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IBM Announces Info 2.0

| by Mark Little Follow 12 Followers on Jun 28, 2007. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |
First there was Web 2.0, then there was SOA 2.0. Now IBM brings us Info 2.0. According to the official IBM announcement, Info 2.0 is where "Web 2.0 Goes to Work". As when Oracle announced SOA 2.0 support, IBM also has a suite of products to immediately help get Web 2.0 working.
An additional focus of IBM's Web 2.0 investment is enabling customers to gain new competitive advantage through the creative integration and transformation of all types of information -- a capability called Info 2.0. IBM is previewing an Info 2.0 suite of integrated products that enables organizations to easily catalog, combine, transform and remix any type of data and content by drawing on the industry's widest variety of enterprise data sources and a vast array of Web data and content.
But what is Info 2.0?
With Info 2.0 capabilities, line-of-business users can quickly create customizable "mash-ups" -- a website or application that combines content from more than one source into an integrated experience.
Lauren Cooney, Manager, Open Source Technologies, summarizes the key features of Info 2.0:
Info 2.0 is a technology (or information fabric layer) for simplified integration of data and content via Information Mashups. Info 2.0 uses simple interfaces and intuitive tools to connect information from custom and packaged business applications, the web, spreadsheets, and databases – making information assembly and access easier for both IT and non-IT users. Info 2.0 extends and complements existing investments in information architectures. Moreover, Info 2.0 is focused on enterprise users, so now mashups can be not only created for external users, but also for departmental users within a company. Info 2.0 provides a data organizational element needed (such as data standardization and data cleansing) to mashups and other Web 2.0 applications to create software in the enterprise and SaaS (Software as a Service) on the web.
But you have to wonder if this is more a sales pitch versus a true technological change, when companies such as YouTube, MySpace, Google and Facebook have accomplished a lot with what's already out there, and they are not alone. As we saw with SOA 2.0, there could be a backlash around this and it'll be interesting to see how the community responds. With the Web 2.0 space rapidly filling up, vendors are fighting to differentiate themselves from each other. It's entirely possible that Web 2.0 development can be improved and that Info 2.0 is the right approach and maybe IBM is the company to do that.

Anant Jhingran, a Distinguished Engineer, VP and CTO for IBM's Information Management Division has this to say about the importance of Info 2.0:
Web 1.0 was not influenced by data management research at all, and in Web 1.5 (what I call enterprise SOA architectures), the influence is more limited, though growing.  In Web 2.0, we have a chance to be the same fuel for growth as we were in the traditional IT space. While Web 2.0 is about many things, the thing that makes the most difference in my mind is "application assembly" that will deliver situational applications to the enterprise and web users.  And the application assembly will not succeed without an Info 2. mashup fabric.
Although Lauren asks for comments to the announcement, it would be good to hear what everyone thinks here too.

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sounds like BEA's aqualogic? by Floyd Marinescu

Sounds somewhat similar to BEA's Aqualogic message.

Re: sounds like BEA's aqualogic? by Lauren Cooney

Hi Floyd,

I think you're missing a few key components here.
- we're focusing on not just the utilization of data that's stored out there, but we're also cleansing and transforming both structured and unstructured data so it can be used in ATOM, XML, and other feeds w/in mashups.
- this data can come from a variety of sources, ie, intranet, internet, internal databases, excel spreadsheets, etc. IBM is committed to the security if this data if used internally in departments, etc. This is a huge issue as IT depts tend not to use mashups internally because of governance and security reasons.

And it's not just a sales pitch - once you have all that information out there, whether its from Google, FaceBook, etc, the process of pulling that data in and combining it with data from other sources is a whole other ballgame - and we're able to do this in a way that IT and business users alike can do. So if I'm in a sales department and I want to take data from my Salesforce database and mash it with infomation from weather.com or a geographic locator site or whatnot, that's now do-able.

These products have a planned release on AlphaWorks later this month. Right now I'm working on trying to get more info out there about them - there's some interesting stuff on www.mashupcamp.com that talks about what folks are doing, so I'd recommend checking that out.

Hope this adds more to the discussion -

Lauren

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