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Dan Linstedt

Bill Inmon has given me this wonderful opportunity to blog on his behalf. I like to cover everything from DW2.0 to integration to data modeling, including ETL/ELT, SOA, Master Data Management, Unstructured Data, DW and BI. Currently I am working on ways to create dynamic data warehouses, push-button architectures, and automated generation of common data models. You can find me at Denver University where I participate on an academic advisory board for Masters Students in I.T. I can't wait to hear from you in the comments of my blog entries. Thank-you, and all the best; Dan Linstedt http://www.COBICC.com, danL@danLinstedt.com

About the author >

Cofounder of Genesee Academy, RapidACE, and BetterDataModel.com, Daniel Linstedt is an internationally known expert in data warehousing, business intelligence, analytics, very large data warehousing (VLDW), OLTP and performance and tuning. He has been the lead technical architect on enterprise-wide data warehouse projects and refinements for many Fortune 500 companies. Linstedt is an instructor of The Data Warehousing Institute and a featured speaker at industry events. He is a Certified DW2.0 Architect. He has worked with companies including: IBM, Informatica, Ipedo, X-Aware, Netezza, Microsoft, Oracle, Silver Creek Systems, and Teradata.  He is trained in SEI / CMMi Level 5, and is the inventor of The Matrix Methodology, and the Data Vault Data modeling architecture. He has built expert training courses, and trained hundreds of industry professionals, and is the voice of Bill Inmons' Blog on http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/linstedt/.

EII - aka; Enterprise Information Integration. Does it really have a chance to survive? or is it just another passing fad??

As an architecture it makes sense, a lot of sense - but then there's SOA - with a much larger view of the world, and lot more integration under the covers. So is EII just the technology to make SOA work? or is there something else going on here?

EII is an interesting topic, it get's a lot of buzz, both positive and negative in the industry. The vendors in this space today are new, and considered first generation (by their own accounts), but are rapidly racing to come up with generation two.

What I've seen so far is that EII as a niche player provides some value to the business, as long as the business wants to integrate "data now" across the organization, and is interested in an enterprise view (including outside or external data sources) of all their information. Where EII runs into limitations today is: write-back to source systems that meet ACID tests - overtaking the entire data warehousing effort, claiming "virtual warehouse".

I think that EII is an interesting category when it comes to replacing the ODS - and maybe the marketeers should be trumpeting: Virtual ODS, which if the ODS is built according to most standard definitions(not containing any history except transactional history - because its' reflected in most source systems), then EII can hold a candle to that. I think EII falls short in creating a virtual warehouse, that may be in the future - but for now, it just doesn't happen (for a variety of reasons).

As the EII vendors rush to generation two, the SOA "vendors" are gearing up with generation one. As I've stated before: the tools underneath SOA architecture and EII have a lot of overlap, and some EII vendors are actually tooling EII generation two to include SOA offerings (with web services, security, and compliance).

As with any technology, there's convergence in the market place. Convergence across EII, EAI, ETL, and web-services. SOA is the architectural icing on the cake.

EII is a technology to watch, and today - if you have a very specific question about your enterprise that needs data from many sources (but not history), then EII may solve the problem elegantly.


Posted July 27, 2005 6:58 PM
Permalink | 2 Comments |



Thanks for continuing your writing on EII. The market is young and needs this kind of discussion.

From our perspective, EII has two major market pulls: SOA and BI/Reporting. The use in SOA is more general "architectural synergy," as you allude to. The use in BI/Reporting is more specific, and has more to do with limiting data replication than with realtime access, per se.

I think the claim that lacking write back is limiting the market is a red herring, frankly. Many vendors, Ipedo included, already have it anyway. Fact is, most true EII apps are predominantly read-oriented.

On the last point, I fear lumping EAI, ETL and EII together will only confuse the market. I've heard this term "E3" and I can't see how it helps people understand the distinctions better.

FWIW, we've written in more detain on these points here on SOA/EII http://blogs.ipedo.com/the_eii_files/2005/06/the_eii_soa_con.html and here on BI/Reporting/EII http://blogs.ipedo.com/integration_insider/2005/07/what_eii_brings.html


I agree that the first generation of EII did not meet the enterprise needs. It was generally read-only but as the second generation is starting to rollout(BEA just announced their 2nd generation product) with the read/write ability to any data sources (JDBC, JCA, LDAP, Files, etc.) helps reduce the overall development cost for the enterprise, especially for the ones that adopt SOA.

Enterprises can now have a dedicated staff of data analysts/developers for creating the shared data services by leveraging the EII tools. These services shall consumed by the client applications and the developers of these client applications do not need to spend time and effort in understanding the data model of the source or developing these services.

The market is still in the initial stages and one of the major hurdles the EII tools need to overcome are the Data/Information Architects who are very much used to using ETL and having a difficult time understanding or making the transition to EII.

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