It is said if we fail to learn from history we are destined to repeat it. This sentiment rings true in the IT industry where it appears that a new generation of people - IT, consultants and vendors - and projects emerge every three to four years with everyone thinking that their approach to information access and integration is new or different from their predecessors.

Reinforcing those beliefs is that the industry - vendors, analysts and consultants - have renamed products and techniques since the last generation. Many times the names have been changed because the feeling is that these products and techniques have been significantly enhanced to justify a new name - and a new start. Other times the names have changed because of mergers and acquisitions, or sadly, to "protect the guilty."

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