UNSCRAMBLE

LAUNCH THAT PROGRAM

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For the answers, go to www.gcn.com and click on Crossword/Puzzle.

READERS SPEAK

At a recent conference, Oracle Corp. chairman and chief executive officer Larry Ellison pooh-poohed middleware for integrating databases. It would be cheaper and more efficient, he said, for agencies to create Web-accessible megadatabases. What's your take?

Combining ill-fitting parts from many buckets into a single large barrel still leaves you with a mess that must be sorted out before you can use any of the parts. Physical consolidation of data elements, as defined by local bureaucrats, offers only a simple-minded solution and marginal benefits.

For consolidations to work, what's needed as the first step is a master data dictionary, especially for the Defense Department. Information warfare interoperability makes this a necessity. The current middleware solutions, rightfully criticized by Ellison, are too costly, error-prone and slow to support modern combat operations.

'Paul A. Strassmann, former director of Defense information

For more responses, go to www.gcn.com.

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