Evolutionary Technologies Does EAI (Always Did, We Just Didn’t Call It That)

  • Written By: M. Reed
  • Published: March 7 2001

Evolutionary Technologies Does EAI (Always Did, We Just Didn't Call It That)
M. Reed - March 7, 2001

Event Summary

Evolutionary Technologies International, Inc. (ETI, privately held) has released ETIEXTRACT Tool Suite, Release 4.2. The latest version of ETI's flagship data integration management software now supports Windows 2000, Solaris 2.8 and AIX 4.3 operating systems. It also includes significant enhancements, which, according to the vendor, result in faster data movement and less work for the user.

The ETIEXTRACT Tool Suite automates the task of integrating data, while capturing a complete audit trail outlining everything done to any of the data values in the process, including any transformation logic applied to data values. This audit trail is stored in ETIEXTRACT's MetaStore and allows timely impact analysis in the case of some proposed change.

Auto mapping is one of the principle enhancements to ETIEXTRACT 4.2. It allows the conversion specialist to create basic rules to define how parts will be mapped between source and target databases within a conversion. ETIEXTRACT's MetaStore then stores these rules so that the conversion specialists can have the product automatically create a large number of mappings, thus eliminating the need for the user to manually specify each mapping. In a conversion with thousands of parts, this feature can significantly reduce the amount of work required to specify mappings.

Users can also reuse rules defining data transformation logic or slight variations of this logic when developing multiple conversions. In the previous version of ETIEXTRACT, the conversion specialist had to recreate each specification of a business rule manually. Now users can easily reuse existing business rules by copying and pasting them between conversion specifications in the same MetaStore.

"Jupiter Research estimates that $350 billion will be invested in Internet infrastructure by 2003, with 74% of that spent on integrating systems. Much of the integration will involve linking older legacy and operational systems to next-generation CRM applications, e-businesses and e-marketplaces," said Kay Hammer, cofounder, president and CEO of Evolutionary Technologies International. "ETIEXTRACT 4.2 is an infrastructure solution that's flexible enough to bridge the gap between the technology driving the new economy and the technology underlying the old economy."

Market Impact

In the early 1990's there were only five major extract/transform/load vendors: ETI, IBI (Information Builders), Carleton (now part of Oracle), Prism (now part of Informix/Ascential Software by way of Ardent Software), and Trinzic (now part of Computer Associates by way of Platinum Technology). ETL tools have always been required to consolidate, merge, and move data for access by other processes. In the last few years, this ETL function has become one of the cornerstones of what has become known as enterprise application integration (EAI), a hot technology for enabling e-business and CRM (customer relationship management) initiatives, among others.

The number of vendors now involved in this market either directly or tangentially has exploded, and it is becoming difficult for vendors to differentiate themselves in this confusing market. One approach, taken by vendors such as ETI, is to concentrate on one thing (ETL), do it extremely well, and make sure their market message reflects that goal. We believe that this is a powerful approach since many EAI vendors can't tell you exactly what they do except in terms of broad visions such as "Inter-enterprise Application Integration", or "e-Business Infrastructure Enablement", and that lack of focus comes across to potential customers during technology selection interviews.

User Recommendations

Potential customers in need of solutions to data consolidation, integration, and transformation should include ETI's ETIEXTRACT on a short list of potential solutions. Some of the other vendors whose product offerings should be examined include IBI, Informix, Hummingbird, and IBM. If the ETL effort is to support an EAI initiative, various players in the EAI space such as Tibco, Vitria, webMethods, WRQ, and IBM should also be interviewed for a proposed solution.

Companies should keep a strong focus on exactly what goal they are trying to achieve, the steps required to achieve it, and how the vendor's proposed solution maps to those steps. In this way, scenarios used during the selection process can be carefully scripted to highlight how close each vendor comes to the ultimate business solution.

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