Typically, business intelligence (BI) environments are initially constructed and deployed to internal clients across the corporate local area network (LAN) or intranet. Warehouse managers and architects have a reasonable sense of security knowing that their data, the corporate knowledge resource, is located many levels away from outside access and protected by various network security mechanisms. Evaluation of BI access applications, for internal environments, is made with a focus on performance, scalability and reliability. Very few BI architectures take into account the possibility of making the data warehouse accessible and secure for Internet accessibility. This lack of foresight often results in changes to the network architecture or replacement of the BI access applications or components due to incompatibility with Internet deployment security needs.

This column is the first of a three-part series on evaluating BI applications for Internet-facing deployment. This installment begins to explore a series of questions that can be used for evaluation of these applications. Subsequent columns in this series will continue to examine questions that should be asked before deploying a BI application to the Internet.

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