SAP buys 'all the pretty data' firm Roambi

Massive data processing deserves a spot of warpaint

SAP has bought a data presentation specialist to paint its data feeds in a shade more like Salesforce.

The software giant this week bought “key assets” of Roambi, founded in 2008 and specialising in mobile BI and analytics.

SAP announced the Roambi buy while saying its Predictive Analytics also now works with Spark – the open-source cluster framework for massive data processing.

Spark is an Apache Software Foundation project that IBM last year called potentially “the most important new open source project in a decade that is being defined by data”.

However, it is Roambi that has big significance for now.

The data prettifier’s angle is it that displays data using deliciously slick and dynamically updating charts, graphs and sliders that are native apps for iOS and Android.

Roambi’s front ends tap into back ends including Excel, SQL Server, Cognos, Box, Salesforce and – yes – SAP.

Financial terms of the deal were not revealed but SAP pointed out that it had bought Roambi’s “key assets”.

Product roadmap plans would be shared “at a future date”, SAP said.

The deal is a telling response to SAP’s business-apps-as-a-rival Salesforce, which re-painted its own UI with Lightning last year.

Initially designed for mobile devices, Lightning came to Salesforce in the browser in October. It’s an HTML5 architecture that lets elements of data on a screen update in real time and at different times– it’s the dashboard dream beloved of business types.

Lightening replaces the existing Salesforce UI that had required you punch the refresh button for updates. ®

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