Information Builders tightened up its relationship with SAP with new upgrades to its WebFocus business intelligence platform designed to tap more deeply into SAP NetWeaver BI environments.
Information Builders, which is privately held, has added new intelligent adapters that generate SAP ABAP or MDX query requests to SAP applications servers. WebFocus filers these queries down to the SAP NetWeaver BI server if it requires data to be retrieved from a SAP Business Information Warehouse cube.
Information Builders has sharpened up WebFocus’ metadata management capabilities to allow users to drill-down into SAP object types. The SAP metadata supported by WebFocus can be surfaced as Unicode, enabling multi-language report support.
Information Builders has also geared WebFocus’ GUI development tool to identify and display SAP NetWeaver BI metadata and OLAP reporting rules.
Other enhancements include better hierarchy reporting, though the addition of filters and navigation tools, improved security administration, including single sign-on from SAP platforms like NetWeaver Portal.
Both Information Builders and Walldorf, Germany-based SAP share numerous customers – around 30,000 SAP users – including Valero Energy and Airbus France.
San Antonio, Texas-based Valero is using WebFocus to generate daily, weekly, and monthly batch reports from its SAP ERP system, gathering data from its crude oil, liquid propane and gasoline business lines. The deepened integration now lets Valero’s executives and managers to drill into on a report line item into SAP BW data for further analysis.
Meanwhile Long-time Information Builders customer Airbus France is using WebFocus to report off its R/3 and BW systems, to manage its devilishly complex orders, tenders and contracts.
The aircraft manufacturer recently shifted its mainframe content to WebFocus as part of a corporate-wide initiative to lower its IT costs.
WebFocus’ ability to integrate with SAP now lets Airbus extend the benefits of BI reporting to a wider user constituency. The company is also in the final stages of building a WebFocus application that enhances the reporting capabilities on SAP BW objects, such as InfoCubes, operational data store (ODS), and master data, by coupling that data with non-SAP external data such as DB2 tables or flat files.
Information Builders is not billing the tightened SAP integration as a specific WebFocus release. But it is the latest move by New York-based company to get closer to SAP with whom it has a long-standing relationship. In 2005 webFocus was granted a Powered by NetWeaver certification.