Information Builders Expands BI To 'Power Users' And Business Processes

The vendor hosts more than 1,200 customers at the Summit users conference.
Information Builders continues to expand its WebFocus business intelligence technology into new areas. Monday the vendor debuted Ajax-based software that allows “power users” to build their own reports and a workflow engine with built-in BI capabilities to guide business processes.

It’s been a busy spring for IBI. Last month the company began shipping its Active Reports that allows a company to provide interactive reports and associated data to employees and customers who don’t have direct access to a BI system. In March the vendor introduced WebFocus Intelligent Search, which uses IBI’s iWay connectivity software to link WebFocus with the Google Search Appliance, which updates the Google index with WebFocus report content on an ongoing basis.

IBI unveiled its WebFocus Power Painter and Process-Driven Business Intelligence technologies at its Summit user conference in Orlando that was attended by nearly 1,300 users.

WebFocus Power Painter is a thin-client tool that power users, business analysts and other workers who span the categories of information producers and consumers – including managers and operational employees. Developers can define reports, charts, and compound documents that can be accessed and customized by other information consumers.

Power Painter uses Ajax (asynchronous JavaScript and XML) technology. “I think it’s going to set a new standard in business accessibility,” said CEO Gerald Cohen. The tool will be part of WebFocus 7.6 that’s due during the third quarter.

Process-Driven Business Intelligence embeds WebFocus into the Process Manager workflow engine marketed by IBI’s iWay subsidiary. A business process such as an order-processing system using the technology, for example, could automatically generate a report for a manager when the workflow engine determines that a credit decision needs to be made. IBI says the new software, which will be available in May, goes beyond business activity management tools that simply monitor business processes.

Eric Rogge, research director at Ventana Research, says Power Painter fills a gap in IBI’s product line, but he says users still need to understand the SQL query and reporting programming language to use the software.