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SuperGlue software makes audits less sticky

The product, from data management software company Informatica, is designed to simplify the tracking of corporate information for compliance with accounting regulations.

Data management software company Informatica on Monday will release a product designed to simplify the process of tracking corporate information for regulatory compliance and accounting audits.

The software, called SuperGlue, helps businesses track the origin of data in business applications. For example, a company could use the application to find how a number on a spreadsheet was derived or to view the documentation used in a drug discovery process.

Redwood City, Calif.-based Informatica is aiming the product at companies that need to adhere to a new wave of regulations, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which sprang up in the wake of accounting scandals at Enron and WorldCom.

The more stringent regulations, which are designed to better document corporate accounting, require companies to alter their systems and data management processes, according to analysts.

Informatica constructed SuperGlue from its existing data integration and access products. The application automatically compiles information about data--called "metadata"--and filters that metadata into a single database.

Keeping a repository of metadata will simplify the task of performing audits or reviewing business processes based on data pulled from many sources, said Sanjay Poonen, worldwide vice president of marketing at Informatica.

"This is like the FedEx package tracking system for data," he said. "The challenge with data about data has always been tracking the dependencies."

SuperGlue includes a tool for building a visual representation of how data originated. It can also generate reports based on the metadata. The tools can be customized to match the processes of individual companies.

Informatica competes with companies in the business intelligence market, an area which has seen an upswing of merger and acquisition activity. Informatica competitor Business Objects acquired Crystal Decisions, and Hyperion purchased business intelligence software company Brio Software last month. Also, data management company Ascential Software purchased Mercator Software earlier this month.