Analytics in Demand

Tools integrate business intelligence software with enterprise apps.

With a flurry of business intelligence introductions, software vendors are moving to meet the need for analytics integrated with enterprise applications.

Hyperion Solutions Corp. last week released Version 6.2 of its Essbase online analytical processing server, the first step in the companys drive to provide enterprisewide analytics. The new version of Essbase features a data source integration console that automates the transfer of data from multiple sources, such as supply chain applications and data warehouses, said officials in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Jay Nish, a consultant at Clarity Systems, in Toronto, and a Hyperion customer, said the new Essbase is a big step toward enterprisewide analytics.

"Its very important for developers to be able to promote development to production, and this version does it automatically," Nish said.

Nish said Version 6.2 is better at tracking processes such as calculations and queries and can suspend processes that are tying up a system. Administrators can also limit how long queries run and generally have more control over a system, he said. Nish said Version 6.2 can run on multiple servers and allows more than one user to sign in at one time.

Hyperion also began shipping Version 2.0 of its Application Builder, a Java-based tool used to build custom analytic applications. The upgrade features a new Web Application Architecture, based on the model-view-controller pattern; new sample applications and source code components to speed development; Java Database Connectivity and Star Schema support for relational data access; and support for Linux.

Separately, Informatica Corp. last week unveiled an all-in-one business intelligence solution. The centerpiece of the offering is the new Analytics Delivery Platform, which replaces technology Informatica licensed from Business Objects SA and MicroStrategy Inc. The platform, available now, is built on a Java 2 Enterprise Edition architecture, replacing the client/server architecture of the licensed product. This Web architecture allows for broader deployment to users across an organization and supports alerts.

Informatica, of Redwood City, Calif., next week will ship Version 5.0 of Informatica Applications, which will better support analytics of specific operational applications. This version will add data mining capabilities to support predictive analytics, officials said.

Not to be outdone, Business Objects, of San Jose, Calif., last week introduced Product and Service Intelligence. The products two modules—Contact Center Analytics and Product Analytics— optimize customer service and product marketing, respectively.

Earlier this month, Alphablox Corp., of Mountain View, Calif., announced Alphablox 4. The upgraded analytic infrastructure can be embedded into applications powered by IBMs WebSphere and BEA Systems Inc.s WebLogic Web application servers, so users can access information in real time.