Feeds

Weird scenes inside the BI gold mine

The rush for Business intelligence

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Comment If there is a gold mine in the software industry right now it is surely business intelligence. However, the business intelligence market is supposed to be consolidating and commoditising. In that case, why is it that there are a whole bunch of new vendors and products entering the market?

I have spoken with four in just the last couple of weeks. Perhaps that's not weird, but it is certainly interesting. And even well-established players are coming up with innovative and fresh approaches to queries and reporting. Information Builders, for example, is very active in developing new ways in which business intelligence, particularly at the operational level, can be used. However, that is a story for another article, as are the other three newbies: the one I want to discuss today is ICS.

ICS (www.icsltd-uk.com) is a well-established (over 10 years old) service company focused on the BI market. Its client list includes household names in both the public and private sector. While this isn't actually the first product the company has launched, it is the first the company expects to have a significant impact on the market and it has given the product, RSinteract, its own website (www.rsinteract.com) to prove it.

RS (as the astute among you may have guessed) stands for Reporting Services, as in SQL Server Reporting Services and RSinteract is a tool for building and deploying reports based on Reporting Services. So, why would you want to use this in preference to the facilities provided by Microsoft?

To answer that you need to understand the options offered by Microsoft. With the previous version of SQL Server your only option was to use the Report Builder in Visual Studio. However, this is a developer tool. It is fine for building rich, strictly formatted reports and forms but it isn't much use if you want to generate an ad hoc report and it is not suitable for end users.

To meet the needs of business users for less formal reporting, with SQL Server 2005 Microsoft has introduced a second product called Report Builder. While this is fine for quick, simple things, it has a number of drawbacks. First, it requires you to download a smart client. Secondly, it has a different semantic data layer (because it is based on acquired technology) from SQL Server itself. Thirdly, you can only have one report on a page, you can't display a chart and its data together, there is a restricted set of templates, the editor is separate from rather than a part of the product. I could go on, but you get the idea.

What ICS has done is build a tool that not only overcomes these issues but has much greater applicability. So, for example, it is a zero footprint product on the client, the editor is built in, there are extended template definition and reuse capabilities, there are additional report types supported, you can mix and match data and charts, you can create compound reports, and so on. The company has not yet built in support for the SQL Server semantic data layer but it will do so in due course.

As yet the company is only selling direct, and within the UK, however it is actively seeking re-sellers and partners both here and abroad. Target markets are both end-user organisations and ISVs that might want to use RSinteract to build reports into their own products.

Copyright © 2006, IT-Analysis.com

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION
Code jockeys: count up and grab your fabulous tablets
Twitter App Graph exposes smartphone spyware feature
You don't want everyone to compile app lists from your fondleware? BAD LUCK
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.