Business Objects SA in San Jose followed its customers' lead this month by offering an extranet version of WebIntelligence.
Last year, some customers running the client/server version altered and deployed it on an extranet.
Owens & Minor Inc., a medical supplies distributor in Richmond, Va., uses the client/server and extranet versions of WebIntelligence, an integrated query, reporting and online analytical processing tool for the Web. It has used the tool since 1996, said Don Stoller, director of information management at Owens & Minor.
The company's extranet, called WISDOM, won a Best Practices award last year from the Data Warehousing Institute. WISDOM, which stands for Web Intelligence Supporting Decisions from Owens & Minor, connects the company with suppliers and hospitals.
Owens & Minor was one of the 100-plus customers that adapted the client/server version of WebIntelligence to work in an extranet environment, said Timo Elliott, senior director of extranet marketing at Business Objects.
"They built a nice tool," Stoller said of the client/server version, "but when it comes to the extranet, you need to be in a position to manage and deploy to your customers and suppliers over the Web. We've already done that using the WebIntelligence software, and we want to make sure that they continue to support it."
Owens & Minor didn't replace one version of WebIntelligence with another, he added. "There's still tremendous functionality [in the full-client version] that's not yet with the Web version," Stoller said. "We liked the hybrid approach, where one can continue to communicate with the other."