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Business Objects Splits Dashboard Manager From Application Foundation

Vendor seeks to encourage wider use of business-intelligence dashboards throughout large companies.

Business Objects SA is splitting off its Dashboard Manager software from its Application Foundation analytic application system in an effort to encourage wider deployment of business-intelligence dashboards throughout large companies. The move will make it easier for companies to take the first step of building management dashboards, according to an announcement the vendor will make Monday.

Dashboards provide managers with an at-a-glance view of key business-performance metrics, giving them better insight into company operations and business processes. They're becoming an increasingly popular means of delivering information and analytical results to users who lack technical or data-analysis expertise.

Until now, Dashboard Manager has been a module of Application Foundation, Business Objects' platform for building and running analytical applications. But the vendor now offers the software as a separate product comprised of the user interface and a processing engine to provide the dashboard with metrics such as time-series analysis. Additional analytical capabilities, including segmentation, predictive analysis, and statistical process control, can be added later.

By creating a separate dashboard product, Business Objects is stepping up its competition with Cognos Metric Manager, says Wayne Eckerson, an analyst with the Data Warehousing Institute. But he adds that the move is largely a repackaging of existing technology. All this is part of the vendor's efforts to offer the broadest product line for business- or corporate-performance management. "It's such a hot area right now," Eckerson says.

The Dashboard Manager software is available, priced at $1,000 per named user or $100,000 per 500 users for server-based licensing.

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