EII – dead and now buried

The most widely publicised piece that I wrote was “EII Dead on Arrival” back in July 2004. Metamatrix was the company that launched the term on the back of heavy funding from top end VCs, and I wrote previously about what seemed to me to be its almost inevitable struggles. There was some controversy over my article, which differed from the usual breathless press coverage which was associated with EII at the time (our industry does love a new trend and acronym, whatever the reality may be). I could never see how it could work outside a very limited set of reporting needs. Well, as they say on Red Dwarf: “smug mode”.

Gravity finally caught up with marketing hype this week, and Metamatrix will be bought by Red Hat and made into open source. It would have been interesting to know what the purchase price was, but Red Hat were keeping quiet about that. It is a fair bet that it was not a large sum of money. Kleiner Perkins won’t be chalking this up as one of their smarter bets.

2 thoughts on “EII – dead and now buried”

  1. Perhaps you are right; there is an element of schadenfreude here for me. The point I was trying to make was that, though EII is a laudable goal, the attempt was made to build it up as the next big thing even though the fundamental issues (data quality, management of data over time, semantic integration etc) were not addressed by it at all, so to me it was doomed, perhaps an idea ahead of its time. This didn’t stop the trade press lapping it up and at times mocking those who were trying to point out some fundamental problems with it.

  2. I’m for burying hype as much as the rest of us, but I thought your comments on EII were more mean spirited than insightful. Sure, EII got over hyped by analysts looking for a new data-oriented SOA, but the technology for federating queries, aggregating results, and providing a standardized data interface were great advancements.

    I certainly don’t think the standard mashup of ETL, EAI, Data Warehouse was much better — except for Consulting revenues.

    I’m glad the hype is over too, but I also hope we remember why this was a good idea when technology makes EII more feasible in the future.

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