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Software companies hope standard helps joint operation

A group of leading software companies pushes a new standard that would help businesses integrate e-commerce systems and exchange data.

A group of leading software companies is pushing a new standard that would help businesses integrate e-commerce systems and exchange data.

Oracle, Unisys, IBM, NCR, and Hyperion today announced the submission of the common warehouse metadata interchange (CWMI) standard to the Object Management Group (OMG), an industry consortium.

Currently, the many software products used to create data warehouses and e-commerce systems are based on proprietary data formats, which often prevent information sharing between products and hampers access to data needed to make business decisions, the companies proposing the standard argue.

The proposed standard, CWMI, defines a data format for all data warehouse and business intelligence products. By cutting both the software compatibility testing time and the costs associated with standard warehouse implementations, the CWMI standard ensures that mission-critical data required for business decision-making can be shared among all internal systems, supporters of the standard claim.

The CWMI standard is a submission that follows the creation of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) by the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) and XML Metadata Interchange (XMI) by the OMG.

"This is important because it's a mess out there and we now have some major players trying to clean up the muck," said Auron Zornes, an analyst with Meta Group.

Standards that address the metadata interchange issue--such as the ones submitted by Oracle, Unisys, IBM, and Hyperion--will greatly help companies which are executing data warehousing, e-business, and knowledge management implementations, said Zornes.

Microsoft has also been attempting to rally companies around a data warehousing standard based on its Component Object Model (COM) technology. Many data warehousing software firms have announced support for Microsoft's standard.