Business Objects takes wraps off new architecture

Business Objects SA this week took the wraps of a new architecture designed to provide suggested actions from reporting tool conclusions and its forthcoming new BI (business intelligence) core product suite.

The new architecture, code-named Sundance, is designed to bridge the gap between traditional BI tools and the way companies make business decisions. The next release of the company's core BI product suite, code-named Tosca, will feature significant reporting capability enhancements, according to a company spokeswoman. Due out in the middle of 2003, it also will include rich Web capabilities, deep Microsoft Excel integration, a customizable portal, and XML support.

BI tools traditionally have implicitly had a single user assumption, with a user making a query and generating a report, said Dave Kellogg, Business Objects senior vice president of marketing. However, business decisions are almost never made in isolation, he added.

"Virtually all business decisions are...made by groups of people," Kellogg said. "When I find an insight in Sundance, I can pass it along."

Sundance provides guided analysis to lead users through next steps after a report shows an exception.

"If you can capture in a database how information has flowed and what next step people take it be possible to identify which of those practices are best practices," Kellogg said.

Once a plan to correct an exception is designed, Sundance can appear as a pane in a portal to monitor progress toward those goals.

Sundance is designed to work across the entire Business Objects products line. It was rolled out in beta this month, and is scheduled to be available in the first half of 2003.

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