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Microsoft buys Zoomix to add data quality to SQL Server

Microsoft is purchasing Zoomix to add data-quality capability to its SQL Server database.

Microsoft has agreed to purchase Zoomix, a small Jerusalem company that provides data-quality technology, to bolster its SQL Server business, the company confirmed Monday.

Microsoft did not reveal the terms of the deal, which has been rumored since early June. Zoomix's Accelerator software combines semantic and linguistic analysis with machine learning to classify, match and standardize complex corporate data, according to the Zoomix Web site.

Microsoft plans to add Zoomix's technology to future releases of its SQL Server database, the company said through its public relations firm. Zoomix's development team will join the SQL Server team at Microsoft's research and development center in Israel, according to Zoomix.

Managing data has always been a problem for business customers, particularly large enterprises that have multiple instances of data stored in different systems that may vary slightly from each other.

Data-quality software helps automate the process of ensuring that data being entered and stored -- and later mined for decision-making -- is the most accurate.

"One of the problems we face today is that there is so much data out there, trying to figure out what's really important -- to get information, and from that information to get knowledge about what's happening -- is difficult," said Richard Ptak, managing partner of IT analyst firm Ptak, Noel & Associates.

Vendors that provide databases, business intelligence and data-management software increasingly are integrating automated data-quality capability into those products to improve the overall quality of an organization's data, he said.

Microsoft's plan to add automated data-quality technology to its database product, especially to the data-entry workflow, could greatly help the overall quality of data and reduce errors and inconsistencies, Ptak said. "You want to correct it as early in the stream as you can," he said.

Zoomix primarily targets the manufacturing, distribution, retail and financial enterprise vertical markets in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, according to its Web site.