Enterprise software providers seem to be suffering a lackluster year. I've recently written about warnings from such players as Borland (NASDAQ:BORL), Siebel (NASDAQ:SEBL), and Altiris (NASDAQ:ATRS).

So it came as a pleasant surprise when Informatica (NASDAQ:INFA) had a solid quarter that actually beat expectations. Has the company somehow found an antidote for the enterprise software blues?

Informatica helps organizations with data integration, letting them gather far-flung data from multiple locations, under multiple formats, into one coherent and centralized whole.

In the second quarter, its revenues increased 21% to $64.2 million. More importantly, the company increased licensing revenues 21% to $28.1 million. That's no easy feat at a time when corporations are increasingly tightening their belts. Before they shell out hefty up-front licensing fees, enterprise software customers need to know they're getting a truly compelling product that will provide a return on their investment.

What makes Informatica so attractive relative to its competitors? The company has narrowed its focus exclusively to data integration. Informatica's technology can capture data from any system, including mainframes, and process huge amounts of data securely and accurately. In addition, they play nicely with such business standbys as SAP and Oracle, which makes gathering information from multiple systems much easier.

All these features seem to result in growing numbers of satisfied Informatica customers. Management reported strong renewal rates on the conference call; 158 repeat customers signed up in the second quarter. Customers are expanding their use of Informatica's product suite, purchasing additional features and applying the products to more divisions within their companies. Since Informatica sells maintenance and service along with its software, this increased use should translate into higher service revenues as well.

Informatica's good fortune also extended to net income. During the second quarter, net income was $7.06 million, or $0.09 per diluted share. That's up from $1 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, in the year-ago period.

The company also renewed strategic partnerships with i2 and Siebel, and added 48 new customers, for a total of 2,264. Those customers include Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), which is so satisfied with Informatica's solution that the company now handles a staggering 54 terabytes of the bank's data.

Informatica's growth does not appear to be a short-term burst. For the year, the company increased revenue guidance from between $235 million and $250 million to between $247 million and $257 million. The pro forma net income was raised from between $27 million and $32 million to between $32 million and $37 million.

The apparent upswing in data integration's popularity is great news for Informatica's shareholders. According to the CEO, "It's only the beginning."

Further enterprising Foolishness:

Fool contributor Tom Taulli does not own shares mentioned in this article.