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InfoQ Homepage News Digging Deeper Into JBoss MetaMatrix

Digging Deeper Into JBoss MetaMatrix

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JBoss' Sacha Labourey has provided a detailed description of development uses of the MetaMatrix technology JBoss acquired in April. Labourey's provides the following concise description of the MetaMatrix technology:

...MetaMatrix provides a way to aggregate disparate (and possibly heterogeneous) data sources (databases, mainframes, XML documents, etc.) and make them look like a single unified virtual database that you can access through standard interfaces like ODBC or JDBC or even as an XML document (XQuery interface) and accessible through Web Services. You can obviously perform a multitude of transformations on these various back-end database schema and even perform joins between multiple heterogeneous sources. MetaMatrix works both with Read and Write/Update/Delete operations...

He then goes on to explain a typical usage scenario involving integration of data from both Oracle and DB2 data sources. MetaMatrix technology allows the data from both to be accessed via a unified virtual view. In addition to relational databases Labourey notes the other capabilities of the technology:

  • On the back-end: ability to aggregate relational and non-relational data sources. Typical examples include mainframes API (through adapters), XML documents and even Excel documents.
  • On the front-end: ability to represent the aggregated information not only as a relational source but also as an XML source and perform queries through the XQuery interface or as a Web Service, for example.

JBoss is in the process of open sourcing the MetaMatrix code base. Former SVP of Development for MetaMatrix and now a Director of Software Engineering at JBoss, Steve Jacobs, has begun blogging on the transition process:

...The phrase Enterprise Information Integration didn't exist before we created it, and technology consultants like Gartner jumped on board. Soon we had some sales, which was good. Later we had competition, which was inevitable ... On April 24th, Red Hat, who had purchased JBoss the previous year, announced the pending acquisition of MetaMatrix to provide a data services layer to the JBoss application server and bolster the JBoss service-oriented architecture story ... Now the plans are to push our code base out into the open and build communities around the key technologies...

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