IBM gets Unicorn to add semantic metadata management

The Big Players (IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft) are progressively putting more of their investments in the once small industry of business intelligence and data management.

IBM just acquired Unicorn, their 18th acquisition since 2001 that are related to data management and BI. This is just to prove the point that the big players are slowly materializing their roadmap to better position their companies to have an end to end solution in data management and process.

IBM in their press release gave a nice definition of what metadata means:

Businesses need to take steps to understand the nature of their systems, processes and information sources - their structures, functions, meanings and interdependencies. This information about systems, processes and information - known as metadata - is critical to key business and technical initiatives.

Metadata is a base requirement of any SOA project. A Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), is a style of systems architecture that breaks down business applications into individual functions called services that can be mixed, matched, and reused to address various business problems. Metadata makes it easier to share services because it enables all parties to understand the meaning, structure and lineage of the information or processes being shared.


Even though they already have a metadata management tool when their acquired Ascential Metastage, this is still a good acquisition for IBM. In the last 2004 Gartner Metadata Quadrant, Unicorn was in the visionary quadrant. Ascential Metastage in that same report was not even in the quadrant because it is still limited compared with other enterprise class tools in that category.

Having the technology of Unicorn in the IBM means better positioning for their Websphere II (Information Integrator) 2007 Edition. This technology will better position WII for better handling semantic metadata management in the future releases.

Gilbert on Wednesday, May 17, 2006

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