Dear Readers,

Welcome to DM Review's Annual Product Review issue. This issue includes 101 product reviews, representing a wide cross- section of data warehousing products. All reviews are written by individuals who are currently utilizing these products to improve their competitive position in the global marketplace. This issue will be an invaluable reference for you throughout the next year as you evaluate strategic products for your organization's use.

In addition, this issue includes a poster of the organization's business intelligence architecture. The Corporate Information Factory is generic in its structure (to the point that it is easily recognizable across different corporations) and is unique to each company and organization as it is shaped by culture, politics, economics and technology. The different components of the Corporate Information Factory create a foundation for information delivery and decision-making activities. I am sure that this poster will soon adorn the office walls of IT professionals across the country.

In this issue we have included four articles on the ODS which should help to clarify its role in the Corporate Information Factory. Recently there has been controversy over the validity and makeup of the ODS. Some skeptics even question the existence of the ODS. This argument is quite strange because the ODS is one of the most pervasive architecture structures found in information systems today.

If you are like most IT professionals, you have been living with the "Y2K" problem for the past couple of years. We'll be able to get a "sneak preview" of Y2K-type problems much sooner than January 1, 2000. It will occur on September 9, 1999, which numerically is 9-9-99. For all of you who use dates for end of file checks, watch out for 9-9-99. You could be in for a big surprise. However, given the savvy of DM Review readers, I don't anticipate any of you will experience problems--you'll just hear about them from less sophisticated IT shops.

Thanks for reading DM Review!

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