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Hendon Publishing

Information Builders continues

NEW YORK—Information Builders, the leader in production business intelligence (BI) systems, announced that WebFOCUS Active Reports, the industry’s first portable BI solution, has been extended from single reports to interconnected components available in a dashboard setting. Most notably, it now has the ability to create Active Dashboards and receive Active Reports on Blackberrys that contain the Opera Mini 4 browser.

Information Builders created an application programming interface (API) for Active Reports and made components of all of the product’s elements. Users can now create Active Dashboards that contain multiple interactive charts and tables and distribute them via e-mail. This enhancement allows users to develop, view, and interact with dashboards, similar to FLEX / Flash applications, without requiring any coding or browser plug-ins. Any Active Report or dashboard can also be encrypted to prevent unauthorized use and to enhance security during e-mail distribution.

This is the first time WebFOCUS has been sold as a private label or original equipment manufacturer (OEM) version by IBM or any other major system vendor. This is also the first time WebFOCUS has been made a part of a strategic software stack, validating the strength of this product and its presence as a strong enterprise tool for channel resellers.

No Strings Attached

Dashboards are central to BI, yet many vendors’ dashboards are only available to select users instead of being distributed to all employees with operational responsibilities. The key obstacle to mass adoption of dashboards is that the current model is privilege-based. Users are given access to the BI dashboard through a portal, which has to be set up, and user management and training is required. These tasks come at a cost and are subject to the technical constraints of the system, which further limit the possibility of enterprise-wide dashboard distribution.

The Active Dashboards technology changes this model and allows distribution of dashboards to anyone within the organization. The software is designed specifically to deploy and distribute dashboards to the masses, providing end users with all the power of a dashboard without requiring a connection to core dashboard technologies. Some key benefits include:

• It requires no specialized software—Data and interactive capabilities are bound together in a single file that can be managed without installing additional software.

• It empowers users outside the firewall—External customers can access dashboards without being part of an internal BI system.

• It improves user experience and enhances decision making—Multiple active or other reports are consolidated into a single interactive view making it faster and easier to view information and perform data analysis.

• It requires no connection—Users without a network connection can access Active Dashboards from anywhere—on the road, in a plane, etc.

• It guarantees a single version of the truth—Users can receive scheduled updates to the dashboard, ensuring that they always have the latest information in their e-mail folders.

Published in Public Safety IT, Jan/Feb 2008

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