Ascential Software leads enterprise data integration market in product content, partnerships, and ETL product commitment

Independent Research Firm Puts Ascential Software's Strategy and Vision Ahead of All Competitors in Enterprise ETL Report

WESTBORO, Mass., Jan. 3, 2005 -- Forrester Research (Nasdaq: FORR) reports in a new study that Ascential Software Corporation (Nasdaq: ASCL), the enterprise data integration leader, received the highest scores for overall strategy and vision for product content, partnerships, and commitment in the Enterprise Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) Tools market. Ascential Software was among the select companies that Forrester invited to participate in its December 2004 report, "How to Evaluate Enterprise ETL," in which the independent research firm answers the question "who's the best?" in the enterprise ETL market. In this evaluation, Ascential Software was cited as a leader in the ETL tools market.

"A successful vendor in the enterprise ETL market should focus and differentiate, plus demonstrate the ability to maintain value-added relationships with systems integrators, technology leaders, and complementary application vendors," noted Philip Russom, principal analyst, Forrester. Strategy, along with Current Offering and Market Presence, is a key indicator in the Forrester Wave(TM) methodology that was used to assess 14 ETL products. According to Forrester, Ascential Software has differentiated by delivering data integration capabilities plus products for related functions like data profiling, data quality, application integration, and mainframe data access. Ascential Software is the only vendor in the study to provide all of this functionality natively and on a single platform.

Ascential Software earned recognition for extreme ETL scalability, advanced connectivity, a price/performance ratio that is more favorable than that of other vendors assessed in the report, and complete collaborative capabilities. Forrester relates that "a user reported five billion rows processed into 12 dimensions per fact on a daily basis, thanks to multiple server instances of Ascential DataStage(TM) complemented by Ascential's Parallel Extender. Other users reported high scalability out of the box, thanks to the product's support of parallel processing for all components, linear scalability as more hardware is added, and dynamic load balancing in multinode (grid) configurations."

In addition, Forrester notes that "Ascential DataStage supports a very long list of data sources -- mostly through native gateways to all the relational databases -- and extract methods which range from ODBC to OLEDB to call interfaces. Connectivity areas that differentiate Ascential DataStage from other high-end tools include: multiple types of services, support for a long list of products and standards for message-oriented middleware, and, especially, mainframe data access."

"Forrester's Enterprise ETL report is satisfying to Ascential Software because of the favorable assessment earned and because of the recognition that we alone meet the broader enterprise data integration requirements defined by Forrester," said Mark Register, chief marketing officer and vice president of marketing, industry solutions and global alliances, Ascential Software. "Ascential DataStage, our ETL solution, delivers added value to end-users because it is part of the Ascential Enterprise Integration Suite(TM), an end- to-end platform that provides all of the components necessary for complete enterprise data integration, including data profiling and data quality capabilities, meta data management, service-oriented architecture, and parallel execution."

The Ascential Enterprise Integration Suite is a comprehensive data integration solution that profiles, cleanses, and transforms data from virtually any application or system regardless of data volume or latency. Ascential Software's integrated offering is designed to help companies streamline operations, improve customer support, expedite business transactions, and make better tactical and strategic decisions on the basis of the best available information. The suite provides unlimited scalability through parallel processing, complete meta data management, and any-to-any data source and application connectivity, and delivers on-demand data integration seamlessly within an enterprise's service-oriented architecture.

About Ascential Software

Ascential Software Corporation (Nasdaq: ASCL) is the leader in enterprise data integration. Customers and partners worldwide use the Ascential Enterprise Integration Suite to confidently transform data into accurate, reliable and complete business information to improve operational performance and decision-making across every critical business dimension. Our comprehensive end-to-end solutions provide on demand data integration complemented by our professional services, industry expertise, and methodologies.

Ascential Software is headquartered in Westboro, Mass., and has more than 3,000 customers and partners globally across such industries as financial services and banking, insurance, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, telecommunications and government. For more information call 1-800-966-9875 (508-366.3888 if calling from outside the US or Canada) or visit the Ascential Software website at

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This release contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations or beliefs, as well as a number of assumptions about future events, and these statements are subject to important factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this release address a variety of subjects including, for example, the Forrester December 2004 enterprise ETL market report, the functionality, characteristics, quality and performance capabilities of Ascential Software's products and technology; results achievable and benefits attainable through deployment of Ascential Software's products and provision of services; and improvements in operational performance and decision-making, the ability of Ascential Software's products to provide a powerful framework for developing and deploying data investigation, standardization, enrichment, probabilistic matching and survivorship operations; the ability of Ascential Software's products to facilitate data validation, cleansing or master data entity consolidation for customers, locations and products and the ability of Ascential Software's products to integrate enterprise information, regardless of the sources, targets and timeframes. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements: the ability of the company to expand its market share; growth rates for the enterprise data integration software market; general business conditions in the software industry, the technology sector, and in the domestic and international economies; rapid technological change in the markets served by the company; dependence on international operations; global and geopolitical instability; compliance costs associated with regulations to which the company is subject, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, and the impact of such regulations; and difficulties that the company may experience integrating technologies, operations and personnel of completed or future acquisitions. For a detailed discussion of these and other cautionary statements, please refer to the filings made by Ascential Software with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, the most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. Ascential Software disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements made herein to reflect any change in Ascential Software's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which such statements are based. Ascential Software is not responsible for statements attributed to third parties within this release or in any materials referenced herein. Partnerships described herein shall be deemed to be strategic alliances only, and shall not imply the power of either partner to bind the other partner or to incur obligations on behalf of the other partner.

SOURCE Ascential Software Corporation

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