Microsoft has purchased a small, privately held data management company and will use the technology to enhance its SQL Server database, Office and related business software.
Stratature, a 16-person based company in the US, provides master data management (MDM) software called +EDM that manages a central repository of reference data that is accessed by a disparate group of enterprise IT systems. Microsoft plans to deliver capabilities from Stratature's software to business users through a combination of Microsoft Office on the front end and its SQL Server database on the back end.
Microsoft is promoting the latest version of its Office suite for business users as a collaboration platform. A big part of this plan has been providing tighter integration with Office and other applications where users need to share data across business units. The company is especially interested in providing storage and management for the unstructured data that is becoming more prevalent in the enterprise, and is making this a key focus for the next version of SQL Server, code-named Katmai and recently named SQL Server 2008.
Eventually, Microsoft plans to integrate MDM capabilities throughout its entire Office Business Platform, including the PerformancePoint, Dynamics, Project Server and SharePoint product lines, group product manager for Office Business Applications at Microsoft, Alex Payne, said.
According to information on Stratature's website, the first delivery of MDM-related technology from Microsoft will focus on what is called analytical hierarchy management, which helps executives obtain company information in a way that accurately reflects their own view of their departments. This also will give developers one source of data, making it easier for them to integrate data and perform development tasks across the enterprise, while at the same time helping IT executives retain control and governance over corporate information.
Payne said Microsoft would provide more information at a later date about exactly how Stratature's offerings would fit into Microsoft's portfolio. The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal.