Modern business processes must make use of a vast array of information systems, developed over several decades.
These systems, in turn, make use of a vast array of data sources, developed for the most part using completely disparate technologies (relational databases, Web services, XML documents, spreadsheets, flat files …) and very dissimilar data models. Some of these data sources are “well-structured” for ease of querying from client applications; more and more are less well structured and lack even rudimentary schema for facilitating client interactions. Some, in fact, are pure text documents, which make no pretense at adhering to a “structure” of any kind.
Development of modern information systems and optimization of business processes require access and utilization of the data stored in this vast array of inherited data repositories.
Another important trend to consider is the expansion of Social Media and Big Data, an obvious example of the widespread dissemination of needed information and the heterogeneity of data formats. This data, typically found through browsing the Web in its many forms, often adds crucial value to corporate information systems.
In addition, clients, suppliers, and competitors often use simple or complex Web interfaces for accessing their information and services.
The Denodo Platform is a global solution for the real-time integration of heterogeneous and dispersed, structured and non-structured data sources. To do so, it combines different integrated modules:
- The Virtual DataPort module provides real-time integration of any relevant information for the company, whatever its origin, format, and structure level. It enables to create “virtual databases” that are made up of unified views of data from any type of data source, including databases, SOAP, and REST Web Services, XML, flat files, conventional Web sites (through the ITPilot module), LDAP servers, and non-structured information indexes (through the Aracne module).
- The ITPilot module provides an easy way to access and structure the data present in the Web. This process involves building an abstraction from the specific Web source called wrapper that isolates the client applications from the intrinsic characteristics of that site (access protocol, native data structure, etc.). Thus, the data contained on the hidden Web can be queried and integrated just as easily and effectively as the data contained in a conventional database. In addition to that, ITPilot can also extract structured data from PDF, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word documents. ITPilot provides a distributed and scalable environment for generating, executing, and verifying the correct operation of wrappers.
- The Aracne module facilitates crawling, indexing, filtering, and querying of non-structured data in a wide range of repositories and formats. Aracne can integrate information contained in repositories such as the Web, file systems, relational databases, or e-mail servers.
- In addition, the Scheduler module is a complementary tool that allows scheduling batch tasks using any of the former modules to automatically extract and filter data from several sources and export them to the desired format.
This document introduces readers to the installation and configuration of the Platform and the use of the Denodo Platform Control Center tool that, among other uses, provides a single panel from where all the servers and tools comprising the Platform can be started and stopped.