This column is co-authored by Lisa Loftis, vice president of Intelligent Solutions.

When data warehousing began to gain in popularity in the mid-'80s, there was a remarkable influx of technology vendors that suddenly discovered they were data warehouse vendors. They rapidly began to offer "data- marts-in-a-box," virtual data warehouses and "instant" architectures – ad hoc, short-term solutions with limited chance of long-term success. These data warehouses were not sustainable because they lacked openness, integration with each other or with other Corporate Information Factory (CIF) components, customization capabilities to satisfy specific requirements or easy maintainability.

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