Information Builders Links Business-Intelligence And Connectivity Software

The new release of WebFocus will provide native access to more than 210 data sources and data formats, including relational and legacy data. It will also be capable of reading data as a Web service. Information Builders is also tightening the WebFocus-iWay connection by providing a common set of metadata-management capabilities and tools for both products for use by developers and administrators.

WebFocus 7 offers new data-cleansing, -preparation, and -reconciliation capabilities, and new autonomic-computing features will help the WebFocus server fine-tune itself based on its workload. Information Builders also will offer more packages of WebFocus and iWay software, including iWay's data-transformation engine, for real-time data analysis applications.

For users, enhancements to the graphical user interface make WebFocus reports more navigable. And developers can now incorporate SQL queries built with other tools into WebFocus.

Administaff Inc., a human-resources services provider for small and midsize businesses, uses WebFocus for both internal applications and to provide clients with reports on payroll, 401(k) plans, and other information. "What excites me about WebFocus 7 is the promise that we can put a lot more reporting capabilities into our clients' employees' hands without a lot of training," says John Sheridan, Administaff's business-technology and development director.

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The new release's scalability improvements are important, Sheridan says, given that many of the company's 80,000 employees use the software, as is the tool's ability to analyze both historical and real-time data. "Being in the HR business, we need to look at both," he says.

WebFocus 7 is slated for availability beginning April 25, with pricing for WebFocus Professional Server starting at $35,000 on a single-processor Windows NT server.