MetaMatrix, a leader in data service management systems, announced MetaMatrix Dimension 5, a new product for data service design and execution, that helps application teams quickly make relational and file-based data available as XML schema-compliant Web services for service oriented architecture (SOA)-based applications. In addition, the company announced MetaMatrix Enterprise 5, an enhanced version of its flagship product that incorporates improved performance and ease of use. MetaMatrix 5 completes the company's incorporation of Web service and XML capabilities which, added to MetaMatrix' traditional strengths in relational data access and integration, provide project teams in corporations and government agencies with the diverse capabilities they need for comprehensive data service management for service-oriented architectures.

MetaMatrix Dimension Web Service-Enables Relational Data

MetaMatrix Dimension is a new product that helps application teams meet data requirements of Web services more quickly. It enables rapid, model-driven design, execution, and performance optimization of data services that bridge the gap between existing data sources and the XML-based data requirements of new applications.

Unlike simply wrapping a data source with a Web Service interface, which is labor-intensive and adds no real abstraction, semantic mediation, or performance optimization, MetaMatrix Dimension enables development teams to use proven, model-driven tools to visually design, execute, and optimize a collection of higher-level data services. These data services conform to Web services standards (SOAP) and to required XML schemas, hide data source complexity from applications, resolve semantic gaps between existing data and new applications, and are optimized for enterprise performance. At runtime, MetaMatrix dimension optimizes data access and provides a Web service interface though which applications can exchange data in XML format.

MetaMatrix Dimension provides an attractive option for projects in certain service-oriented architecture initiatives, where efficient completion of the project requires creation of Web services that mediate between diverse existing data sources and new required data structures that use a standard XML schema (XSD). With MetaMatrix Dimension, application teams in corporations and government agencies can take full advantage of proven, model-driven techniques and tools in a new product designed specifically for Web services initiatives.

"The underlying principle of SOA is to simplify application interoperability and architecture but there is a clear need to extend this to the data layer so that you can provide high-performance data access in a similarly simplified manner," said Philip Howard, Research Director-Technology, Bloor Research. "MetaMatrix is one of the first companies out of the blocks in offering a relevant data services solution with Metamatrix Dimension, which should leave it well positioned to take advantage of this emerging market."

MetaMatrix Enterprise Improves Performance and Usability

MetaMatrix also today announced a new, enhanced version of its flagship product, MetaMatrix Enterprise. MetaMatrix Enterprise is a comprehensive data service management system for creating, deploying, and managing data services. Using model-driven tools, MetaMatrix users can define a wide range of data services that enable data access, transformation, and integration, bridging the gap between diverse existing data sources and the data requirements of new applications. Adding to an already rich set of capabilities, MetaMatrix Enterprise 5 delivers:

  • Performance improvements in XML streaming, connection handling and resource allocation.
  • Ease-of-use enhancements such as streamlined query testing, improved model management, and intelligent XSD import and model building.
  • Enhanced data source connectivity such as SOAP connectivity to Web service data sources, connection to XML sources via HTTP/HTTPS, and SAP, Siebel, and PeopleSoft connectivity.

Also incorporated into MetaMatrix Enterprise are the capabilities of MetaMatrix Dimension for Web service and XML support, resulting in a comprehensive enterprise solution that addresses both XML and relational data requirements. For example, the Federal Government is using MetaMatrix Enterprise to create data services that conform to the Global Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM) and National Information Exchange Model (NIEM), XML schema standards for interoperability of intelligence and criminal justice information.
MetaMatrix Enterprise includes the MetaMatrix Enterprise Designer and the MetaMatrix Repository, which provide a wide array of modeling and metadata capabilities, including the ability to define multiple projects, create intermediate logical models, incorporate metadata from other products such as CA's Allfusion ERwin Data Modeler, and the ability for multiple users to share a single repository with versioning and check-in/check-out features.

In addition to handling a wide variety of data service requirements, MetaMatrix Enterprise also provides a comprehensive enterprise data service execution environment that offers entitlement management and other security features; data caching and staging options; system logging and monitoring; and XA-compliant transaction management. These capabilities address enterprise requirements for data integrity, privacy, and the optimized delivery of data to applications. For access to data sources, MetaMatrix Enterprise provides a number of standard connectors to diverse data source types including packaged applications such as SAP, Siebel and PeopleSoft.

Completes Incorporation of XML and Web Services, Offers Choice for Customers

The MetaMatrix 5 release completes the incorporation of XML and Web services capabilities into the MetaMatrix product line, and offers two products from which customers can choose depending on their specific project needs.

Organizations with diverse application requirements including both Web services interfaces, SQL interfaces, and a diversity of data sources, will benefit from the more comprehensive MetaMatrix Enterprise.

This product will not only address the requirements of a large number and wide variety of projects, but can also enable the bottom-up or top-down creation of an enterprise-wide metadata resource if desired, helping to communicate and standardize data formats across projects.

Project teams whose applications use Web services and XML-based data exclusively, but need to work with existing relational and file-based data sources, can take advantage of MetaMatrix Dimension, and can easily migrate to MetaMatrix Enterprise when their requirements expand.

The Need for Data Services and Data Service Management

As organizations increasingly use service-oriented architectures in their new application projects, they are finding a need to create a special class of services that handle data requirements. A new project often requires developers to transform, integrate, and aggregate data from complex and diverse sources involving multiple data formats, interfaces, schemas, technologies, and semantics. Application teams and their organizations benefit when the logic that manages data access, transformation, and integration can be decoupled from applications. Rather than custom coding logic and embedding it in one application, developers can use visual, model-driven tools such as MetaMatrix products to create data services that are easy to maintain and reuse. The loose coupling offered by data services is an important enabler of service-oriented architectures, regardless of whether the applications use Web services and XML or traditional SQL access to data. A layer of data services can streamline application development by providing much-needed abstraction, hiding complexity and simplifying applications' access to data by encapsulating the logic and mappings that enable data access, transformation, and integration while bridging semantic gaps .

The growing demand for data services results in a need for a comprehensive data service management system such as MetaMatrix Enterprise. A data service management system is one system that application teams can use to design, describe, test, deploy, provision, access, execute, monitor, audit, discover, maintain, and reuse data services. With a data services management system in place, application developers can take advantage of data more efficiently and effectively without custom coding, so projects are completed more quickly at a lower cost. Data services- and the valuable work they represent - can be easily reused within or across projects.

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