Liquid Data is a new product from Bea Systems, inc. makers of the infamous Weblogic J2EE application server.

The idea behind Liquid Data is one of data aggregation. Sometimes an organization finds itself in a sticky situation with regards to its data.

It is very easy to have different kinds of data stored in different kinds of data repository. Perhaps your sales data is stored in an Oracle database, your inventory is stored in an XML repository and your sales staff data is only available through a web service provided by the HR department.

Pretend that is your situation, and then imagine having to write a commission calculation application that needs to access all three of those data sources. It would require a good deal of effort to write the code to parse xml, the SQL to access Oracle, and the client code to get data from the web service.

It would be even more work to write the code required to mesh all of this data together into one useful format.

That's where Liquid Data comes in. Through the Liquid Data interface, you can define a single data view that incorporates multiple data sources. you can define rules for sorting, merging, joining or however else you want your data combined. Liquid Data then provides a single data source for making these complex queries involving multiple types and sources of data.

Of course, if you want to use Liquid Data, you'll have to use Weblogic. But hey, would you really expect it to be any other way?