Information Builders Marries Ajax, BI

Information Builders is marrying Ajax to its line of WebFocus business integration platform to provide a thin-client approach to custom business reporting. The technology, announced this week, will be available later this year. IDN takes a quick peek and how BI and Ajax may push business demand for both among end users, creating new dev opportunities.

Tags: Business, WebFocus Power Painter, Reporting, Custom, Ajax, Thin-client, Enabling Users,


Information Builders is marrying Ajax to its line of WebFocus business integration platform to provide a thin-client approach to custom business reporting. The technology, announced this week, will be available later this year. IDN takes a quick peek and how BI and Ajax may push business demand for both among end users, creating new dev opportunities.

Dubbed WebFocus Power Painter, the tool will enable devs to create powerful reporting and analytics in a thin-client environment. IB describes the opportunity for such a tool this way:

Web technology has lacked the capability to deliver a truly robust interface similar to the desktop. The initial release will be geared toward the power user, to provide them a single tool to address the wide range of needs of information consumers to advanced developers.

With Ajax, WebFOCUS Power Painter can scale to a large number of users as it is easily administered as a thin-client Web tool, and can also scale to a users' skill- level as function and capability can be customized to specific individual needs.
The Ajax-powered WebFOCUS Power Painter will enable:
  • Autoprompting - automated prompting for parameter-driven reports
  • Coordinated compound reports - simple generation of reports that combine multiple objects from various data sources in a collated compound document
  • A new library of controls - enabling users to use the richness of a Windows desktop directly in their browser; and
  • Customizable user interface - interface can be customized to the skill-level of each user

    As for end users, IB says incorporating Ajax into WebFocus brings these new "process-driven BI" capabilities:
  • Alerts -- Providing users with notification when analytics produce certain results, allowing users to resolve issues as they unfold in real time.
  • Analytics -- Embedding analysis in order to inform users or determine how to automatically manage the process workflow based on results.
  • Data visualization -- Enabling users to view the process at multiple points throughout the event and decide how data is produced, delivered, and designed.
  • Reporting -- Aligning BI with decision-making more tightly than ever before, enabling users to determine the precise events or conditions that trigger the need for a report.


  • Providing more end users better, clearer and faster access to BI, is also a key to making BI more forward-looking - and a more integral part of the decision-making process, IB execs said. "Business intelligence is not just about turning data into information, rather organizations need that data to impact how their business operates and responds to the changing marketplace," said Gerald Cohen, CEO of Information Builders said in a statement.




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