WebFOCUS and Business Intelligence

WebFOCUS Business Intelligence

Because Everyone Makes Decisions

WebFOCUS is a comprehensive and fully integrated enterprise business intelligence platform whose architecture, integration, and simplicity permeate every level of the global organization – executive, analytical, and operational – and make any data available, accessible, and meaningful to every person or application who needs it, when and how they need it.

The WebFOCUS operational business intelligence platform is all about architectural superiority. It boasts:

 
 

WebFOCUS Web Services

Does your enterprise require dynamic public information such as stock quotes, weather reports, or even driving directions?

The WebFOCUS operational business intelligence suite is the only solution that can create, consume, and publish Web services, giving it the ability to be an integral part of a service-oriented architecture. WebFOCUS maximizes integration points for business intelligence systems, while providing the performance and flexibility required to incorporate information from multiple Web services and enterprise data sources and deliver real-time reports to anyone in the extended enterprise. It also ensures that information published as a Web service is comprehensive, accurate, and satisfies the information latency requirements of the business application consuming the data.

WebFOCUS' Web services can be used to:

  • Combine data from internal and external sources to create a unified, insightful report
  • Make data from disparate internal systems available via Web services, reducing programming redundancies and integrating systems more efficiently
  • Drill down from one internal or external source to any other to more easily navigate and research

Producing WebFOCUS Web Services

WebFOCUS exposes reports, distribution, and administration as Web services, allowing external applications built with Web services-supported languages (such as VB.NET, C#, and Javaâ„¢) to consume them via standard Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). Through Web services, powerful WebFOCUS functionality can now be seamlessly integrated into applications programmed by general-purpose languages – enabling data manipulation, analysis, and reporting.

WebFOCUS' data access and integration capabilities are unparalleled in the business intelligence market – providing comprehensive, native access to more than 300 data sources, including relational, legacy, multidimensional, ERP, and CRM. Via Web services, WebFOCUS can incorporate information from internal and external custom applications, in addition to those data sources it can natively access, for comprehensive enterprise business intelligence reporting. WebFOCUS reports can incorporate information from any enterprise system and then be published as a Web service.

Consuming WebFOCUS Web Services

The WebFOCUS Web Services Adapter enables Web services created and deployed using any Web-services authoring tool to be directly consumed by the WebFOCUS report server and manipulated as though it were relational data. Once defined, WebFOCUS enables metadata describing the Web service to be automatically created, catalogued, and made directly accessible for reporting or analytical purposes. WebFOCUS can then integrate both internal and external data sources to create combined reports.

The same Web service may be manipulated in conjunction with the 300 other RDBMSs, DBMSs, and legacy file systems accessible through the WebFOCUS enterprise adapter architecture. WebFOCUS can also read a Web service as a data source when creating a data warehouse or mart using DataMigrator. Enterprises can conduct ad hoc reporting against these Web services, and create robust reports from the data using nothing more than a Web browser. WebFOCUS' Web service adapter allows enterprises to quickly and efficiently satisfy critical information requirements.

WebFOCUS Business Intelligence Dashboard

Single User-Friendly Interface

The WebFOCUS Business Intelligence Dashboard integrates the reporting environment into one user-friendly interface. Each user can personalize their portal by deciding what reports they see and how they see them. Users can even select analytic tools for creating reports and graphs, as well as features such as matrix reporting, ranking, color-coding, drill-down, and font customization.

Features include

  • Easy tailoring of the environment's look-and-feel from prepackaged templates; customization with background colors, wallpaper, links, and company logos
  • Customizable portals that enable users to personalize their environment by selecting the way they view, store, and retrieve information
  • The ability to navigate and pinpoint the exact reports needed from a drop-down menu or expanding tree; the list can include both public and private reports viewable by a specific user or group of users
  • Security that gives administrators complete control over the appropriate content for each portal user
  • Search function based on key words and phrases lets users easily and quickly locate the information they need
  • Automated report distribution allows users to schedule reports distribution via printers, faxes, e-mails, and wireless devices; users can even specify events that will trigger reports to be distributed
  • Pull up and display archived reports from the WebFOCUS Report Library

Report Output Formats

To meet diverse user preferences and enable the best possible analysis, WebFOCUS delivers enterprise information in a wider variety of formats than any other business intelligence solution on the market. With all of its output options, including HTML, Microsoft Excel™, Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF)™, Microsoft PowerPoint™ and Active Reports, its own new "thin" interactive format, WebFOCUS satisfies the broadest range of user needs, delivering data in whichever format is best suited for the task at hand. All report elements – including field names, headers, subtotals, sort breaks, styling, conditional styling, drill-downs, and images - are preserved within the report in the desired format.

