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The explosion of the Internet and e-business in recent years has caused a secondary explosion in the amounts and types of information available to enterprise applications. Industry analysts predict that more data will be generated in the next three years than in all of recorded history. Because the adoption of Internet-based business transaction models has significantly outpaced the development of tools and technologies to deal with the information explosion, many businesses find their systems breaking under the sheer volume and diversity of data being directed at them. The challenge facing businesses today is information integration. Enterprise applications must interact with databases, application servers, content management systems, data warehouses, workflow systems, search engines, message queues, Web crawlers, mining and analysis packages, and other enterprise integration applications. They must use a variety of programming interfaces and understand a variety of languages and formats. They must extract and combine data in multiple formats generated by multiple delivery mechanisms. Clearly, the boundaries that have traditionally existed between database management systems, content management systems, midtier caches, data warehouses, and other data management systems are blurring, and there is a great need for a platform that provides a unified view of all of these services and the data they deliver.
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