Business Objects will be releasing the latest version of its business intelligence (BI) platform, XI 3.0, next month. XI 3.0 is the first platform of its kind to combine data integration and data quality in the same offering.
Although this new version includes better access to data with SAP Business Warehouse, the software was too late in development to allow for any kind of extensive integration work. (SAP acquired Business Objects in October 2007 for $6.8 billion.)
The new platform enhances a user's experience of BI with new functionality, such as a widget capability and a mobile version, as well as the ability to incorporate unstructured information within the platform.
... The BI Widgets give users access to personalized metrics right onto their desktop, keeping them informed with up-to-date information. The mobile version of the solution allows remote access to BI reports and allows for offline access, ensuring that customers can carry out analysis without a connection.
Other significant updates include: Crystal Reports 2008, Web Intelligence, an advanced reporting and analysis tool for both SAP and non-SAP environments, and Xcelsius 2008, a visualization tool for creating executive dashboards. You can check out the list of extensive upgrades from the press release.In a press conference last month, SAP CEO Henning Kagermann said that the company's bigger vision was to create a kind of "closed loop" in which SAP users "can rapidly adjust business processes in SAP applications based on business intelligence they get from Business Objects and SAP apps." In fact, even deeper integration with SAP is already in the works; another project aims to integrate Business Objects' data integration and data quality software with SAP's master data management software.
The coming year will be an interesting one to watch, with competitors like Microsoft, IBM, and Cognos rolling out newer iterations of their BI offerings.
Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.