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Business Objects Announces WebIntelligence 2.7.

Business Editors/High-Tech Writers

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 3, 2002

New Features Including Groundbreaking OLAP-to-Relational Drill

Through Provide Customers with One Complete

Web BI Tool for OLAP Analysis

Business Objects (Nasdaq:BOBJ), the world's leading provider of business intelligence (BI) solutions, today announced the availability of WebIntelligence(R) 2.7, the newest version of the industry leading query, reporting, and analysis tool for the web. WebIntelligence 2.7 provides web access to all major relational and online analytical processing (OLAP) sources, intelligent navigation between OLAP and relational data, and additional query options. This enables customers to get more insight into their corporate data, leverage their investment in OLAP data sources, and standardize on one BI solution.

"As the database markets move toward convergence, with relational database vendors increasingly integrating OLAP into their products, our customers need to include OLAP as a portion of their overall enterprise data warehouse and BI projects," said Crispin Read, vice president of product marketing at Business Objects. "Historically, this has led to more work for end users who often need multiple tools, one to analyze summarized OLAP data and another to reconstruct the OLAP query in a relational environment, in order to get the full picture. This reconstruction is tedious and difficult, requiring skills that even power users lack, and puts a strain on information technology staff who are forced to install and maintain multiple front-end tools that often only access a portion of the overall data sources."

WebIntelligence 2.7 provides improved OLAP access, thus enabling organizations to better address the needs of users performing advanced analysis. By accessing both OLAP and relational sources interchangeably and providing OLAP-to-relational drill through, WebIntelligence 2.7 enables end users to dynamically work with all relevant corporate data in a way they understand, no matter where the information is stored. This erases the need for multiple front-end tools, easing the burden for end users and IT alike.

"I'm pleased to see Business Objects is improving its interactive web-based OLAP query capabilities, with fast, easy access to several leading OLAP servers," said Nigel Pendse, lead author of The OLAP Report ( "And Business Objects has ingeniously linked this to its traditional rich relational reporting, so that a user can drill from any data in an interactive OLAP view straight to a supporting detailed report based on data in a relational or OLAP database. This reflects real-world needs, where OLAP analysis cubes and detailed relational feeder systems usually form part of the same application."

WebIntelligence 2.7 builds on existing versions of the product and includes new features to provide one web product to access all data, intelligent navigation between data sources, and more query options.

Standardize on One BI Tool that Provides Web Access to Relational and OLAP Data

WebIntelligence 2.7 provides fuller access to and better analysis of the leading OLAP servers. Users can leverage the full power of OLAP via one intuitive, easy-to-use web interface, allowing them to directly access and analyze OLAP data and quickly answer business questions without having to understand metadata, filters, and dimensions.

WebIntelligence provides a web-based front end to Hyperion Essbase, IBM DB2 OLAP Server, Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services, and SAP BW. This gives users access to powerful OLAP capabilities such as true ranking, value filtering, sorting, sophisticated OLAP dimensional navigation and data selection, and synchronized views of drillable grids and charts.

WebIntelligence 2.7 enables users to choose both relational and OLAP sources as the basis for their reports and analysis. Instead of investing in multiple front end tools, each to access only one OLAP source, companies can use WebIntelligence as the single front end to both relational and OLAP data, thus more efficiently meeting their diverse business intelligence requirements. This in turn helps them reduce the total cost of ownership and increase the return on investment of their BI system.

Fully Leverage all Corporate Data with Intelligent Navigation Between Data Sources

WebIntelligence 2.7 leverages the benefits of both relational and OLAP data sources and empowers users to analyze data according to the business needs, without being restricted by the location and format of the data.

WebIntelligence 2.7 includes a revolutionary new feature that enables users to drill from OLAP data to relational data within one report, navigating seamlessly from summary OLAP analysis to reports based on detailed relational data, all from within the same web-based tool. This enables users to gain more insight into the data while maintaining the report context and relevance. This innovative drill-through capability is open and available between the leading OLAP servers to relational sources, even multiple relational sources. For example, an end user could drill from a Microsoft Analysis Services OLAP source through to Oracle, DB2, SQL Server, or any other relational data source, easily finding additional information that is relevant to their specific analysis.

WebIntelligence 2.7 uses a new XML interface and workflow for an open, metadata-based approach to transferring queries between sources. This ensures the correct contextual translation between the summarized OLAP data and the generated detailed relational report.

More Query Options Meet the Needs of a Diverse User Population

Business Objects has always provided IT with a wide choice of technology options that enable them to work in an environment that best fits their business needs. WebIntelligence 2.7 builds on this freedom by enabling a hypertext markup language/dynamic hypertext markup language (HTML/DHTML) query option. This enables IT to deploy WebIntelligence in a way that takes advantage of previously installed technology and corporate technology standards, and optimizes the end user experience. For example, IT can create a query wizard to provide a customized, simplified workflow for more novice users.

The WebIntelligence 2.7 workflow is based on business needs, with the most common tasks performed by the majority of users available within one mouse click, and more advanced analytics popular with power users a few additional clicks away. This layered interface makes it easier for non-technical business users to analyze OLAP data with minimal training, enabling companies to quickly realize benefits of OLAP analysis.

"We're pleased Business Objects continues to release new products that address the needs of enterprise customers, and WebIntelligence 2.7 will make it easier to access all types of corporate data in a way that makes sense," said Tom Nather, senior systems analyst, data warehouse, at Penske Logistics. "At Penske, users in different departments rely on different data sources. For example, the finance department uses Essbase and the operations department uses Oracle. The ability to access all of our data sources from one tool that can easily be extended to our customers via the extranet will be a real benefit to our business."

"Organizations want to leverage the power of OLAP for specific applications and must provide the right mix of data sources and analysis tools for a varied user population," added Crispin Read. "With WebIntelligence 2.7, we continue our legacy of meeting the daily BI needs of the entire BI user population, from the casual report reader through to the power analyst. Business Objects becomes the obvious choice for companies looking to standardize on one flexible, complete BI solutions for the enterprise."


WebIntelligence 2.7 is generally available.

About Business Objects

Business Objects is the world's leading provider of business intelligence (BI) solutions. Business intelligence lets organizations access, analyze, and share information internally with employees and externally with customers, suppliers, and partners. It helps organizations improve operational efficiency, build profitable customer relationships, and develop differentiated product offerings.

The company's products include BusinessObjects 2000, the industry's leading integrated business intelligence toolset and platform; and BusinessObjects Analytics, an integrated suite of enterprise analytic applications.

Business Objects pioneered the modern BI industry in 1990 by inventing a patented "semantic layer" that insulates users from the complexity of databases. In 1995, the company was first to focus on enterprise-scale BI deployments and today supports customers with more than 20,000 users. The company moved aggressively to the internet in 1997 by pioneering the market for BI extranets, a market that it continues to lead today. In 2000, the company delivered the industry's first interactive mobile BI solution. Today, Business Objects continues to innovate, creating and delivering a unique vision for enterprise analytic applications.

Business Objects has more than 15,000 customers in over 80 countries. The company's stock is publicly traded under the ticker symbols NASDAQ: BOBJ and Euronext Paris (Sicovam code 12074). It is included in the SBF 120 and IT CAC 50 French stock market indexes. Business Objects can be reached at 408/953-6000 and

Note to Editors: BusinessObjects and WebIntelligence are trademarks or registered trademarks of Business Objects SA. Other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

A full-text copy of this announcement may be downloaded from the web; access and search on "Business Objects." Business Objects product inquiries should contact 800/527-0580.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 3, 2002
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