August 18, 2008 14:00 ET

New IBM Software Eases Data Integration and Master Data Management Challenges

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - August 18, 2008) - Today at the TDWI World Conference, IBM (NYSE: IBM) introduced new versions of two software products, part of its growing InfoSphere portfolio, that deliver information on demand to the people, processes and applications that rely on it. The new products help customers create and manage trusted information from across their enterprises to improve business performance.

IBM is introducing a new version of its IBM master data management software. The company is also releasing a new version of IBM InfoSphere Information Server, which allows customers to standardize and resolve multicultural name data. In addition, IBM is offering enhanced globalization, extended mainframe support, and improved ease-of-use with new automation features to simplify and speed large-scale information integration projects across the globe.

Getting a Grip on Product Information

Master data management is a top priority for many companies as they try to get control over their data -- their most valued and often most underused asset. While master data -- which includes high-value information on customers, products, suppliers, partners, materials, and employees -- is critical for running a business, it is typically scattered across multiple front and back-office systems and cannot be easily shared across an enterprise.

IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management Server for Product Information Management (MDM Server for PIM) helps companies turn product information into a strategic business asset. The new version of the software, previously known as IBM WebSphere Product Center, allows customers to maintain a single view of product information for use throughout an organization as part of a comprehensive master data management strategy. The software is capable of managing millions of products, including product data that differs by geographic location.

The new release of MDM Server for PIM provides several significant enhancements that make it simpler to deploy and use. An improved user interface makes it easier for users to interact with product information. The software is also now integrated with InfoSphere Information Server so that customers can take advantage of that product's data cleansing capabilities to improve the quality of information managed by InfoSphere MDM Server for PIM. In addition, improvements to the underlying technology -- including use of the JAVA application protocol interface and easy integration with enterprise solutions based on a service-oriented architecture -- make MDM Server for PIM faster to roll out.

Expanded Global Data and Project Support for InfoSphere Information Server

To help businesses make more insightful decisions and serve customers more effectively, IBM is adding its proven multicultural name resolution technology, now called InfoSphere Global Name Recognition as a module of the InfoSphere Information Server platform. This combination will help businesses use Information Server to derive more information from multicultural names and improve name matching using SOA enabled interfaces to connect to name data across an enterprise. InfoSphere Global Name Recognition uses sophisticated linguistics analysis gleaned from more than a billion names from around the world, to help organizations better identify and understand multicultural names. This added module, as well as InfoSphere Information Server's expanded global address verification support for more than 244 countries, provides organizations with market-leading capabilities for dealing with multicultural names and addresses.

For example, Information Server can be used by banks, manufacturers or retailers to support "Know Your Customer" efforts using global name recognition, allowing them to counter fraudulent activities, offer better customer service, and better understand their customer base from around the world.

Information Server now features extended global support for eight languages, including French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, simplified and traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean, allowing developers to work with tools, documentation, online help, and error messages in their native languages.

In addition, enhanced support for grid deployment is included, allowing organizations to more easily manage and ensure service level agreements within Information Server when deployed across large server farms.

Expanded SOA and Grid Support for InfoSphere Information Server

To help clients share information across SOA projects, the new version of InfoSphere Information Server allows reusable services to be easily published for data access and data processing functions. It also includes advanced security features supporting Web services standards, support for Web 2.0 services using REST and RSS standards, as well as support for direct service publishing from Oracle databases, InfoSphere Master Data Management Server and mainframe data sources. It also automates integration tasks, helping business and IT teams collaborate more effectively and speeding project development.

Support for grid environments has been enhanced, providing new automated tools for managing and optimizing Information Server when it is deployed across large-scale server farms.

InfoSphere Information Integration Software for the Mainframe

Enhancements to IBM InfoSphere Classic Replication Sever include stand alone replication capabilities for a subset of mainframe data sources to ensure high availability of critical information and to offload query processing to a secondary environment for better system performance.

Also announced today, IBM InfoSphere Classic Data Event Publisher provides a new, file-based interface to InfoSphere Information Server in addition to the existing IBM WebSphere MQ interface for changed-data delivery. Enhancements enable lower latency capture of source data and ensure replication accuracy.

InfoSphere Classic Replication Server, InfoSphere Classic Data Event Publisher and IBM InfoSphere Classic Federation Server each provide a new, direct graphical user interface to easily view and alter mainframe configuration settings. They include tooling extensions to help automate creation of metadata and extend visual metadata to more complex scenarios.

IBM InfoSphere software is available worldwide through IBM and IBM Business Partners.

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