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Evoke Software Releases Axio Data Integration Product

Written By: M. Reed
Published On: June 27 2000

Evoke Software Releases Axio Data Integration Product
M. Reed - June 27, 2000

Event Summary

Evoke Software has created a new product based on their existing Migration Architect product. It will be known as Axio and is designed to provide rapid e-business integration with existing corporate operational systems, new e-commerce applications, customer relationship management, and/or data warehousing. Axio is designed to automatically discover information in corporate systems, find data quality issues between and within those systems, and identify inconsistencies. According to Evoke, the new product "significantly extends the data profiling and mapping capabilities of Migration Architect."

"The biggest issue for our Global 2000 customers is accelerating time-to-benefit for e-business initiatives. Cost is no longer the sole driving factor; it's how fast can a business 'webify' its back-end systems - making high quality data available to customers, suppliers, and vendors through new e-commerce applications, CRM systems or data warehouses," said Lacy Edwards, president and CEO of Evoke Software. "With the introduction of the Evoke Axio suite, Evoke Software is further delivering on its commitment to helping our customers meet the biggest challenges in e-business integration head-on."

According to Bryan Rae, Data Quality Manager for AT&T, "What's the business value of enabling our data for e-business? It's our existence. We're either in the game or out of it."

The Axio product modules include:

Evoke Axio: Analyzes and profiles existing data sources to discover content, structure, and quality, and then produces a fully normalized data model.

Design: Assists in the design of staging and target databases, and generates mappings and transformations.

Repository: Stores the information generated by the other modules.

Navigator: Graphical User Interface for access to the repository.

Source Profiler: Uses source code and sample data from corporate systems to prepare for import.

Import: Extracts data from relational, VSAM, and IMS data sources.

FTM: Fixed Target Mapping module, to map data sources to packaged systems, i.e., CRM and ERP, where the target schema can't be created with the Design module.

An XML module to structure XML transactions from corporate data is in development and expected in Q4 of 2000.

In meetings with TEC, we were impressed with Mr. Edwards' vision for the company and the direction the product is taking. Evoke is privately funded, and current customers include ABN AMRO Bank, Fleet Financial Group, General Motors, and Southwestern Bell (SBC/Pacific Bell).

Market Impact

The new aspects of the product, added to the existing Migration Architect product, are the Axio Navigator, a web based browser designed to assist in joint application development (JAD) sessions; and Axio FTM, the "Fixed Target Mapping" module, which assists in building data movement scenarios into database schemas which cannot be altered (e.g., PeopleSoft). In addition, Evoke will be teaming with Informatica to provide a more robust data movement and analytical applications suite.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the product is its ability to perform statistical scans of the data (as versus just the data dictionaries, COBOL copybooks, etc.), to determine the actual meaning of the information, column-by-column and row-by-row. The information is then stored in the Evoke Repository, with details about structure, content, and quality.

This is a significant differentiator from all the other metadata stores on the market (i.e., Computer Associates/Platinum Technology Repository or Viasoft/Rochade) because it allows the product to develop a "deeper understanding" of the actual data stored. This will greatly ease efforts to cleanse data and conform dimensions across disparate databases, and should provide Evoke with a significant leg up on the rest of the industry.

User Recommendations

Customers attempting to build consolidated systems from legacy data, especially heterogeneous data sources, should include Evoke Software's Axio on a long list of potential candidates. The product's ability to generate a metadata repository from actual data instead of data dictionaries, IMS PSB's, etc. is a strong and valuable capability.

It is estimated that approximately 80% of the world's data is stored in mainframe files, a great percentage of that is VSAM. Many legacy applications had no data validation routines (it was common for data entry clerks to type anything into a field where they didn't know the correct value, just so they could get on to the next field). The product's capabilities to assist in data cleansing, discovery, and validation could prove invaluable.

 
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