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IBM rolls out first Ascential product

Big Blue launched WebSphere DataStage TX 8.0 Thursday, its first major product based on tools obtained in the Ascential acquisition.

IBM unveiled WebSphere DataStage TX version 8.0 Thursday, a data integration suite and the first major Big Blue product based on tools obtained in the Ascential acquisition.

The suite will run on WebSphere and is used primarily for iSeries boxes running AIX and Linux, though it can also be deployed for the zSeries for batch, CICS and USS usage.

DataStage 8.0 is the initial release from Project Hawk, the initiative put in place to speed up the integration of Ascential products into Big Blue's existing information integration portfolio. In late April, IBM acquired Ascential Software Corp., a former partner and one of the leading vendors in data integration space. According to Jonathan Arsenault, IBM WebSphere product marketing director, DataStage doesn't make ugly data structures beautiful -- just easier to manage.

"We've provided tighter hooks to the data integration suite and are adding a lot more functionality around any type of data [DataStage] manages and transforms," Arsenault said.

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DataStage 8.0 includes enhanced development tools. IBM said the WebSphere DataStage TX Design Studio will allow users to build integration objects across applications, databases and systems without generating or having to manage code. It also includes a new integrated visual debugger and a page settings assistant for maps that will provide up to a 50% increase in developer productivity and a 90% jump in XML schema integration speed.

Another new feature is the WebSphere DataStage TX Industry Packs for industry-specific data integration. Designed for business analysis, the Industry Packs will enable users to integrate data from disparate sources and transform the data into a format that meets industry-specific standards for the Society for the Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and electronic data interchange. They can integrate data from enterprise applications from enterprise resource planning bigshots like SAP AG, Siebel Systems Inc., Oracle Corp., and PeopleSoft Inc.

"This new version helps solve data transformation problems quicker and easier than ever before by automating design tasks and reducing the time, risk and cost of implementing enterprise data on-demand," said Pete Fiore, vice president, information integration solutions, IBM in a statement.

IBM WebSphere DataStage TX version 8.0 and IBM WebSphere DataStage TX Industry Packs are available immediately from IBM.

Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Luke Meredith, News Writer

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