4 February 2003 IBM will today unveil a beta release of Xperanto, its long-awaited XML-based federated database management system that will enable users to query multiple databases, regardless of where the data is located.
The various tools and products that make up Xperanto will be rolled out throughout the first half of the year. A version offering full support for Xquery will not appear until 2004 when the Xquery standards should have been firmed-up.
Xquery is an XML query language designed for interrogating disparate data sources.
IBM’s Xperanto technology will enable customer relationship management software at call centres, for example, to pull together a wider variety of data relevant to a particular customer. Not just information from a customer database, but also unstructured data from other, previously unrelated systems.
“Our strategy is to leave that information where it is and provide a layer that [uses] standard SQL access,” Janet Perna, general manager of IBM Software’s data management group, told Computer Reseller News.
Xperanto will underpin IBM’s on-demand utility computing initiative by helping to tie together various disparate legacy databases in use in many organisations. It will also help the company to sell its database software into accounts controlled by its rivals.
They, particularly Microsoft and Oracle, are promising similar federated database products, although analysts suggest that their offerings will be centred around their own products. In addition, Xperanto will also compete with BEA Systems’ Liquid Data and products from Enosys, MetaMatrix and Nimble.