Westboro, Mass., Oct. 6, 1999 - Next-generation data warehousing technology is the road to that future and is paved with the Internet, navigated by enterprise portals and managed by meta data. This is the vision described by a panel of industry experts to a standing-room-only crowd at The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) Best Practices Conference in San Diego led by Pete Fiore, vice president of marketing operations and business development for Ardent Software, Inc. Participants included Richard Rist of The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI), Gene Phifer of GartnerGroup, Katherine Bull of InfoWorld, Claudia Imhoff of Intelligent Solutions, Inc. and Jack Garzella of MatchLogic Inc.

The Ardent-led group examined the current state and future direction of the data warehousing, business intelligence and analytical applications marketplace. The result was a look into 21st century information management - where the data warehouse becomes the foundation of an infrastructure that is linked to the Internet, provides access to structured and unstructured data and serves as the platform for e-business and analytical applications within the enterprise and beyond.

"The Internet is the flashpoint for advancing data warehouses from narrow islands of data used by relatively small groups of people to a true enterprise information resource," said Phifer, research director, GartnerGroup, Inc. Internet Strategies. "The prevalence and ease-of-use of Web browsers - coupled with the emergence of enterprise portals - ensures that more people will have access to more information than ever before."

The next step in the evolution of the data warehousing is providing the foundation of an enterprise business intelligence and analytical application infrastructure. The experts concurred that meta data management, integration and sharing, and data quality assurance capabilities are critical characteristics of effective data warehouse solutions because they provide more reliable, clearer information to end users for real-time decision processing.

For more information, visit Ardent's Web site at www.ardentsoftware.com.

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