Data federation is a brand new idea for integration of data from many diffrent sources. Many organisations and companies store their data in many ways, like transactional databases, data warehouses, business inteligence systems, legacy systems and more. The problem appears, when someone needs to access data from some of these sources. There is no easy way to get to the data, because every storage system has its own way of accessing it. In order to help getting to data from many sources, there are some ways to integrate the data, and the most advanced of them is the data federation.
So far to integrate the data it has to be copied and moved, because the integrated data needed to be kept together. Of course it has its defects, like the time needed to copy and move the data, and some copyright infringments during copying. The data also occupied more diskspace than it actually needed, because it was kept in few instances.
There also were some problems with data refreshing, because if there was more than one instance of the data, only the modified instance was up to date, so all others instances of the data has to be refreshed. Of course it slowed down the integration system. In response to these problems, the IT specialists created a new data integration system called data federation.
The Data federation process
The idea of data federation is to integrate data from many individual sources and make access to them as easy as it is possible. The target has to be reached without moving or copying the data. In fact, the data sources can be in any location. It only has to be online. Also every data source can be made using diffrent technology, standard and architecture. For the end user it will feel like one big data storage system.
The data federation supports many data storage standards. From the SQL relational databases, like Mysql, PostgreSQL, InterBase, IBM DB2, Firebird and Oracle through directory services and object-based databases, like LDAP and OpenLDAP, to data warehouses and Business-Inteligence systems. The goal is to make the data federation system work with every standard that is used to store data in companies and other organisations.
The data that is already integrated with the data federation system is called a federated database, or a virtual database. Federated database allows users to read and write the data without even knowing, that it comes from many different sources. The user doesn't need to know how to use a database system, or how to access data in a directory service. All he needs is to know how to use the unified front-end of the data federation system.
The data federation system in many cases might be the best way to unify the data kept in different places in many different ways. It's simple, easy for the end users, and efficient solution, that will make accessing the data a lot easier.
Data federation articles
- Data federation software articles and vendors overview