IBM Infosphere Information Server
Information Server is a line of products from the IBM company responsible for data warehousing and data integration.
IBM introduced Infosphere Information Server as a complete set of business intelligence and data warehousing products which operate in four functional areas:
- Source data profiling – consists of understanding and modeling the source data to detect inconsistencies, anomalies and problems with the data.
(Information Analyzer, Business Glossary)
- Data quality assurance – data cleansing, standardizing, merging (Information Analyzer, QualityStage and AuditStage)
- Data transformation – data is integrated, transformed and loaded into a data warehouse using the ETL processes
- Data delivery to the end users
- IBM InfoSphere Warehouse applications offer solutions for the deployment, integration and management of a data warehouse and the data in an organization, based on a DB2 Database technology.
- Information Analyzer application interprets and analyzes data from the source systems or a data warehouse to make it easy to understand for both business and technical users.
The tool connects to the source data and peforms data structure analyses, such as: column analysis, table analysis, primary key and foreign key analysis, relations identification, etc. It also monitors business rules and in effect produces pure text or formatted reports with the results.
- Metadata workbench - a web-based and fully integrated and unified metadata repository management tool for Infosphere. The tool helps manage business, technical and operational metadata and provides such analysis modules as data lineage, impact analysis and diff.
- Datastage and QualityStage- is a GUI application for integrating the data stored in a data warehouse and implementing the ETL and data quality assurance processes. Datastage can work with very large amounts of data and intergrate it to make it easily accessible for other applications and for the end-users. QualityStage and Datastage processes are developed in the same tool in IBM Information Server (Designer).
- Business Glossary is a web-based tool that is responsible for common business terms vocabulary management (creation, editing, viewing and sharing) in an organization. It is fully integrated with the Information Server platform and can share business terms and categories with such products as Information Analyzer, Rational Data Architect or FastTrack. Business Glossary Anywhere is a desktop application which enables accessing the business glossary terms from any other Windows application (including non-IBM software).
Infosphere is a complete line of products to create and use a data warehouse for business inteligence. It has some advantages, but it also has some disadvantages. One of them is the price for this solution. All these components can work properly only together, so the company has to buy several products to create a good working data warehouse. It is also difficult to implement the brand new data warehouse in the company without stopping to gather the data. It would be a lot easier if the Infosphere components were compatible with data warehousing solutions from other companies and with other standards.