Business Objects SA staked its claim to providing an end-to-end business intelligence platform with the announcement of its Enterprise 6 suite late Wednesday.
The suite, which company officials boast is the most integrated BI suite on the market, features Web-based query, reporting and analysis, a BI portal, a data warehouse, and metadata integration with enterprise applications.
Enterprise 6 includes WebIntelligence 6.0, for ad hoc query, reporting and analysis. New features in this release include support for multi-block reports, synchronized multi-block navigation and complex user-defined calculations, bringing WebIntelligence into parity with Business Objects eponymous Windows-based query, reporting and analysis tool.
WebIntelligence 6 also includes new report component templates, zero-footprint HTML report creation, and an option to save or publish richly formatted reports to Microsoft Excel and Adobe Acrobat.
Business Objects has also enhanced the BI portal in this release, adding new end user analysis functions such as interactive sorting and filtering, easier document navigation, and one click personalization, company officials said.
The new version of the portal is also easier to customize, thanks to active server page (ASP) and java server page (JSP) interfaces and portal skins, officials said.
Also new in this release is a data warehouse building tool, BusinessObjects Warehouse.
This new product collects data from disparate systems and makes it usable for query and reporting. The warehouse is populated by connectors powered by BusinessObjects Data Integrator—technology that Business Objects acquired when it bought Acta Technology Inc. last July.
Also a part of Enterprise 6, Business Objects Data Integrator uses native interfaces to extract data from packaged enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and supply chain management (SCM) applications such as Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP and Siebel, as well as custom applications. It integrates and transforms this data before sending it on to the data warehouse to enable analysis and reporting across the enterprise.
In addition, metadata management capabilities in Enterprise 6 provide real-time alerts from operational systems out to enterprise management dashboards.
Performance enhancements in Enterprise 6 include a new connection pooling process, a new login server, a faster full client calculation engine, a multi-threaded report engine, and page-by-page report generation.
The configuration and installation process has also been streamlined in this release, providing easier setup, deployment, and maintenance of the BI system, company officials said.
Enterprise 6 also includes a new reporting software developer kit (SDK) and a new security SDK, which partners and customers can use to incorporate Business Objects functionality into their own applications and extranets. Enterprise 6 also features integration with software management systems, enhanced metadata validation, and an improved administration console, officials said.
Business Objects Enterprise 6 is in production now on Windows. It will be generally available on Windows and HP UX, IBM AIX, and Sun Solaris by May 15.
Also on Wednesday, Business Objects announced a reseller agreement with PeopleSoft Inc. that allows PeopleSoft to resell WebIntelligence for use with PeopleSoft Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) suite.
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