The next release of DB2 Information Integrator has the code name Masala. Quite what this has to do with Chicken Tikka I do not know. I also don't know when the product will be launched or even when it will enter its public beta trials (private beta has been ongoing for some time). However, the latter is likely to be relatively soon and product launch will probably be in late Summer or early Autumn.
Masala includes a lot of new features and since I do not have the space here to cover them all, I'll just pick out a few highlights. Some of these features will definitely be in the new release, while there are others that the company hopes to include but may not accomplish in time. For example, the search facilities are being extended and replaced - using the same capabilities as are currently in WebSphere Portal. What IBM has yet to decide is whether these search facilities will extend to the environment provided by Venetica. The company's VeniceBridge provides federated capabilities that span multiple content repositories. IBM is hoping that its federated search capabilities will extend to work through the VeniceBridge environment by launch date, but this remains to be seen.
In fact, extended partnerships are a major feature of this release. Two more of these that are noteworthy are those with Unicorn and Sypherlink. Both of these companies provide similar facilities, but I confess to being more familiar with Unicorn. In a nutshell, DB2 II is a view-based product. Some other products in the market base those views on a virtual schema backed up by detailed repository facilities. What Unicorn and Sypherlink do is allow you to use a mediated (virtual) schema in conjunction with DB2 II, together with appropriate metadata and repository capabilities.
Another significant new extension is in the product's replication capabilities. It may be worth pointing out that you can license just replication, or replication and federation, as separate DB2 II options. Indeed, there will be a number of new licensing options in the Masala release. This will be a brand-new replication facility that will leverage WebSphere MQ to provide real-time replication. The new architecture and performance adopted by IBM for this is such that it might be worth the company's while to call it something other than replication. Note that this will only be available through DB2 II and for DB2 users that have not implemented DB2 II they will be restricted to conventional replication capabilities.
Of course, IBM has a significant advantage with DB2 II as it represents an upgrade for all those users who previously implemented DataJoiner as well as new facilities for new users. Also, the company's clout gives it a substantial advantage when it comes to attracting partners. While I have not seen any published figures my guess would be that, as a result, DB2 II is the leading product in the data federation space. Masala is likely to strengthen that position still further.