IBM's New MDM Server Eases Data Integration

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In July, I interviewed Karen Leightell, the senior product manager for IBM's Master Data Management Solution Group, about what master data management can and cannot accomplish. During the Q&A, she alluded to an "upcoming" IBM announcement, suggesting Big Blue had big plans for integrating these separate solutions in the future -- possibly in October, she promised.


In particular, she mentioned something called multiform MDM, which sounded like it would bring some cross functionality to the two types of master data management solutions: customer data integration MDM and product information MDM.


Leightell kept her word. Yesterday, IBM unleashed a slew of announcements, including beta testing on a Master Data Management Server based on -- what else? - SOA.


And, as Leightell hinted, it will manage master data concerning customers, accounts and products. IBM calls this multiform master data management. In fact, according to IBM's press release, it's the first product to give you the key data on customers, products and accounts on one platform. And on SOA.


Pretty cool, right?


The Master Data Management Server doesn't fully integrate the two types of MDM, but it does add more cross-functionality. Essentially, it's a customer data integration solution, with all the functionality of IBM's WebSphere Customer Center.


If you're not familiar with MDM -- and since it's primarily the domain of big corporations, you might not need to be at this time -- it's basically a system of record for critical data. It's not meant to be a big data mart, holding everything, according to Leightell. Generally, companies start with the most critical data and build data domains from there.


The MDM Server is being offered as a beta. General availability is expected in early 2008.


Since the MDM Server incorporates all the capabilities of the WebSphere Customer Center, and then some, it will replace the WebSphere Customer Center.


IBM also made several other data integration announcements. For more information, check out Network World and Datamation's coverage.