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AlphaBlox plans Web tools

The start-up ships a set of Web-based analysis tools that open access to the deep stores of information in most enterprise applications.

Software start-up AlphaBlox has begun shipping a new set of Web-based analysis applications that can help to open up the deep stores of information processed and housed in most enterprise applications.

Priced at $50,000 per server, AlphaBlox Enlighten 1.1, is a set of Web-based applications that allows users, mainly in the IS department, to assemble custom enterprise analysis applications for deployment to users across an intranet or the Internet. The company will publicly announce the software at DCI's Data Warehouse World tomorrow in Orlando, Florida.

The AlphaBlox application is a set of Java components that can be assembled into analysis applications without coding, according to the company. InterBlox is the application assembly framework that handles communication and control of information within Blox, while BASE is the server environment for the applications.

Customers can create operational analysis applications through a technology developed by AlphaBlox called Dynamic Application Assembly (DAA). DAA is a software that allows users to assemble Web-deployable analytical applications.

The package is intended to cut the time it takes for development of custom decision support applications. Since the applications give managers a peek into data stored in corporate business applications, Blox can also enable speedier decision making, the company said.

AlphaBlox is unique because it fits into three distinct markets, according to International Data Corporation analyst Steve Garone. "At IDC we have defined a couple developmental tool markets for them to fit into. First components, then component construction and assembly. But they then take this forward to a specific application which is analytical applications."

Another analyst said the product comes to the market with all the right messages. It's for intranet users, is Java-based, and has a component architecture.

"That's key," said Bob Moran of the Aberdeen Group. "Keep in mind that all of their competitors are getting just as sophisticated, but AlphaBlox is coming out of the gate as a player in the market? [with] a product that rolls out quickly and is easy to use."

The company was founded in 1996, and rolled out the beta of AlphaBlox Enlighten last December. The package is now shipping for both the NT and UNIX platforms. AlphaBlox Enlighten can also be purchased through a program called AlphaBlox FASTART, a suite of products and services designed for delivery of AlphaBlox Enlighten analysis applications.