OEM’d versions of Ataccama’s products of the same name (iWay has licensed the source code) but iWay has extended them: for example, by providing a Japanese translation. It is also, in effect, providing a distribution channel for Ataccama, which is a Czech company that has done well in Eastern Europe but which has little presence elsewhere.
Both of these products have been embedded into the Integration Server so that they can operate in real-time as well as offering batch services and anything in-between. Further, they can work in conjunction with the company’s existing offerings such as the B2B software, so that they can be used to validate EDI documents (for example) in flight or to enrich transactional data in a similar fashion.
The third part of this EIM release is iWay Enable. This is a CEP (complex event processing) engine. It too has been embedded within the Integration Server and acts as an extension to the company’s Service Manager. This is quite important as it means that you can do things like business activity monitoring, performance management and data quality monitoring without having to land the data into a database. This in turn means that you can detect event-level exceptions in real-time without delay.
I have to say that I like this approach. Not just in terms of the CEP engine but also the whole idea of embedding capabilities into an ESB. In effect, this is a turn-around from traditional approaches. Other vendors in this space primarily started as batch vendors and now offer real-time or near-real-time extensions but they are still basically batch products. iWay, on the other hand, has designed its EIM to target real-time requirements and, yes, it can do batch too. Companies whose primary requirements are for real-time processing could do worse than to take a good look at iWay EIM.