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Terracotta In-Genius

Announced on the 4th March, In-Geniusis planned to GA in Q3 2013. It’s referred to as an “in-memory intelligenceplatform” which will enable you to “access high-value business-criticalinsights”. Terracotta seems to be positioning In-Genius to be the answer to allyour big data analytics problems.

As technology progresses, particularly in the form of webservices and hardware sensors, businesses are having access to unprecedentedlevels of data about their customers. What this means is that using that datato better profile the target market is becoming a key differentiator forbusinesses which may not have considered this kind of approach; take, forexample, the case of theSeattle based real estate agent who provides a way to search for properties bycommute time using real-world data.

So what does In-Genius do?

At the halfway point in Q3, and with less than a month and ahalf (at most) to go before release, what do we know about the technology sofar? Well a lot of the specifics are still under wraps at the time of writing,so we have to go on what was released to the press back in March.
There is a glut of tools available to help gather, store andaccess big data in high performance environments. The problems that come withbig data aren’t new, but usingthe data in intelligent ways to solve problems and enhance business isstill a developing field. Terracotta’s approach is to offer a unified solutionwhich takes existing technology for collecting and storing big data and tocombine it with event processing, which promises to enable businesses to analyseand react to developing trends in real time.


But what is it?

In-Genius doesn’t seem to be a “product” in the traditionalsense, but more a way of using several products in concert, with (it seems)some sort of dashboard to tie everything together. Details on what you’ll get “inthe box” when you buy it are very few, but there are some things we do know you’llget:
In-memory data (BigMemory)
o  BigMemory’s ability to exploit Java’s off-heap storagecapability means that In-Genius will be able to make good use of theperformance benefit that comes from keeping your data near to processing. Muchof the analysis of data will happen over time, since patterns need time todevelop, so the ability to keep recent data close by to process with incomingdata will be critical to performance.
Messaging (UniversalMessaging)
o  Your data has to come from somewhere. The “Internetof Things” is a great source of data but it appears, by the inclusion ofUniversal Messaging into the offering, Terracotta prefers to target the samefinancial institutions that already use its messaging product, which is anatural fit for this kind of data analysis.
Event Stream Processing (new)
o  The event processing feature of In-Genius is newto Terracotta and the main selling point; it’s also likely to be the aspect onwhich In-Genius, as a product, will live or die since it’s the only as-yetunproven part of the whole.
o  The success of such event processing relies onhow easily business rules and constraints can be applied as well as howeffectively the data can be displayed and acted upon. Terracotta advertisereal-time dashboards “with charts and graphics” as well as “alarms and actions”to tick the latter boxes, but we won’t know anything about the user experienceuntil we’ve had a chance to get our hands on it!

Is it any good?

It’s hard to make a firm judgement without knowing more ofthe technical details of the offering, but it will certainly need to be to makean impact outside of the current pool of SoftwareAG customers. Big players likeIBM and Oracle are certainly not resting on their laurels with high-profiledemonstrations like IBM’s Watson. In-Genius certainly seems to know its market –primarily finance – and seems to be designed with that market in mind.

Terracotta have set the release date to be Q3, which means we should see an announcement by October.