Oracle may have just moved from a data-integration challenger to contend as leader this week with the release of Oracle Data Integration Suite.
There isn't much buzz yet about the announcement. You'll find tons of news articles if you do a search, but let me save you some time: They're almost all the same article, written by IDG correspondent Chris Kanaracus.
Here's the basics: Oracle's $60,000-per-CPU suite is a middleware solution, which merges traditional data-integration functions with service-oriented architecture tools. It bundles Oracle's Data Integrator, a BI/data-warehouse solution with master-data-management capabilities, with the Oracle/Hyperion Data Relationship Manager and Oracle's BPEL Process Manager.
You also get an ESB, (which are practically free with every Happy Meal these days), a business-to-business engine and a business-rules engine, according to the Kanaracus article. Non-standard add-ons are Oracle Data Quality for Data Integrator, Oracle Data Profiling, Oracle's Coherence Data Grid and various adapters. Tag, title and tax not included.
OK, so what does all that mean?
Vincent McBurney at IT Toolbox had this to say:
...a very interesting data integration suite from Oracle - the first vendor to put a business rules engine into a core data integration suite offering.
He compares each component to similar products from IBM and Informatica. Ultimately, he points out, Oracle's success will boil down to how well the components actually work together.
While Kanaracus focused on how acquisitions contributed to the new suite, SearchOracle at TechTarget took a close look at how the suite handles data governance and integration in an SOA. And, not surprisingly for company known for its databases, that's a key part of why Oracle's Data Integration Suite is an intriguing offering.
In effect, Oracle is offering a middleware solution that offers SOA-based business-process management and change management and tying that to master-data management capabilities, which is where the Oracle/Hyperion Data Relationship Manager tool comes into play.
Forrester Research analyst Ray Wang told SearchOracle:
"What Oracle is trying to say is that in order for SOA to be successful, you need to have MDM in place. You also need to have the business processes and you also need to have some of the semantic rules built into all of that."
Could this be the solution to SOA's data dilemmas? Stay tuned.
Oracle also promises its solution will work in a heterogeneous environment, with support for IBM DB2, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Teradata and Oracle. As Kanaracus' article notes, this is significant, since SOA capabilities in a heterogeneous environment has been one of IBM's marketing tactics.
Obviously, Forrester and McBurney see this as a significant new offering. I'm curious to see what others say.
Last year, Gartner named Oracle a data-integration challenger and IBM a leader in its Data Integration Tools Magic Quadrant. I suspect this more robust offering may reposition Oracle in 2008.