RSS for your Data Transformations!

Huh? What? I thought RSS was for news feeds from CNN or NBC!? The best way to get the latest on the election (like I haven’t had enough) or the latest storm! Instant updates to my browser or other cool electronic gadget.

Well, RSS (Really Simple Syndication in most circles) is coming to your business solutions, if it hasn’t already. You may already be accustomed to that cute little “radio beam” icon, usually orange, that appears on this blog, most web sites, and many other places that you frequent on the internet. You may have an RSS “reader” or “aggregator” in your browser, dedicated on your desktop, or enabled for your Blackberry. Something that updates your favorite team’s box scores, the latest news from IBM or your favorite vendor, or as noted above, the latest gossip in the race for US President. How about sending out intelligent data oriented updates driven by DataStage or a customized SQL statement?

Moving into the mainstream, RSS is not only for updated news clips. Let your executives aim their RSS reader at your customer update feed, and they’ll know whenever a new transaction is generated or when a customer logs a complaint. Behind the scenes, you can have your favorite ETL tool, tickled by request from an RSS reader, pull the latest updated profile for a given customer. The “publish date” that is part of the RSS standard will be used by the sales rep’s RSS reader to highlight new material, making it bold, alternate color, or whatever else their chosen reader is set up to perform. You monitor and supply the data, the user chooses the RSS tooling . That’s freedom that makes everyone happy.

Information Server release 8.1 delivers RSS in the new Information Services Director (the next release of wISD/ISD). I’ve had the pleasure of playing with this new capability for the past few weeks, and it opens up a lot of possibilities [it’s also been a fun way to start learning about this new SOA medium 🙂 ]. Changed Data Capture tools, such as InfoSphere CDC (former DataMirror) can recognize log events, trigging DataStage loads to a target system, and then “always ready” RSS Services delve into the data to find updated gems for selected customer segments or territories. The RSS capability is a new binding added to existing SOAP and EJB capabilities, and is complemented also by the new 8.1 bindings for REST and JMS. I’ll dig deeper into these and other real-time related Info Server features in some upcoming posts.

Web 2.0 is coming. Don’t let it pass you by!


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