Cognos readies upgrade of reporting software

Business intelligence software vendor Cognos Inc. is rolling out upgraded reporting software that it claims will boost scalability and be easier to integrate with products from business partners such as IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp. and SAP AG.

Cognos on Tuesday plans to announce ReportNet 1.1, an update of the enterprise reporting tools that it shipped seven months ago. Anil Dilawri, a product marketing manager at Ottawa-based Cognos, said the new features include the ability to handle more users. While the original application could serve reports to up to 50,000 named users, the new version can scale up to 190,000.

Users will also get improved auditing capabilities and the ability to create specialized charts with the 1.1 release, Dilawri said. In addition, there is much tighter integration with third-party applications, such as Microsoft Excel, he said. Users can push ReportNet 1.1 information into Excel spreadsheets and even export complete charts but keep the original formatting, according to Dilawri.

The upgrade also supports IBM’s DB2 database cube views, which can format complex data so users can more easily manipulate the information. And it’s certified to work with the data warehouse software in SAP’s NetWeaver middleware suite, Dilawri said.

ReportNet 1.1’s metadata support for SAP Business Warehouse was key for Mold-Masters Ltd., said Val Swift, IT manager at the molding systems manufacturer in Georgetown, Ont. Without any customization, Mold-Masters was able to access a German-language version of its SAP-based data warehouse and pull the data into ReportNet in English, with the original SAP framework and content still intact, Swift said.

“Any formatting set within SAP Business Warehouse is available in ReportNet,” she noted. “We were a bit apprehensive about how easy it would be, and it was effortless.” ReportNet 1.1 will also support other languages, such as Dutch, which could come in handy for Mold-Masters in the future, Swift said.

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