The History of Informatica Vibe Part I

This blog will be the first in a series about the something you will be hearing more about in the near future from Informatica, the Vibe™ virtual data machine or VDM for short.

So what is a virtual data machine?   A virtual data machine (VDM) is an embeddable data management engine that accesses, aggregates and manages data.

Now that you understand what VDM is, what is Vibe?  Vibe is simplly the branded name for the virtual data machine.

With that out of the way, here is a little more background on the history of the Vibe Virtual Data Machine for your reading pleasure:

The History of the Virtual Data Machine

 Since the founding of Informatica Corporation 20 years ago, we have always had a philosophy of separating the development of data integration from the actual run-time implementation. This is what Informatica means when we say that the Informatica® PowerCenter® data integration product is metadata driven. The term “metadata driven” means that a developer does not have to know C, C++, or Java to perform data integration. The developer operates in a graphical development environment using drag-and-drop tools to visualize how data will move from system A, then be combined with data from system B, and then ultimately be cleansed and transformed when it finally arrives at system C. At the most detailed level of the development process, you might see icons representing data sets, and lines representing relationships coming out of those data sets going into other data sets, with descriptions of how that data is transformed along the way.

Todd Vibe Picture

Figure 1: Informatica Developer drag-and-drop graphical development environment

However, you do not see code, just the metadata describing how the data will be modified along the way. The idea is that a person who is knowledgeable about data integration concepts, but is not necessarily a software developer, can develop data integration jobs to convert raw data into high-quality information that allows organizations to put their data potential to work. The implication is that far more people are able to develop data integration jobs because through the use of graphical tools, we have “democratized” data integration development.

Over time, however, data integration has become more complicated. It has moved from just being extract, transform, and load (ETL) for batch movement of data to also include data quality, real-time data, data virtualization, and now Hadoop. In addition, the integration process can be deployed both on premise and in the cloud. As data integration has become more complex, it has forced the use of a blended approach that

often requires the use of many or most of the capabilities and approaches just mentioned while the mix and match of underlying technologies keeps expanding.

This entire time, Informatica has continued to separate the development environment from the underlying data movement and transformation technology. Why is this separation so important? It is important because as new data integration approaches come along, with new deployment models like software as a service (SaaS), new technologies such as Hadoop, and new languages such as Pig and Hive and even yet to be invented languages, existing data integration developers don’t have to learn the details of how the new technology works in order to take advantage of it. In addition, the pace at which the underlying technologies are changing in the data integration and management market is increasing. So as this pace quickens, by separating development from deployment, end-users can continue to design and develop using the same interface, and under the covers, they can take advantage of new kinds of data movement and transformation engines to virtualize data, move it in batch, move it in real time, or integrate big data, without having to learn the details of the underlying language, system, or framework.

Hopefully that gives you a good intro into the history of the VDM.  In my next blog installment, I will write a little more the basics of the Vibe VDM and how it works.  So stay tuned, same Vibe time, same Vibe channel.

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