On-line analytical processor Planning Sciences Inc reckons it has the tool to enable accurate sales forecasting and analysis instantly from anywhere in the world with the launch of its Web enabled Gentia 3.1 executive information system including Gentia WebSuite, and it has grand ambitions for the turn of the century. The London-based UK company with […]
On-line analytical processor Planning Sciences Inc reckons it has the tool to enable accurate sales forecasting and analysis instantly from anywhere in the world with the launch of its Web enabled Gentia 3.1 executive information system including Gentia WebSuite, and it has grand ambitions for the turn of the century. The London-based UK company with dual head quarters in Boston, Massachusetts has revenues announced yesterday of $26m, but has ambitions to reach $100m by the turn of the century, by substantially growing its US presence. To help it on its way it raised some $30m in an initial public offering on Nasdaq last May. The company currently claims 50% of its revenue is from the US, with 40% Europe and 10% the rest of the world. Sun Microsystems Inc has signed up to take a four hundred user Gentia license for corporate planning on its own world-wide intranet, following Planning Sciences’ demonstration of Gentia on Sun’s new JavaStation family. Sun’s vice president of corporate planning Dr Anthony West says Planning Sciences has a strong commitment both to Sun’s Solaris platform and to bringing the full power of Gentia to Intranets and new, low-cost network computer clients through Java and the Web.
No code changes
Dubbed decision support for the networked enterprise, the new version of Gentia can be used with any standard Web browser supporting HTML 3.0 and Java, so that end users can access either a multi-dimensional or relational database over the Internet or a corporate intranet and perform complex queries. Gentia 3.1 incorporates Java applets that are downloaded from the server when a user issues a query, and enable complex charts and graphs to be drawn locally, rather than having large bit-mapped files downloaded over a network. Gentia WebSuite, originally to be called Web Server (CI No 3,004), enables existing Gentia applications to be deployed over the Web without any code changes. The WebSuite is interactive, and dynamically generates HTML pages everytime the user sets off an interrogation, so that developers do not have to hand write any HTML. Planning Sciences says Gentia version 3.1 also offers the first access to a multi- dimensional database through an open application programming interface based on the OLAP council’s (CI No 2,592) multi- dimensional interface standard MD-API. This enables third party applications and products to integrate with multi-dimensional data in Gentia databases. Vice president of European marketing operations Ian Macdonald says companies have ever greater need to monitor trends and make critical business decisions instantly. He cites UK retailer WH Smith Plc, which spotted early enough in the run up to Christmas that sales of video games were well down on its forecast, and was able to cancel orders that would have otherwise left it holding large amounts of redundant stock after Christmas. In addition to the Sun win, Planning Sciences has also announced a deal with Dutch firm Baan Co NV, which will integrate Gentia on top of its manufacturing software suite, and McDonnell Douglas Corp’s commercial aircraft division Douglas Aircraft Co has taken a 200 user license for its internal business analysis. Gentia 3.1 is available at the end of next month. Pricing was not given but Web-based pricing will be per concurrent user on the server.