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OMG Members Propose Common Warehouse Metadata Interchange Standard

Oracle, Unisys, IBM, NCR and Hyperion Lead the Effort to Standardize Enterprise Information Sharing

Industry Leaders Propose Common Warehouse Metadata Interchange Standard, Advocate XML-based Common Data Format


September 27, 1999.

Oracle Corp., Unisys Corp., IBM Corp., NCR Corp., and Hyperion today announced the submission of the common warehouse metadata interchange (CWMI) standard to the Object Management Group (OMG). The proposed standard is designed to help companies integrate e-business systems quickly and easily by supplying a common format for enterprise systems to exchange data.

Over 90 percent of Fortune 1000 companies either have deployed or are in the process of evaluating a data warehouse as the foundation for effective decision-making, according to META Group, a technology research firm based in Stamford, Conn. Today, the many software products used to create warehouses or other e-business systems are based on proprietary data formats, which often prevents information sharing between products and hampers access to the knowledge needed to make timely business decisions.

The proposed standard, CWMI, defines a metadata format for all data warehouse and business intelligence products. By reducing both the software compatibility testing time and the costs associated with standard warehouse implementations, the Common Warehouse Metadata Interchange standard ensures that mission critical data required for business decision making can be shared among all internal systems.

"Solutions that address the metadata interchange issue (such as that put forth by Oracle, Unisys, IBM and Hyperion) will greatly help companies who are executing data warehousing, e-business and knowledge management implementations," said Aaron Zornes, executive vice president of META Group's Application Delivery Strategies. "Spending the time and dollars for these business performance management systems is beneficial only when the final business solution enables decision-making based on all available business information."

The Common Warehouse Metadata Interchange standard is a landmark submission that follows the creation of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) by the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) and XML Metadata Interchange (XMI) by the OMG. Marking the next step in the establishment of a metadata interchange among all data warehousing, business intelligence, knowledge management and portal technologies, the proposed CWMI provides a powerful object model with a set of APIs, interchange formats and services that span the spectrum of metadata relating to the extraction, transformation, transportation, loading, integration and analysis phases within data warehousing. CWMI resolves potential integration issues by enabling users to extend the model to meet their specific needs.

"CWMI lowers implementation costs for our customers by extending metadata interoperability into the world of Web-based data warehousing environments," said Sridhar Iyengar, Unisys Fellow, member OMG Architecture Board and architect of Unisys Universal Repository (UREP), which already supports OMG metadata and modeling standards. "It uniquely integrates the leading metadata standards and modeling technologies and applies them to the problem of building, managing and deploying data warehouses across the enterprise."

The development of the specification was also supported by UBS AG, Genesis Development Corporation and Dimension EDI. It is a collective result of a yearlong design effort, which analyzed and integrated metadata requirements from all the leading data warehousing and metadata products and related standards in the industry.

"The benefits of CWMI are so significant, that it compelled competitors and partners alike to come together to create a common language," said Michael Howard, vice president, Oracle's Data Warehouse Program Office. "This language enables open and free exchange of an organization's information assets."

"IBM has long been involved in promoting open, industry standards," said Jim Kelly, vice president, data management marketing, IBM Software Solutions. "We're excited about this opportunity to leverage our e-business experience and extend metadata management solutions to our customers."

"NCR's customers will benefit by having interoperability with applications of all CWMI-compliant vendors enabling open data exchange that is needed in today's data warehousing and e-business environment," said Vickie Farrell, assistant vice president of Teradata Marketing at NCR.

"The ability to quickly and easily integrate best of breed analytic applications with data warehouses and e-business systems is essential to providing critical business insights in today's dynamic global economy," said Stephen Fioretti, vice president of marketing for Hyperion ( "Hyperion's contribution to the OMG CWMI specification reflects our commitment to promoting truly open industry standards through an internationally recognized standards body with a long history of achievement."

The proposal review process is expected to conclude with a revised specification submitted to the OMG in the winter of 1999. Oracle, Unisys, IBM and Hyperion will participate within the OMG to promote the standard and work toward its ratification by early spring of 2000.

About Unisys

Unisys is 34,000 employees helping customers in 100 countries apply information technology to solve their business problems. Unisys solutions are based on a broad portfolio of global information services including electronic business, systems integration including custom and "repeatable" application solutions, outsourcing, Microsoft Windows NT services, network services, and multivendor maintenance and support, coupled with enterprise-class servers and associated middleware, software and storage. Repeatable solutions are focused on key vertical markets including financial services, transportation, telecommunications, government, publishing and other commercial markets. The company is headquartered in Blue Bell, Pa., in the Greater Philadelphia area. For more information on the company, access the Unisys home page on the World Wide Web at Investor information can be found at

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM software offers the widest range of applications, database, middleware and operating systems for all types of computing, platforms, allowing customers to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. The fastest way to get more information about IBM software is through the IBM home page at

About NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation is in the business of transforming transactions into relationships. NCR is a recognized world leader in data warehousing solutions, ATMs, point-of-sale systems, high performance scanners, and support services for retail, financial, telecommunications, airline and insurance markets. NCR's business solutions are built on the foundation of the company's long-established industry knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding software, global customer support services, a complete line of consumable and media products, and world-leading hardware technology. More information about NCR and its products may be found on the World Wide Web at

About Hyperion Solutions Corporation

The worldwide analytic application software leader, Hyperion Solutions Corporation gives today's knowledge workers the "freedom to succeed" with software, services and partner offerings that help them understand and optimize their business. More than 6,000 organizations worldwide use Hyperion's family of analytic application software, which includes market-leading packaged analytic applications, and OLAP server technology and tools. Hyperion's customers include more than 60 of the Fortune 100 and more than 40 of the Financial Times European Top 100 companies. In addition, more than 300 leading data warehousing, OLAP tools, services, ERP, packaged application, and platform alliance partners extend the value of Hyperion's products and services to deliver maximum flexibility and choice to customers. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, the company has offices in 26 countries. Information on Hyperion's products and services is available at, or, or 1-800-286-8000.

About Oracle Corporation

Oracle Corporation is the world's leading supplier of software for information management, and the world's second largest software company. With annual revenues of more than $9.1 billion, the company offers its database, application server, tools and application products, along with related consulting, education and support services, in more than 145 countries around the world.

For more information about Oracle, please call 650-506-7000. Oracle's World Wide Web address is (URL)

NOTE: Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation. Unisys is a registered trademark of Unisys Corporation. Hyperion is a registered trademark and Hyperion Solutions is a trademark of Hyperion Solutions Corporation. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

SOURCE: Oracle Corporation

Prepared by Robin Cover for the The SGML/XML Web Page archive. For details, see "OMG Common Warehouse Metadata Interchange (CWMI) Specification." And see the announcement from Oracle.

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