French business intelligence software firm Business Objects SA has added another milestone in its enterprise information management (EIM) strategy by launching its BusinessObjects Data Quality XI software.
Data Quality XI is built on data quality software that Business Objects acquired from Firstlogic Inc earlier this year.
The software is being marketed and sold in two different ways: either as a core component of an EIM suite or as a standalone data quality tool.
Paris-based Business Objects, which also maintains a sister headquarters in San Jose, California, announced its EIM strategy in the spring of this year as a data management foundation for feeding BI and performance management applications with clean, current and trustworthy business information.
Kristin McMahon, EIM product manager for Business Objects, said in a recent interview with Computer Business Review that Data Quality XI now adds the data quality functionality acquired from Firstlogic as an integrated part of Business Objects’ growing EIM portfolio of data management tools.
The drivers for Data Quality XI are threefold: supporting enterprise-wide standardization of data quality, making data quality projects more scalable, and simplifying data quality tools so that more users can benefit, she explained.
To support these goals, Data Quality XI comes with a host of new features, notably enhanced business rules management via a new centralized repository that drives standardization and facilitates sharing and reuse.
Data Quality XI’s SOA design allows for easy access to the repository.
Companies can now leverage data quality parameter controls and business definitions across departments as Web services, McMahon said.
To bump up scalability Business Objects has added new support for watch list matching to help companies comply with government regulations like the US Patriot Act. The US government currently maintains dozens of watch lists of possible fraudsters, terrorists and criminals to identify suspects or suspicious financial transactions.
Data Quality XI also comes with enhanced international capabilities to support more globalized data quality projects. McMahon said that localized parsing support has now been added for Arabic, French, Spanish and Portuguese and the matching capabilities have been expanded to more languages including Chinese, Taiwanese, and Korean.
Business Objects has added new business rules and matching wizards that puts data quality within reach of more business users as well as tight integration with Crystal Reports to assist in the administration of data quality projects.
The matching wizard means that users spend less time setting up rule designs and more time optimizing their data quality strategies.
Integration with Crystal Reports serves up new an improved statistical reports on how data quality is improving over time that are aimed at both technical users and key management personnel.
Finally the Data Quality XI release also adds connectivity to more data sources. Data quality connectors are now available for SAP, Siebel, PeopleSoft and Oracle business applications. Integration with Informatica is also retained. Firstlogic had a close OEM with Informatica prior to its acquisition.
Frank Dravis, vice president of EIM marketing at Business Objects, also told Computer Business Review that Firstlogic was already working on the new features that are available in Data Quality XI long before its acquisition by Business Objects in April this year.
This is a significantly enhanced version of Firstlogic’s Information Quality Suite; not just a re-brand. We’ve been working on substantial improvements for the past 12 to 18 months now.
He also said the release was a first proof point of real integration with the rest of Business Objects’ EIM portfolio of tools.
At its core EIM addresses data integration (ETL), data quality, metadata management and enterprise information integration. Business Objects has fleshed out these capabilities with a series of acquisitions starting with Acta Technology Inc back in 2003, which gave it an ETL tool branded as Data Integrator. More recently it acquired Medience SA (for EII) and Firstlogic.
EIM is also proving to be a strong revenue stream. In its last quarter, EIM-related license revenue spiked 78%.
We’re making sure that data quality integrates into our EIM suite. The strategy is to ensure that data quality functionality is available to EIM users in batch or real-time, Dravis said.
But he admitted that full integration was still work in progress.
It’s an ongoing effort and will progress over time. We’ve already exposed different APIs and data elements of our data quality suite to the Business Objects repository. We’re working to expose more of that functionality directly in Data Integrator [Business Objects’ ETL tool].
He said that customers could expect tighter integration with Business Objects metadata manager product and Data Integrator, when an upgraded version of the latter will be released in December this year.
Data Quality XI is expected in the third quarter. Depending on the deployment and configuration, pricing for the software starts at around $100k.