Informatica updates data management roadmap

Data management and data quality vendor Informatica will release new versions of its software platform next year which will focus on user interface improvements, and on making its applications more accessible to business users.

Informatica plans to release version 9 of its software around June 2009. According to Girish Pancha, executive vice president and general manager of Informatica's data integration business unit, the next release will focus on tools to extend the reach of data management, while the 8.6 release, slated for later this month, concentrates on creating a unified data management and data quality platform.

"On the tools side, we plan to focus on expanding the capabilities [of Informatica], especially on roles we feel have been under-served," Pancha said. "This tends to be around newer roles such as data stewards or data analysts."

The intention, he said, is to help new users to access Informatica's capabilities, partially through the use of "rich net clients". Search-style functionality for drilling down into data sets will help occasional users of the platform to access its capabilities.

Informatica will also move towards a "business glossary" that will also make it easier to run data queries. "We will convert common components to business activities by using a business glossary that can serve up simple information that is enterprise-specicfic," explained Pancha. The aim is to make running data management queries as accessible as using web sites such as Wikipedia. "It will be search, rather than natural language questions, however."

Informatica has already developed a Data Quality Assistant, designed for users that need occasional access to data quality tools but who do not want to install a dedicated data quality application. The assistant will work with new data quality metrics and reporting tools that are also part of the 8.6 release of the core Informatica platform.

The tools are designed to open up Informatica's capabilities to business domain experts, rather than dedicated data management specialists and developers in IT departments, said Informatica senior vice president Ivan Chong.