Business Objects Looks To Simplify BI In Next Release - InformationWeek

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Business Objects Looks To Simplify BI In Next Release

Business Objects plans to ship next year a software suite that the company says simplifies the use of its business intelligence platform.

Business Objects plans to ship next year a software suite that the company says simplifies the use of its business intelligence platform.

BusinessObjects XI Release 2 Productivity Suite is meant to make BI more accessible and relevant to a much wider audience with an organization, officials with the San Jose, Calif., company announced at its Insight Americas user conference in San Francisco. The suite includes enhancements to the company's entire XI Release 2 platform, which provides performance management, reporting, query and analysis, and data integration in one environment.

To simplify the use of BI, Business Objects has added keyword search for retrieving information from throughout the system. In addition, the new product makes it possible to access BI from within Microsoft Office applications, a familiar environment to most workers. If the Office applications are posted on an extranet, then companies can automatically update, for example, information in spreadsheets viewed by authorized users in or outside the company.

Productivity Suite also includes a wizard-driven interface that companies can use to design queries and publish them as Web services without writing code. In offering Web services support, Business Objects is making it easier to use BI within other applications, company officials said.

Finally, the new product includes a tool designed for business analysts who rely on OLAP data. The tool makes it faster for them to bring together and view data from multiple sources.

As part of the Productivity Suite release, Business Objects also updated its enterprise information products, including Data Integrator XI Release 2 Accelerated, and Data Federator XI Release 2 Accelerated.

As a result, IT staff can schedule both Data Integrator and BI jobs, and can manage BI and enterprise performance management projects from one environment, company officials said. The former capability ensures that all data is unified and cleansed before running BI reports or dashboards, and the latter makes it easier to share budgeting, planning, and financial data across an organization.

BusinessObjects XI Release 2 Productivity Suite is scheduled to ship in the first half of next year. Pricing was not disclosed.

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