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Letter Drop

A Clarion Voice on Competency; Anything But Reluctant; Unstructured vs. Unmanaged

A Clarion Voice on Competency

"Voice of Our Readers: The 2006 Strategic Management Survey" (January 2006) is an excellent review of the current state of the nation for end users and one of the few articles I've come across that addresses those ongoing issues about the technology industry. As a non-profit global body offering integration thought leadership, Integration Consortium's members are addressing many of the concerns your survey participants raised.

Regarding the article's discussion of competency centers, the Integration Consortium has sponsored the publication of Integration Competency Center (Informatica, May 2005), by John Schmidt and David Lyle, two of our members. The book is an everything-you-need-to-know-but-were-afraid-to-ask guide on enterprise integration.

Michael Kuhbock, Chairman
Integration Consortium

Anything But Reluctant

I don't agree with the article "Industry Giants Reluctantly Join Hot AJAX Development Trend" (Dashboard, January 2006). I work for a major Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) component vendor, and right from the beginning our first customers were predominantly Fortune 500s; later on, as AJAX became more popular, the ISVs and smaller firms came on board. I wonder what the author is basing his claims on. Just from observation we see it's taking giants such as Google and Microsoft to show us what's possible on the browser (Google Maps, for example), and then people kind of go, "Oh yeah! We could do that, too!"

Alexei White
Vancouver, British Columbia

Editor's note: The article's reference to "industry giants" pertained to software development technology suppliers such as Microsoft and IBM. The author was not suggesting that large user organizations such as Google and the Fortune 500 companies the reader points to have been holding back on AJAX. Until recently, the giants favored their own development environments, but Google Maps and other user achievements appear to have won over those who believed AJAX approaches were too complicated to gain mainstream adoption. Bill Gates himself reportedly criticized internal teams at Microsoft for not recognizing the growing influence of AJAX.

Unstructured vs. Unmanaged

"Today's Budget Tomorrow's Plan" (January 2006) indicates that "80 percent of information in the typical enterprise is unstructured, but have you also heard that up to 90 percent of that content — documents, reports, e-mail messages and other info not stored in databases — is unmanaged?"

The article explains what "unstructured" data is (data not stored in databases), but what do you mean by "unmanaged" data?

Anthony Licate
Ardmore, Pa.

Author's reply: Database management systems are invariably in place for structured data in the enterprise, but many companies, particularly small and midsize ones, have yet to deploy document/content management systems. Even when these unstructured information management systems are present, they tend to be used departmentally, so the documents, e-mails, images, videos and other forms of content outside the systems aren't managed with check-in/checkout, version tracking, group/user/roll-based access privileges or other controls.

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