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Informatica extends data management tool

The business software company aims to improve integration with other systems by supporting standards, including Web services.

Business software company Informatica is set to release an update to its data management software later this year that it says will improve overall performance and connectivity with other systems.

Informatica on Monday announced the details of PowerCenter 7, an update to the company's flagship product for moving and formatting corporate information into "data warehouses" for analyzing company operations. Informatica said the latest edition of PowerCenter will be available later in the fourth quarter this year, starting at $200,000.

Informatica competes with data management companies, including Ascential, as well as so-called business intelligence companies that make tools for viewing and analyzing data, such as Cognos and Business Objects. Informatica makes the bulk of its nearly $200 million in annual revenue from its PowerCenter data management software but also sells PowerAnalyzer, a front-end business intelligence tool.

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With the PowerCenter update, Informatica will rework its integration software to share information via Web services standards and other standards for data management. The software will support Web services and the Object Management Group's Common Warehouse Metamodel, which Informatica executives said will make it easier to move information in and out databases and view stored information.

PowerCenter 7 will introduce load-balancing software that's designed to move the processing of complex data queries to other PowerCenter network servers in order to improve performance. The new version will also authenticate end-user access via Lightweight Directory Access Protocol directories and allow larger teams of developers to work on data warehousing projects.

In the next major release of PowerCenter, code-named Hercules, Informatica intends to further simplify the process of building a data warehouse, said Sanjay Poonen, the company's senior vice president of worldwide marketing. Hercules, due by mid-2004, will introduce a model-driven approach that's intended to accelerate application development, the company said. It will also improve analytics and auditing by tightening integration of data between Informatica's front-end analytical tools and its back-end data warehouses, Poonen said.