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One Meaning helps manage metadata


End users at Sun Microsystems want to access and analyze data online from dozens of source systems before that information is rolled into a data warehouse. This demand creates "a parallel requirement...to equip them with information about the source, definition and quality of their data," according to Fred Winslow, director of financial systems for Sun's computer systems division. With Marlow, Sun users can trace the lineage of the information they use ­ "where the information comes from, what it means, and when it was updated."

Managing metadata ­ aka "information about the information" ­ is a core function of document, content, work and knowledge management systems. "Without the right tools, the cost of integrating new systems with existing applications and procedures can be staggering," says Cambridge Technology Partners CTO Sanjiv Gossain.

Software developer One Meaning addresses the management and reuse of metadata with One Meaning Marlow (pricing starts at $50,000 for Solaris and NT platforms). The Marlow software suite includes a metadata repository, a modeling tool for mapping the associations among objects for reuse, and an Exchange application for importing metadata into the repository and enabling cross-application interoperability. Company CEO Andrew Mercer says that Marlow "provides the meaning of data that managers need...when the data is removed from its original context."

Effective IT architectures depend on metadata management, according to Katherine Hammer, CEO of Evolutionary Technologies, a provider of automated data integration management software and a One Meaning business partner. "Success in today's rapidly changing business environment requires products that support metadata interchange and maintenance of metadata relationships in such a way as to enable both rapid impact analysis and quick response to changes in the underlying sources.


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