Tuesday, October 9, 2012

WebFOCUS 8 Released on 2012 October 9th

The big day has arrived. We first heard about WebFOCUS 8 in 2010 and have been anxiously awaiting its arrival. Information Builders announced today that release 8.0.01 is now generally available.

Important features of WebFOCUS 8 include:
  • Active Technologies using HTML5 and JavaScript
  • Unified Architecture and New Security Model
  • Migration Tools to upgrade from WebFOCUS 7.6 and 7.7
  • Business Intelligence Portal to replace the BI Dashboard 
  • Tools Consolidation and Unification of User Interfaces for ribbon-style GUIs
  • Lots of enhancements and improvements to existing features such as: 
    • InfoAssist End-User Ad Hoc tool
    • Mobile BI for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices 
    • Reporting Server Core Technology and Adapters
    • RESTful Web Services API and Adapter
    • DataMigrator
    • Developer Studio
    • Magnify output feature for easier integration with WebFOCUS and Search
    • New RStat applications

The announcement does talk about "Developer Studio" instead of calling it "Application Studio" as IBI had announced at Summit 2012. I also noticed that support statements and other types of documentation still use the old name, so I will have to investigate where the proposed new "Application Studio" moniker has gone.

10/11/12 Update: Glance at IBI's formal list of products and you will see it includes an active link to the Developer Studio page, but the Application Studio link is inactive with a comment of "Coming Soon" implying that WebFOCUS 8 did not include the new Application Studio. It is quite possible that brand new component was the culprit delaying everything (we know that the Core Report Server 8 was ready to go and actually released as 7.7.04; we were waiting on some front-end pieces).

Later Update: Actually, WebFOCUS 8 may not really be available to the general public. Unlike other releases, you cannot just download a copy yourself from Information Builders' TechSupport site. Instead, there is a comment to call your local office to discuss getting the upgrade. This implies there is a "controlled" release of WebFOCUS 8 to existing customers. Why, you ask? Well, there must be something in the implementation process with which the vendor wants to help you. 

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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.