Data management, quality wares on way

Two data movement developers are on the move with new products that deliver e-commerce data management and new capabilities for metadata and data quality, respectively.Acta Technology Inc.

Two data movement developers are on the move with new products that deliver e-commerce data management and new capabilities for metadata and data quality, respectively.

Acta Technology Inc. unveiled this month software that enables companies to integrate data between back-office systems ande-commerce front ends. Separately, Ardent Software Inc. announced last week it has bundled its core DataStage data ETL (extraction, transformation and loading) tool into a suite that includes enhanced data quality and metadata management technology.

Acta introduced software to deliver back-office data to e-commerce applications through an architecture it calls e2e (enterprise data to e-business).

To perform change-data capture, hierarchy extraction, and error recovery and security, e2e uses an "ecache," a prebuilt data store with target schemata, source-to-target mappings and transformations. Acta is expected to ship a Customer Account Ecache next month, followed by others specific to inventory, purchase history, order history and other areas.

Acta also plans to ship this year Access Manager, a broker component that may be customized to help govern whether data is best pulled from a back-office system or from the much faster ecache.

Acta's ecache and Access Manager require the use of the company's ActaWorks ETL tool. Pricing was not disclosed.

DataStage takes center stage

For its part, Ardent introduced its Data Stage Suite, which consists of the core DataStage 3.6 ETL software, along with the new DataStage XE and DataStage En ter prise, both built on the DataStage tool.

DataStage XE provides a data quality component that enables organizations to ensure data consistency, such as customer names and addresses, among various data stores. DataStage XE also incorporates Ardent's technology for managing metadata among disparate systems, officials said.

DataStage Enterprise comprises all the DataStage XE functionality plus the capability to access legacy mainframe data.

DataStage XE's metadata management capabilities are being put to the test at MatchLogic Inc., which runs digital marketing campaigns for about 400 companies.

A key advantage is that Ardent has made its metadata manager compatible with many leading business intelligence packages, said Jack Garzella, director of database architecture at MatchLogic, in Westminster, Colo. DataStage XE will play a key role as MatchLogic hires a person to manage metadata in a warehousing environment involving multiple terabytes, Garzella said.

"The reason we're really driving toward metadata [management] is, because we're running so many clients' data at our site, changes to the transformation layer or to [the] database itself need to be broadcast out to the users so everybody's on the same page," he said. "We have to do that because we have so many different side effects with what's going on with the data."

Ardent officials said DataStage Suite, oriented for business intelligence, is the first phase in delivering what the company calls an "enterprise information infrastructure," providing integration of both structured and unstructured data via Extensible Markup Language.

DataStage Suite, available now, supports Windows NT, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX and Tru64. DataStage pricing begins at $47,000.

Acta, of Palo Alto, Calif., can be reached at (888) 613-3282 or Ardent, in Westboro, Mass., is at (508) 366-3888 or