Business Objects announced BusinessObjects Enterprise 6, the new version of its BI suite that enables organizations to track, understand and manage enterprise performance. Enterprise 6 is the company's suite of integrated business intelligence products comprising enterprise analytic applications, a business intelligence platform and data integration products.

Enterprise 6 provides organizations with one integrated, functionally complete BI environment for all users, from the casual report viewer to the report author to the data analyst, and ensures compatibility between all elements of the BI suite.

Enterprise 6 boasts new and updated products and a host of improved functionality, specifically: a brand new version of WebIntelligence, an enhanced BI portal, a new enterprise data warehouse, end-to-end meta data integration, increased scalability and performance, and improved infrastructure and administration.

As BI deployments have evolved, many users have matured beyond simple report viewing and want to create, edit and analyze reports in detail over the Web. In addition, users outside the organization must be able to access information via extranets. With WebIntelligence 6.0, customers benefit from this sophisticated Web-based BI product, combining powerful functionality and easy-to-use features for all levels of users.

Information technology (IT) managers understand the importance of providing users with an easy and powerful entry point into relevant business information. BusinessObjects Enterprise 6 delivers a significantly enhanced BI portal, making it easier for users of all levels to quickly find the information they need to do their jobs. Enterprise 6 includes new end-user analysis functions such as interactive sorting and filtering, easier document navigation and one click personalization. IT staff will benefit by leveraging customizable active server page (ASP) and Java server page (JSP) interfaces and portal skins that enable quicker corporate customization of the BI portal. Furthermore, organizations can continue to rapidly integrate valuable BI content into their enterprise information portals.

Enterprise 6 includes the BusinessObjects Warehouse, a modular enterprise data warehouse that collects data from disparate systems and makes it usable for business intelligence across the enterprise. The warehouse is populated by connectors powered by BusinessObjects Data Integrator and includes embedded best practices and data warehousing experience. This greatly reduces the time needed to build and deploy analytic applications and accelerates time to BI value, while ensuring that all users are working from a consistent view of information and thus have one version of the truth across the enterprise.

Organizations are moving beyond departmental BI applications to connect all areas of the enterprise, including sales, marketing, finance, products, and supply chain. This requires a common data platform that provides a consistent view of the business from every department. As part of Enterprise 6, BusinessObjects Data Integrator uses native interfaces to extract data from packaged enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and supply chain management (SCM) applications such as Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP and Siebel, as well as custom applications. Data Integrator then quickly integrates and transforms this data to enable analysis and reporting across the enterprise. In addition, BI users need consistent and timely feeds of data from source operational systems. Enterprise 6 provides easy meta data management including real-time alerts from operational systems out to enterprise management dashboards.

BusinessObjects Enterprise 6 features a more efficient architecture, specifically a new connection pooling process, a new login server, a faster full client calculation engine, a multi-threaded report engine, and page-by-page report generation. This provides faster report generation, calculations, and other system-intensive activities. As a result, Enterprise 6 provides significant performance and scalability gains over previous product releases.

BusinessObjects Enterprise 6 streamlines the configuration and installation process providing easier setup, deployment, and maintenance of the BI system. In addition, with a new reporting software developer kit (SDK) and a new security SDK, Enterprise 6 makes it easier for partners and customers to incorporate Business Objects functionality into their own applications and extranets, extending BI deployments to more users. Enterprise 6 also features integration with software management systems, enhanced meta data validation and an improved administration console.

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