Business Objects Releases First Fruits of Crystal Acquisition

Company also announced the roadmap for future integration of Crystal's software with its existing BI platform.

Business Objects SA Thursday released the first Crystal Decisions Inc. products since closing on the acquisition of Crystal last month and announced the roadmap for future integration of Crystals software with its existing business intelligence platform.

The Paris-based company, with North American headquarters in San Jose, Calif., announced Crystal Version 10, combining Crystal Decisions Crystal Enterprise, Crystal Analysis and Crystal Reports products.

New features in this version include a more interactive client interface; tighter integration with Microsoft Office applications; a new Java report engine and advanced controls for Visual Studio.Net developers; improved administrative capabilities; and a new data access architecture.

By the second quarter of this year, Business Objects will start to bring the Crystal products together with its existing applications as it joins competitors Hyperion Solutions Corp., Cognos Inc. and MicroStrategy Inc. in efforts to help enterprises consolidate business intelligence applications—enterprise reporting, query and analysis, OLAP and business performance management—on one vendor.

That process will begin at the end-user level with the release of a product integration pack that will make the products accessible through the same portal interface with single sign-on.

In addition, this phase of integration will call for applications to share common Web services APIs, and enable Business Objects metadata, or "universes," to be used as an optional data source for Crystal Reports

The next step, by the end of this year, will make Crystals Enterprise, Reports and Analysis products a part of Business Objects version 11 release, putting all BOBJ and Crystal applications on a common infrastructure with common administration.

The Business Objects 12 release, planned for the end of 2005, will complete the integration, bringing feature parity between Business Objects Web and desktop clients. All applications will also share the same semantic layer in this release and there will be more collaboration and workflow technologies added.

Crystal will provide reporting and OLAP technology with BOBJ providing query and analysis and performance management. Infrastructure products will be retired where theres duplication, such as data security and report broadcasting, company officials said.