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Data Warehouse Market Draws a Crowd

Key Computer industry players line up to serve the growing market

By John Makulowich
Contributing Writer

Like an episode on the popular TV series the X Files, you can just sense it coming, the "universe = library" equation, the be-all, end-all information convergence, the ultimate data warehouse that engulfs all the bits and bytes that cross the routers.

Right now it comes in different packages -- such as data mart and data mall -- and goes by different names, such as business intelligence and business process integration.

You can visualize it by linking the Internet and its vast resources, the intranets and their transactions, historical data and mounds of digitized information, the hardware and software to store, manage, manipulate and mine the data and the clients, such as Web browsers, to easily retrieve and present the results for knowledge workers.

But that's a vision of the future. Where are we today?

On its Web page, Informix, one of the key data warehousing players, describes a data warehouse now as a flexible environment made up of technologies that take your organization's operational, historical and external data, consolidate it into a separately designed relational database, manage it and mold it into a subject-oriented format that is optimized for end users to access and analyze.

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