As Published In
Oracle Magazine
May/June 2008

AT ORACLE: Interview


Data Integration as a Service

By Jeff Erickson

Manage data integration as part of an SOA with Oracle Data Integration Suite.

Integrating data across multiple tiers just got a lot easier. The new Oracle Data Integration Suite provides a comprehensive, open standards-based integration platform that connects heterogeneous datasources and applications.

Jeff Pollock, senior director of product management for Oracle Data Integration, sat down with Oracle Magazine's Jeff Erickson to discuss the new suite. The following is an excerpt from that interview. Download a podcast of the full interview at oracle.com/magcasts.

Oracle Magazine: What does the new suite mean for our customers' service-oriented architecture (SOA) implementations?

Pollock: Oracle is bringing to market a converged infrastructure for managing process, message, and data integration. It wasn't so long ago that our customers had to go to different vendors for each of these solutions. We're pulling them into a common infrastructure to lower their cost of ownership, and enabling customers to do new things with their SOA infrastructures. They will be able to execute things like data integration jobs; extract, transform, and load (ETL); business intelligence; and data loading directly from the SOA tier. No other vendor can claim that.

Oracle Magazine: What technologies make up the new Oracle Data Integration Suite?

Pollock: The suite includes Oracle Data Integrator, which is the ETL and data integration component; Oracle's Hyperion Data Relationship Manager, which is the master data management (MDM) component; Oracle Enterprise Service Bus from Oracle SOA Suite; and Oracle BPEL Process Manager, which is the process orchestration component.

Oracle Magazine: How does Oracle Data Integrator address customer needs?

Pollock: Traditionally, people thought of their data management infrastructure as completely separate from their SOA. But as SOA becomes more prevalent in our customers' infrastructure, we see a common desire to control, manage, and negotiate the data integration components as part of the SOA infrastructure.

Our customers often move hundreds of megabytes or even gigabytes of data through an XML format, so it makes sense to transform that data with a data integration tool like Oracle Data Integrator, because it can do it much faster than customized programming in Java.

We also see the need to manage database loading and replication and application migrations as part of the SOA tier. Oracle Data Integrator provides all of these capabilities and data services directly within an SOA component. So you can begin to think of data integration or ETL as just another SOA service.

Oracle Magazine: What other capabilities does the suite provide our customers?

Pollock: Oracle Data Integration Suite provides a single platform to support the whole range of data delivery styles our customers need, including real-time milli-second response times, enterprise application integration or SOA message-based distribution, and bulk delivery.

Having a single infrastructure to support these different data delivery styles is really crucial for Oracle customers, because typically they would have had to purchase software from multiple vendors.

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Another aspect that's important is the MDM capability. Our customers need to manage common reference data across these various data distribution channels. A common MDM infrastructure will ensure that the highest-quality data is used in all of those data flows.

Oracle Magazine: How does the suite help data administrators, architects, process modelers, or nontechnical business users?

Pollock: At the end of the day, nontechnical business users may never know that Oracle Data Integration Suite is there. What they will notice is higher-quality data at a fresher rate. The rest of the roles have different views into the suite and different tools to do their jobs. Now they are all tied together with the common workflow infrastructure.

That's the heart of what we're trying to do with this product: we've pulled together a range of the data management products and functions into a single unified offering that our customers can leverage in an easier way to meet their enterprisewide data integration needs.

 


Jeff Erickson is a senior editor with Oracle Publishing.


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