REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 3, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced an open design review process for gathering industry feedback on new data warehousing extensions for Microsoft® Repository. A broadly supported set of repository extensions will enable data warehousing products from different vendors to share information. The extensions are the results of extensive collaboration with industry partners and represent the first milestone in the effort initiated with PLATINUM Technology last July. These cooperative efforts contribute to the ongoing development of a data warehousing framework that assists in the integration and administration of the components of data warehouse systems.
The open design review period begins today with the availability of preliminary specifications for data transformation services and online analytical processing (OLAP) extensions to the repository’s Open Information Model. These important extensions are two of several information models being added to Microsoft Repository to facilitate the development of a broad selection of compatible products and advanced capabilities for data warehouse systems.
This phase of the open design process is expected to conclude in February with an industry partner review at Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters, where updated specifications, final input and early repository-based data warehousing product demonstrations will be presented. Information on obtaining a copy of the specifications and providing feedback during the design review period is available through the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/repository/ .
Common Repository Capabilities to Fuel Growth, Reduce Costs
“By coordinating the development of Microsoft Repository for shared metadata and providing initial support with the Microsoft SQL Server
database, Microsoft is helping to reduce the complexity and cost of data warehouse system deployment and ongoing administration,” said Joe Brown, product manager for data warehousing at Microsoft. “This will improve the affordability of data warehousing systems for a much broader number of customers as well as contribute to the rapid growth of the data warehousing market.”
Microsoft’s initial repository data warehousing extensions are intended to provide a common infrastructure with a broad set of shared capabilities for data transformation and OLAP products used in data warehousing applications. These have been identified as two of the higher-priority repository additions. Other metadata models will also be generated from this open design process, and the early models will continue to evolve. The shared repository will provide increased interoperability between the data warehousing and development tools available from many different vendors. Users will benefit from easier system administration, a broader selection of compatible products, and the advanced features available from repository-based products.
These data warehousing extensions represent a significant achievement of the collaborative repository development efforts announced between Microsoft and PLATINUM last July. “Based on PLATINUM’s ten years of experience in the repository and data warehouse markets, we recognize the importance of developing a true shared metadata repository that all vendors can write to,” said Tom DePasquale, executive vice president at PLATINUM technology. “The success of the Microsoft-PLATINUM relationship has enabled us to reach this important milestone today.”
“These new repository extensions will help expand the data warehousing market by providing an open, common infrastructure across all data warehouse and database design and analysis tool vendors,” said Diaz Nesamoney, co-founder and chief technology officer at Informatica Corp. “Metadata integration is one of the most important challenges that the industry must overcome to facilitate successful data warehouse and datamart implementations. Microsoft’s repository extensions will allow vendors to focus on improving product functionality instead of having to reinvent costly and proprietary metadata repositories, and it will give users the confidence to choose best-of-breed tools that all work together seamlessly.”
Widely Supported Open Information Model Extended for Data Warehousing
Based on the Object Management Group Unified Modeling Language (UML) standard, the Microsoft Repository Open Information Model provides a common format for tools to share information that describes objects, components and modules across the application development life cycle. A recent addition to the Open Information Model, the database schema model, enables the sharing of schema information between data warehousing and database design tools from different vendors and provides the basis for the data warehousing extensions being previewed today. These extensions were designed in collaboration with numerous companies, including these:
Apertus Carleton Corp.
Business Objects Inc.
Cayenne Software Inc.
Evolutionary Technologies International
Logic Works Inc.
PLATINUM technology Inc.
Popkin Software & Systems Inc.
Powersoft (a subsidiary of Sybase Inc.)
Prism Solutions Inc.
Sterling Software Inc.
To date, more than 65 vendors are taking advantage of Microsoft Repository to share components across their products, including these:
About Microsoft Repository
Microsoft Repository was designed for use by multiple products from various vendors. The repository is a database that stores and shares software components along with their descriptive information. More than a database, however, the repository creates and manages the relationships among the items it contains. It delivers important capabilities to desktop and server environments in five key areas: reuse, tool interoperability, team development, data resource management and dependency tracking. Microsoft Repository consists of the Open Information Model, a set of published COM interfaces and an engine that sits on top of a relational database such as Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft Repository is available with the professional and enterprise editions of the Microsoft Visual Basic® development system version 5.0 and the Microsoft Visual Studio
97 development system. It will also be included in other Microsoft tool and server products as well as third-party products. For more information on Microsoft Repository, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/repository/ .
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