Cognos to unveil support for Web services

Cognos Inc. on Monday plans to unveil support for Web services as its new integration platform will extend its Cognos Series 7 business intelligence to other applications and environments.

Using Internet technologies such as XML and SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) to build connections between software and multiple applications, Cognos Web Services will allow enterprises and their trading partners to rapidly integrate Cognos into Web, vertical market, and wireless applications, according to company officials from Burlington, Mass.-based Cognos.

In addition, Cognos will team with Macromedia to combine Cognos Web Services with Macromedia Inc.'s Flash to provide responsive, "desktop like" applications for delivering customized BI visualizations and reports.

Companies will be able to integrate reporting capabilities from Cognos, as opposed to developing reporting functionality from the ground up, into an existing application, said Colin Saravanamuttoo, Cognos product marketing manager.

"It's all about taking information from many different sources and linking it all together ... extending business intelligence throughout the organization, putting business intelligence on as many desks as possible," Saravanamuttoo said. "If you can pick and choose the functionality you need and embed it in an existing application ... you're going to have a much greater opportunity for people to use business intelligence. You will have greater uptake because it is so seamless."

The Web services platform, which supports both Unix and Microsoft Corp. platforms, will also allow companies to tailor Cognos BI to fit unique needs because developers can customize software, officials said.

In addition, Web services will allow companies to display content from a Cognos application customized within an existing user interface, which can then be seamlessly added to existing enterprise portals, Saravanamuttoo said.

Hospitality company Carlson Cos. in Minneapolis, already has leveraged Cognos' Web Services to extend its BI footprint further across the enterprise, said Scott Heintzemann, chief information officer at Carlson Hotels Worldwide.

Mobile users will have access to the information they need on corporate performance via rich, multimetric displays, scorecards, or status reports, he said.

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