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Venetica bridges Notes, DB2 data

IBM's 2004 purchase of Venetica will interest some Lotus shops. Venetica's middleware can connect apps to digital assets that are stored in Lotus Notes.

Venetica's middleware offering provides a link to digital assets that are stored in Lotus Notes. Documentum, FileNet, Hummingbird, Interwoven, Open Text and Stellent are among the other data repositories that the Venetica software also supports.

"This is a middleware product that lets you work with content from different sources as if it is all one system," said Eric Sall, formerly of both Lotus and Venetica, and now program director for IBM Information Integration Marketing division. "But it is virtualized content," Sall continued.

"It gives you a single bi-directional system. It talks to content management systems like Notes Domino," said Sall, who likened the software to federated search and data management systems.

Sall noted that there has been a lot of interest from the Notes community because "what we are helping people deal with are the silos of contents within their organizations." The integration software provides developers with a metadata view of their various data stores.

Such views can be useful to teams that have inherited applications through merger, acquisition or organizational evolution. The meta view makes data mapping more practical for more developers, Sall said. This is key because it can be difficult to get a quick handle on what these orphaned data stores are all about. This has been as true, for example, in the Domino Notes space.

For years, Notes has been empowering for small teams, Sall indicated. But that can have drawbacks when data rollups are required. Said Sall: "Notes encouraged departments and individuals to create their own applications or databases. You ended up with lots of silos of content."

Now, when Notes applications are leveraged for such things as online customer service, information must be gathered from many different places in the organization, and the data can adhere to many different data schemes. Thus, the industry sees IBM and others using middleware bridges to "normalize" data.

In the wake of the Venetica acquisition, IBM moved late last year to integrate Venetica's business operations and employees into the IBM Data Management Solutions division under general manager Janet Perna. The Venetica VeniceBridge product became part of IBM's DB2 Information Integrator family of products, which includes WebSphere Business Integration and IBM's Lotus Workplace platform.

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