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Exclusive Q&A with John Goodson, VP & GM of DataDirect Technologies

Data Services World 2008 West: The New Frontier for Data Integration

"Data services apply the same philosophy of reuse and flexibility that SOA offers, but to the data tier," explains John Goodson, executive leader of DataDirect Technologies, in this Exclusive Q&A with SYS-CON's SOAWorld Magazine. "Data services," Goodson continues, "provide a level of abstraction that frees developers from concerning themselves with the physical location or format of the underlying data."

SOAWorld Magazine: You’ve worked closely over the years with organizations like Sun and Microsoft on the development of database access standards: how tough is it to reach industry consensus on these kinds of thing?

John Goodson: Bringing top technical minds together, each with their own unique perspective and individual experience is always a challenge. When you add in corporate agendas, then it’s really hard.

At the end of the day, every database vendor implements a version of each data access standard into their database – limiting interoperability and making access to the database non-standard. At DataDirect, we’ve built our products to adhere strictly to industry standards for data access and data integration. In doing so, our customers benefit from consistent support for the latest, most complete implementation of the specification (ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET, XQuery or Web service and SQL-based access to the mainframe). We offer support for all the latest database versions, but do not force our customers to use a non-standard implementation of the data access API – this gives them true flexibility.

SOAWorld Magazine: Data access is an important component to SOA and to a sound data services strategy. What’s distinct about “data services”? In what way does data services as a term differ from Web services?

Goodson: Data services apply the same philosophy of reuse and flexibility that SOA offers, but to the data tier. Data services provide a level of abstraction that frees developers from concerning themselves with the physical location or format of the underlying data. When a data services strategy is well constructed, service consumers are insulated from changes in the underlying database and from performance problems that can be caused by poorly written data access code.
SOAWorld Magazine: What role do data services play in application performance?
Goodson: Performance is part and parcel with a data services layer and ultimately the success of SOA. If the data access in the infrastructure fails to perform, then the services at the center of the architecture will also fail. Therefore a data services layer is extremely dependent on reliable, high-performance, best-of-breed data connectivity. We’ve been building data access products for more than 20 years at DataDirect. So of course I believe that we offer the best products available anywhere.

SOAWorld Magazine: And how necessary is it to build that layer into an SOA environment?

Goodson: The data services layer is quickly becoming a key component of an SOA infrastructure because it provides a single abstracted point of access for all data access and enables the creation, publication and operation of services. We believe the creation of a data services architecture that sits between the business and data layers and provides a consistent interface for heterogeneous data sources is an SOA best practice.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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