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Informix to map data plans

Informix will tomorrow map out its strategy for survival in the increasingly competitive data warehousing market.

The fierce turf battle in the database market is stretching into data warehousing territory.

Tomorrow, Informix Software will detail plans for future data warehouse initiatives, and will explain how it will integrate newly acquired Red Brick Systems into its product fold.

Vendors are working double time to tweak products and add functionality in an effort to capture the consumers' attention.

For companies like Informix and Sybase, it is vital to get to market quickly with a substantial data warehousing products as their database businesses slip againstOracle, Microsoft, and IBM.

While Informix' business has been on an upswing lately, it is rolling out tomorrow a number of new features and products for the data warehouse market as it continues to make a stand in the niche market. Informix is also laying out its plans for the pending acquisition of Red Brick, announced earlier this month.

"Informix is serving notice that we are serious about being the best data warehouse company in the industry," said Bob Walters, vice president of business development for Informix' data warehousing division. "Proof of our commitment is demonstrated through our solid installed base of existing data warehouse customers, the competitive edge of our decision frontier [product] suite, our anticipated acquisition of Red Brick Systems - and now these powerful new additions in products and services."

The additions include the Informix Decision Frontier product suite. It is to contain analytic applications from Seagate Software and a new version of Informix MetaCube, a relational online analytical processing (ROLAP) option that is designed to allow users to connect to Oracle databases so users can pull data for analysis from disparate systems. It also comes with Informix' Dynamic database server; data extraction, transformation, and loading tool InfoMover, and Seagate's Crystal Info enterprise reporting and distribution tool.

Informix is also expanding its consulting services, a lucrative and cash rich revenue stream for companies. The new service is called the Decision FastStart Program for "advanced enterprise resource analysis." It is a program designed to let users quickly set up a data warehouse and connect it to legacy systems, enterprise resource planning systems, and other data sources.

The program includes the Decision Frontier product family, data mart templates and supporting extract and load programs, a data movement architecture and complementary consulting services.

The analytic applications are expected to be available in the first half of 1999. The services program will be generally available for users of the Baan ERP application suite by year-end. Decision FastStart programs for other ERP vendors and additional applications such as customer relationship management are to be announced next year.