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Also posted on: The IM Blog
As usual with any major vendor conference there are various new product releases and announcements. The most interesting from Informatica World are the release of new Informatica PowerCenter Express Editions and the introduction of Vibe.
The Express Editions are for one and up to five developers respectively with the former being free and the latter inexpensive. Informatica doesn’t necessarily expect to get rich from this though a reasonable revenue stream is certainly plausible. However, it will be interesting to see how successful this is. While I certainly think it makes sense for Informatica to move downmarket the problem is that PowerCenter is perceived to be an expensive, sophisticated tool that is relatively complex. That may not be true in reality but I think that’s how the non-cognoscenti view Informatica. In which case, I’m not sure that PowerCenter is what you would first think of as a freemium product that you wanted to try out – wouldn’t you first go for something open source? As I say, it will be interesting to see how this pans out.
Vibe is an altogether different kettle of fish. It isn’t actually a product or, at least, it’s not a product yet. Vibe is the engine that underpins PowerCenter as well as a number of other Informatica products and it is what allows you to construct a mapping and then deploy that on the platform of your choice without the developer having to know anything about that platform. Thus Vibe, for example, is the secret sauce that has allowed Informatica to move quickly and easily to Hadoop support.
Now, Vibe has been the underpinning of PowerCenter since the last century but Informatica hasn’t made much noise about it. But that’s changing: rather like a “powered by Intel” marketing campaign. The company is doing this both to emphasise Vibe as a differentiator and also because it plans to expand Vibe’s availability to OEMs and others who might want to embed such an engine in their own products. Indeed, Vibe has already made its way into some cloud applications via OEM relationships, and the roadmap calls for Vibe to eventually be embedded into devices and sensors as the Internet of Things matures. Moving forward, I think that’s an interesting possibility and I shall look forward to seeing what use cases emerge.