Business Objects, today announced that BusinessObjects™ 6.5 is available and began shipping on June 28, 2004. With this release, Business Objects increases its leadership in the BI market by delivering significantly enhanced web query and analysis functionality, increased performance and scalability, and integration with Crystal Version 10 products. BusinessObjects 6.5 provides customers with data integration, web query and analysis, reporting, a complete line of analytic applications, and performance management capabilities.
“Business Objects has raised the bar in the BI industry again with BusinessObjects 6.5,” said Bernard Liautaud, chairman and chief executive officer of Business Objects. “Our expanded interactive analysis capabilities make BI accessible to users in a way that no other solution can match, and we have leveraged the strengths of web services technology to extend the reach of BI to a greater number of applications and users. In addition, we have delivered on our commitment to complete front-end integration of BusinessObjects and Crystal products in Q2 2004. This release allows customers to address the broadest spectrum of BI needs at the lowest total cost of ownership.”
Extended Leadership in Web Query and Analysis
WebIntelligence® 6.5 provides organizations with a unique and innovative way to customize reports and perform analysis, without the need to transition to a complex “authoring studio.” Now business users at any level can easily manage the basic components of reports, such as adding calculations, filtering data, changing the appearance of tables, and selecting different data for reports. This “on-report analysis” capability enables users to reduce their reliance on developers to build reports and reduce their IT expenses.
In addition, WebIntelligence 6.5 enables business analysts to combine data from a broad set of sources into one report. For example, if a manager wanted to analyze customer profitability they could look at sales history and order backlog from different data sources within the same document.
More than Double the Performance and Scalability of the Previous Release
As organizations continue to expand their use of BI, they need to ensure that their deployments can scale to larger numbers of users without sacrificing performance. BusinessObjects 6.5 includes optimized servers and enhanced caching capabilities, which support more than twice the number of users on the same hardware, with half the response time. These improvements enable organizations to increase their BI deployment while minimizing infrastructure costs.
“We are looking forward to implementing BusinessObjects 6.5 because it will enable us to increase our BI deployment, while freeing up IT resources,” said Ken Emery, director of managed services at CareScience (an operating unit of Quovadx, Inc.). “This new release will allow our internal team and our customers who use the system directly to build reports with the content and format that best suits their needs—with just the click of a mouse. With BusinessObjects 6.5, we can provide our customers with leading Web query and analysis tools and a scalable BI suite to meet their growing needs.”
Industry’s Leading Reporting Product Integrated with Industry’s Leading Semantic Layer
With the delivery of BusinessObjects 6.5, Business Objects has completed front-end integration of Crystal and BusinessObjects products and enables joint customers to use both product lines together. The new release gives designers of Crystal Reports® access to the Business Objects semantic layer, a single foundation for query and reporting that translates information pulled from various databases into business language. This feature enables organizations to deliver a consistent view of the business across both BusinessObjects and Crystal products.
Unified BI Portal and Dashboarding
With this release, customers of BusinessObjects 6.5 and Crystal Enterprise™ 10 can use a single portal and log-in to view, share, and search content from across the BusinessObjects and Crystal product families. Managers can also view Crystal Reports from BusinessObjects Dashboard Manager, which extends their performance management capabilities. With BusinessObjects 6.5, customers now have insight into BusinessObjects and Crystal documents within a single environment.
Report Linking Enables Navigation Between BusinessObjects and Crystal Reports
BusinessObjects 6.5 also includes contextual report linking, a feature that allows report authors to link data from WebIntelligence and Crystal Reports. This new feature allows users to move directly from a Crystal Report to WebIntelligence to perform advanced query and analysis.
Unified Web Services Enhances BI Application Development
BusinessObjects 6.5 and Crystal Enterprise customers can extend their BI applications with a new unified web services interface. Now developers can access BusinessObjects and Crystal via a service-oriented architecture, using an industry standard XML-based API. These new web services improve developer productivity and help organizations to communicate internally as well as with partners and customers.
“We are excited about the integration features in BusinessObjects 6.5 because they provide us with one point of access for all BI content,” said Jonathan Rothman, director of data management at Emergency Medical Associates. “Now we have insight into our entire BI system, and can bring together reporting and query capabilities from our Crystal and BusinessObjects deployments. A key goal for our organization is standardizing our BI system and lowering total cost of ownership—this product helps us move closer to that goal.”
“Organizations are increasingly moving towards larger-scale BI deployments that require more comprehensive functionality and ease of use,” said Kurt Schlegel, senior program director at META Group, a leading provider of information technology research, advisory services, and strategic consulting. “Indeed, companies must choose a business intelligence toolset that will meet the broadest range of functional needs, from data integration, to web query, to analysis, to complete business performance management.”
BusinessObjects 6.5 is now shipping on Windows, and is expected to be generally available on all major platforms in Q3 2004.