IBM Integrates Alphablox Analytics Into Data Warehousing Product

The new DB2 Data Warehouse Edition 8.2.1 will incorporate Alphablox into its data mining; online analytical processing (OLAP); and extract, transform and load (ETL) capabilities, IBM said Monday. IBM acquired Alphablox, a Mountain View, Calif., Web analytics company, last summer for an undisclosed amount.

The new DB2 Data Warehouse release, now available, also offers simplified executive dashboards of often-arcane underlying data, as well as faster analytics deployment, according to IBM.

Pricing for IBM's data warehouse product is $60,000 per CPU for the Enterprise Edition, which includes OLAP and ETL capabilities, federated data access, support for clustering and partitioning, and an integrated spreadsheet for desktop business intelligence. The Base Edition, priced at $29,500 per CPU, offers cube views, workgroup capability and intelligent miner functionality. The low-end Standard Edition costs $19,000 per CPU.

User-friendly analytics is a hot spot in the market right now as platform vendors such as IBM, Oracle and Microsoft integrate more functionality into their foundation software. Microsoft, for one, plans to raise the analytics bar again with a new Office Realtime Reporting Server slated to start testing later this year.

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Such moves put IBM and Microsoft in a quandary relative to their ISV partners. Both software powers compete for ISVs, claiming to be the best foundation partner for third-party development. But IBM and Microsoft also are moving up the software stack by putting more functionality--once provided by third parties--into their infrastructure. That forces ISVs to keep fleeing up the stack ahead of their "partners."

IBM's and Microsoft's analytics moves, for example, will challenge stand-alone business intelligence vendors such as Business Objects, Cognos and MicroStrategy, according to industry observers.