RESEARCH & RESOURCES

Next Generation Data Integration

Next Generation Data Integration

April 1, 2011

Data integration (DI) has undergone an impressive evolution in recent years. Today, DI is a rich set of powerful techniques, including ETL (extract, transform, and load), data federation, replication, synchronization, changed data capture, data quality, master data management, natural language processing, business-to-business data exchange, and more. Furthermore, vendor products for DI have achieved maturity, users have grown their DI teams to epic proportions, competency centers regularly staff DI work, new best practices continue to arise, and DI as a discipline has earned its autonomy from related practices such as data warehousing and database administration.

To help user organizations understand and embrace all that next generation data integration (NGDI) now offers, this report catalogs and prioritizes the many new options for DI. This report literally redefines data integration, showing that its newest generation is an amalgam of old and new techniques, best practices, organizational approaches, and home-grown or vendor-built functionality. The report brings readers up to date by discussing relatively recent (and ongoing) evolutions of DI that make it more agile, architected, collaborative, operational, real-time, and scalable. The report also quantifies trends among DI users who are moving into a new generation, and it provides an overview of representative vendors’ DI tools.

The goal is to help users make informed decisions about which combinations of DI options match their business and technology requirements for the next generation. But the report also raises the bar on DI, under the assumption that a truly sophisticated and powerful DI solution will leverage DI’s modern best practices using up-to-date tools.

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