Ipdeo on Monday launched XIP 4.0 (Extensible Information Platform) and described it as a "dual-core" EII offering that works with both SQL and the emerging XQuery querying languages.
New to Version 4.0 are support for Business Objects XI and Crystal Reports XI, a visual rules GUI, Web services publishing, and the dual querying engines.
Integration with Business Objects and Crystal Reports BI tools enables data federated by Ipedo to be available in reports. "Ipedo looks like one big database, so Business Objects users can point to a number of data sources," said Tim Matthews, Ipedo co-founder and vice president of marketing.
The visual GUI helps users create rules based on data values, such as the ability to send alerts or invoke more detailed analysis when appropriate.
XIP 4.0 enables developers to publish views of data as Web services, which the company claims allows organizations to leverage EII within a SOA (service-oriented architecture.)
Wayne Kernochan, president of research firm Infostructure Associates, said that his research shows EII is being used with multiple technologies, such as BI, enterprise reporting, and within portals.
"EII and Web services are natural complements because a Web service gives access from many applications to one interface, and EII gives access from one interface to many back-end data stores," Kernochan said. "So if you build an SOA using EII, you potentially doubly simplify your programming task and your architecture. This is true for Ipedo and other EII vendors."
Those other EII vendors include IBM, Composite Software, MetaMatrix, and Callixa. The main differentiating point for Ipedo, however, is the dual-core querying engines.
The company borrowed the term "dual-core" from chip makers, but applied it to the XIP enterprise information integration platform, according to Matthews, claiming "we're the first with a dual-core of XQuery and SQL. …We've solved the hard problem first with XQuery. But for companies that use SQL, our software lets them process queries in SQL."
While most, if not all large enterprises, use SQL, XQuery is not yet as widespread.
"I see little interest in XQuery at this time in terms of immediate deployment plans. Customers want to know it's in the roadmap of the vendor, but very few want to work with it today," said Ted Friedman, a Gartner analyst.
Most vendors in the EII space do not have XQuery capabilities yet, but are expected to add that functionality in the immediate future, according to Philip Howard, an analyst with Bloor Research.
"Everybody that does XML is jumping onto XQuery -- not just in EII but in databases as well," Howard said. "Ipedo may have a temporary lead but it is no more than that."
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