Tuesday, November 29, 2011

WebFOCUS Drops Legacy End-User Assist Tools

Information Builders, the software vendor of enterprise BI WebFOCUS, announced today they will drop support for some legacy end-user report builders as of WebFOCUS 8.0.0, expected to be released sometime yet this year.

No longer supported will be the Report Assist and Graph Assist tools. Both will be replaced with the newer web-based RIA InfoAssist end-user reporting feature. 

Few people should be concerned about these tools going away. Both user interfaces were old Java applets, which meant that software needed to be installed on end-user desktops. Replacing these legacy technologies with a better web-based product is the appropriate thing to do. 

Any reporting applications that your end users generated using the Report Assist and Graph Assist should still be fine. When you get to WebFOCUS 8, however, the legacy code will be opened with the InfoAssist product. 

I suspect there could be issues where the new parsers cannot understand the legacy code, but we will have to wait and see.

In addition to Report Assist and Graph Assist, WebFOCUS 8 will also sunset these features:
  • Managed Reporting (MR) Applet User Interface
  • Reporting Object Applet Tool
  • Alert Wizard Applet Tool
  • Publish Utility Applet Tool
  • Applet-based Graphs, Graph Editor (accessible from Applet-based graphs), and Old Graph Engine (GRAPH32)
  • ReportCaster Applet Interface and Scheduling Wizard
  • Power Painter
  • Advanced Graph Assistant
  • Developer Studio Graph Assistant
  • Developer Studio Managed Reporting Publish Utility

For more information on this announcement, see IBI's WebFOCUS Release 8 Tools Consolidation statement. For more information on when you can expect WebFOCUS 8, see IBI's release schedule.

If you discover you need to convert legacy code based on any WebFOCUS 8 changes, let me know. For example, IBI is also dropping CGI support for HTML launch pages calling WebFOCUS; this is something that Partner Intelligence can assist you with an automated conversion

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About Me

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I am a project-based software consultant, specializing in automating transitions from legacy reporting applications into modern BI/Analytics to leverage Social, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Visualizations, and Predictive Analytics using Information Builders' WebFOCUS. Based on scores of successful engagements, I have assembled proven Best Practice methodologies, software tools, and templates.

I have been blessed to work with innovators from firms such as: Ford, FedEx, Procter & Gamble, Nationwide, The Wendy's Company, The Kroger Co., JPMorgan Chase, MasterCard, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Siemens, American Express, and others.

I was educated at Valparaiso University and the University of Cincinnati, where I graduated summa cum laude. In 1990, I joined Information Builders and for over a dozen years served in regional pre- and post-sales technical leadership roles. Also, for several years I led the US technical services teams within Cincom Systems' ERP software product group and the Midwest custom software services arm of Xerox.

Since 2007, I have provided enterprise BI services such as: strategic advice; architecture, design, and software application development of intelligence systems (interactive dashboards and mobile); data warehousing; and automated modernization of legacy reporting. My experience with BI products include WebFOCUS (vendor certified expert), R, SAP Business Objects (WebI, Crystal Reports), Tableau, and others.