Cognos, Business Objects unveil BI tools

Cognos Inc. and Business Objects SA have unveiled new BI products.

Cognos introduced ReportNet, a query and reporting engine designed from the ground up to support Web services, Java, and XML. At the same time, Business Objects launched Enterprise 6.1 of its business intelligence suite of applications.

ReportNet combines both business and production reporting into a single application, an industry first, according to one analyst.

“Up until now it took multiple products to do that and they were usually somewhat incompatible,” said David Folger, vice-president of enterprise analytics at Meta.

Arming reporting tools with Web services capabilities is a direction most of the BI industry is headed, Folger said, but Cognos is the first to get there.

“BI products have been built before the Web and have been kluged and rekluged and (BI) companies need to redo things. Cognos has done that,” Folger said.

ReportNet was also designed to extend the report-building capability to more people within an organization, which includes report recipients, consumers, and business authors, according to Michael Branchaud, director of product marketing at Cognos.

By way of comparison with ReportNet, Folger called Enterprise 6.1 a good next step.

“It’s not a dramatic change over 6.0 but it should help get to the next level of acceptance,” Folger said.

Enterprise 6.1 will offer better data integration with its ETL (Extraction Transformation and Load) platform, deeper impact analysis on changes to the source system that can be displayed on scorecards and dashboards, and improved analysis capability over the Web than the previous version.

Cognos ReportNet is available now, as is Business Objects Enterprise 6.1.

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