Hyperion launches Essbase 7X

Hyperion Solutions, a vendor of business intelligence applications, will announce at its Solutions 2004 Hyperion International Conference in Paris this week, Essbase 7X, a greatly enhanced version of its analytic suite.

Also to be announced at the Paris meeting is a new data visualization tool, Hyperion Visual Explorer and Enterprise Analytics for SAP BW (Business Warehouse).

Essbase 7X will add operational analytics for line-of-business users to the infrastructure, which up until now addressed only financial analytics.

A change in platform architecture allows users to both query up against so-called sparse data used on the operational side and complex data used by the financial side of the business, according to John Kopcke, CTO at Hyperion.

The Essbase platform now sits atop both an aggregated storage architecture for sparse data and a block storage component for financial data as well as standard RDBMS storage.

The change reflects the impact that compliance has had on analytics.

"Stovepipe analysis, where you have marketing with one set of numbers and finance with another set of numbers to tell the Street, is no longer acceptable," said Kopcke.

By adding analytics for line-of-business users to its current infrastructure, the company also hopes to capitalize on the current enterprise trend toward vendor consolidation, according to Madan Sheina, principal analyst with Computerwire. As companies look more closely at IT budgets, they realize that they may have invested in too many different technologies.

"It's just a case of reducing the overlap," Sheina said.

Prior to the new release, the numbers of applications and the scope that Essbase had was limited architecturally. The new capabilities open them up to a broader audience of users, Sheina added.

The addition of Aggregate Storage to the platform also increases the performance on terabytes of data. The company claims a performance increase of 87 times faster than the previous Essbase software when calculating a cube. "What took Essbae 7.0 three hours to calculate now takes Essbase 7X two minutes," said Kopcke.

Henry Morris, group vice president for integration, development and application strategies at IDC, said that the performance improvement was the most significant component of Essbase 7X. In the past, companies had to make tradeoffs and alter the design of a query in order to fit into time constraints created by slower calculation times.

"Essbase 7X takes the practical restriction away and companies are freer to design the type of application that is appropriate," said Morris.

Hyperion Visual Explorer, another addition to the suite, will give users simplified drag and drop capabilities for navigation through data to show relationships and interdependencies that they may not be aware of.

The Hyperion Data Integration Connector tool will connect Essbase with SAP BW, the data warehousing component on the SAP NetWeaver platform.

Essbase 7X starts at US$10,000, with additional end-users fees. Visual Explorer and the Data Integration Connector for SAP BW are optional.

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