Examples of WebFOCUS Report Output

HTML

Microsoft Excel

Adobe PDF

Microsoft PowerPoint

HTML

WebFOCUS HTML reports offer:

  • Multiple proactive report drill-down options - including automatic, conditional, or cross-contextual - to any other report, program, or location, as well as multiple locations within enterprise reports
  • On-demand paging that simplifies navigation through large reports by dividing them into multiple HTML pages, which can then be downloaded and/or printed individually
  • Ad hoc report creation, including simple tabular reports or OLAP-enabled reports, for advanced analytical functionality such as automatic filtering on all data categories, as well as drill-down, -up, -across, and -through and one-click resorting on measures
  • Active Reports for analysis of data from any location, connected or disconnected from the enterprise
 

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Reports can be delivered as static Web pages or as interactive HTML documents with advanced graphics and drill-down capabilities. View our live demo or report gallery for more HTML report samples.

Excel

Many people spend hours each week re-keying data from paper documents, or copying and pasting information into spreadsheets. But, recent audits of Excel spreadsheets found that 91 percent contained errors.* WebFOCUS eliminates this problem by providing seamless integration with Excel 2000 and XP that's unmatched by other leading business intelligence solutions.

Clicking on embedded hyperlinks in Excel produces the same drill-downs as those created in HTML. Additionally, WebFOCUS automatically generates native Excel formulas, and translates numeric values and dates into supported Excel formats. Once displayed, Excel reports can then be saved on local PCs, or e-mailed for further viewing and analysis.

These integration capabilities provide the following features and benefits:

  • " The ability to save a complex WebFOCUS report as an Excel 2000 or higher spreadsheet, while preserving formatting and drill-downs to detail data via active hyperlinks
  • Simple, automatic generation of Excel PivotTables from WebFOCUS reports - an easier way to create PivotTables than using the native Microsoft interface
  • Creation of compound Excel reports that include data from different sources as multiple, tabbed spreadsheets contained within a single Microsoft Excel workbook
  • Streaming of data to existing Excel templates
  • Bursting of data to multiple Excel worksheets
 

WebFOCUS offers the ability to save a complex report into Excel, while preserving formatting and drill-downs to detail data via active hyperlinks. Click on this image to view the Excel file.

PDF

PDF is the preferred format for printing and distributing outward-facing materials, such as annual reports, brochures, invoices, and billing statements. WebFOCUS reports can be outputted as PDF files that include drill-downs for exploring summary and detail data. Users can save graphical dashboards to PDF, or create compound PDF reports with drill-through and table-of-contents capabilities to automate the process of quickly navigating from general to specific information.

Pixel-based graphic charts (left) feature course angles and curves, while SVG-based charts (right) remain clean and crisp, even when zoomed in. Click to view a comparison in PDF format.

WebFOCUS enables the creation of graphs in a scalable vector graphic (SVG) format, which is fundamentally different from image formats, such as GIF or JPEG, because it is not pixel-based and therefore allows for perfectly smooth curves and angular image elements. As a result, reports include clean, crisp illustrative charts and graphs for printing and distribution.

In addition to SVG, graphs in WebFOCUS can be produced in portable network graphics (PNG) format. This pixel-based format supports much greater color depth than GIF.

PowerPoint

Organizations use business intelligence to illustrate how corporate goals are being set and achieved. Often, the most effective way to display this information is through Microsoft PowerPoint. WebFOCUS' visual business intelligence features include the ability to create any dashboard as a PowerPoint slide, making it easier for users to present critical performance data. Additionally, WebFOCUS can publish entire PowerPoint presentations with just a "click" of a mouse.

WebFOCUS' visual business intelligence features include the ability to create an active dashboard within a PowerPoint slide.

Business Intelligence Application Development

Flexible, Intuitive Application Development/Deployment

To effectively address the information needs of all types and levels of users, developers must be able to quickly and easily build sophisticated business intelligence applications and deploy those applications throughout the enterprise and beyond. WebFOCUS development and deployment solutions provide easy-to-use Web-based applications for unlimited numbers of users, tailored to their skill level and preferences regardless of location, as well as flexible and intuitive development tools for building applications. WebFOCUS offers leading-edge development and deployment solutions to suit different user preferences for greater ease of use and maximum productivity.

  • The WebFOCUS development environment is optimized with an architecture built on Web technologies that increases the value of information for the user by providing information in the most usable formats.
  • Broad deployment of information controls overall costs and improves the efficiency of delivering more information to more people, while providing a personalized, secure, and organized approach to business intelligence content.
Features

The WebFOCUS Developer Studio is an open and intuitive environment that allows for rapid development of virtually any type of Web-based report – including charts and graphs – or information systems. Training time and costs are significantly reduced, and time to deployment for critical reports and applications is dramatically accelerated. And it's not just reporting: Most business intelligence solutions allow you to only build reports or to query information; WebFOCUS Developer Studio allows you to build content-rich Web applications that include business logic.

An open, scalable architecture allows developers to integrate WebFOCUS with existing Internet infrastructures, build sophisticated applications that support a large number of users, and deploy these applications efficiently to ensure a high degree of reliability and performance.

WebFOCUS also supports Web services, which empowers developers to create and publish any WebFOCUS report as a Web service callable from J2EE™ or .Net environments. As a result, robust business intelligence output can be seamlessly integrated within any application, regardless of architecture.