Denodo Enhances Data Mashup Platform

Denodo Technologies this week released the latest version of its flagship platform to create enterprise "data mashups." The Palo Alto, CA-based enterprise software maker is billing the release as "the industry's only unified data integration platform."

The Denodo Platform is designed to access, extract, and merge data across any digital source.

"Enterprise data mashups use the innovativeness of mashups, which are about bringing disparate types of information together to create data services for SOAs that can be leveraged across the enterprise in traditional applications, new custom applications, or in composite applications," said Suresh Chandrasekaran, Denodo's vice president of marketing. "We are very much an infrastructure layer in an enterprise. The platform builds relevance across structured, unstructured, and Web data sources to allow organizations to combine and query data sources in ways that were not possible before."

The Denodo Platform is used to integrate data across application and organizational silos for federated data views. It allows users to extract information from the Web to feed other business applications, to structure unstructured and semi-structured data and semantically relate them to enterprise repositories and applications. It also helps to create and manage automated Web processes to provide a more agile approach to application and B2B integration.

The platform is also billed as a tool for constructing new business applications that integrate Web and enterprise data with business processes, which is Denodo's definition of an enterprise data mashup.

"Mashup" has emerged as the buzzword of the Web 2.0 world. However, as an enterprise trend, these lightweight, strategic Web apps that combine content from more than one source have yet to gain any real traction, said Anthony Bradley, research director on the applications architecture team at Gartner.

"There's really no such thing as a 'data mashup,'" Bradley said. "'Mashup' is the term du jour. This is about companies jumping on a term bandwagon. What Denodo is offering is data integration."

Gartner uses three criteria to define an enterprise mashup, Bradley explained:

  1. All of the data is externally sourced (you pull info into your application from Google Maps, for example);
  2. The technologies are Web-based (HTTP, JASON, RSS, XML, ADAM, etc.), resulting in a browser-based application; and
  3. The mashup application is a composite application, such that the source applications are readily apparent (you can look at the mashup and see that you're using info from Google Maps).

"That gets away from data integration, where you're normalizing or distilling everything," Bradley said.

Companies like Nexaweb, JackBe, and Serena are defined by the analysts at Gartner as providers of enterprise mashup platforms because they provide technologies for actually building mashups. But Denodo falls into a Gartner category called "mashup enabler," which defines products that provide data that is "mashable." Kapow Technologies and Dapper also fall into this category, Bradley said.

"That's the beauty of Denodo," he said. "They can take a variety of data sources within your organization and expose it as something that's mashable. And they have a very broad range. They can go into SQL stores, into structured and unstructured data sources, and out to the Web, and make these enterprise information sources mashable, so that your developers can build widgets based on this information. And that's key."

Whatever its definition, Denodo's product is providing what Bloor senior analyst David Norfolk agrees is key functionality in enterprise environments.

"The facilities provided by platforms such as Denodo are necessary to ensure that there's an adequate level of governance applied to mashups (through automatic maintenance if the underlying resources change, for example) without compromising the agility, which drove the use of mashups in the first place," Norfolk said in a statement.

The product was originally launched in 1999, and this release of the Denodo Platform is version 4.1. Denodo has added functionality in several areas, said Chandrasekaran, including support for interacting with Web 2.0 and end-user mashups (REST, Web services and AJAX), "intelligent automation" of Web extraction processes using automatic scanners, and performance and scalability enhancements for handling data for complex enterprise data mashups and social networking applications.

Denodo Platform 4.1 is available now. A trial version is available for download from the Denodo Web site.

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