Software is eating the world. Today's reality is Big Data, IoT, and SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud). On my general blog, I cover BI products such as R, Tableau, Information Builders (IBI) WebFOCUS, IBM Cognos, SAP Business Objects, Actuate, Microstrategy, SAS, QlikView, and others. Here, I give my personal opinions on WebFOCUS.
An independent adviser and Solutions Consultant, I help companies make better decisions through the effective use of BI/Analytics software and data.
Monday, April 9, 2012
Understanding WebFOCUS BI Images
are just buying the WebFOCUS BI product from Information Builders, you need to understand
"images" and work them into the initial deal.
that build software applications will typically have multiple environments to
separate different software life-cycle development tasks. Except for some minor
differences, these logical work-space separations will be mirror-images of each
minimum, companies will isolate Production from Development. Then, they
implement formal processes for fully testing newly developed software features
and promoting them properly into Production. This protects the business
applications from failing due to improper changes. Developers are not allowed
to directly monkey around with Production applications.
full application development product, WebFOCUS also requires multiple
addition to Production and Development images for WebFOCUS, most companies also
have Disaster Recovery images in the event of a catastrophic event that brings
down Production. Should that unlikely event happen, companies switch over to
their DR environments. Typically, the DR image is considered a non-used software copy and included with the
companies will also have a Sandbox image; a safe environment isolated from all
other users so that the system administration team can properly test new
versions and configurations of the software product.
of moving directly from Development to Production, most companies have an
intermediate staging area called "Production QA" or "User
Acceptance Testing" where business users can test out newly developed
features before approving them into the Production environment. This separate
area ensures that business testing and demonstrations will not be impacted by
without a PQA/UAT environment are forced to coordinate time between developers
and users in the same environment to make sure everything remains stable (which
usually means the developers must stop working on certain features or
summary, many companies have the following WebFOCUS images which are stand-alone:
Companies also have "promotable" images that exist in a chain for software development:
large projects (such as mainframe platform migrations and modernizations), some
companies might set up multiple development images to avoid conflict between
multiple IT teams. This would isolate the various development and testing work
efforts being done and prevent conflict.
WebFOCUS image can be configured differently. Of course, each would typically
point to different code repositories and, potentially, different database
images. For example, the PQA/UAT environment might point to a full version of
the Production database for full volume testing while the Development
environment might point to smaller test databases.
are using the Micro Focus Enterprise Server, you probably have multiple
"regions" in that product as well. Each WebFOCUS image may be
assigned to be used with a specific Micro Focus region. You could configure the
Micro Focus to WebFOCUS interface differently for each environment.
have not yet purchased WebFOCUS from IBI, now is the time to negotiate getting these
extra images as part of the initial sale. If you have already paid for WebFOCUS without
images, then you may have less of a bargaining chip.
I am a project-based consultant, helping data-intensive firms use agile methods and automation tools to replace legacy reporting and bring in modern BI/Analytics to leverage Social, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Visualizations, and Predictive Analytics. For several world-class vendors, I led services teams specializing in providing software implementation and custom application development. Based on scores of successful engagements, I have assembled proven methodologies and automated software tools.
During twenty years of technical consulting, I have been blessed to work with smart people from some of the world's most respected organizations, including: 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, graduating summa cum laude. In 1990, I joined Information Builders, the vendor of WebFOCUS BI and iWay enterprise integration products, and for over a dozen years served in branch leadership roles. For several years, I also led technical teams within Cincom Systems' ERP software product group and the 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.