Building on its history as a report software vendor and exploiting the ever-growing interest in intranets, Datawatch is creating a new data file format designed just to send reports over the Net.
The company calls the compressed file format a Portable Report Format. The company says that PRF is similar to the PDF format created by Adobe Systems which lets users view documents in their original form on different kinds of PCs by including formatting information in the file. The format will show up in a suite of report distribution products due in September that expands on Datawatch's Monarch data mining program, the company has told CNET.
Monarch 3.0 will let users access, analyze and move data from reports into other applications such as spreadsheets, much as the earlier version did. But the new version is aimed at the expanding intranet market by turning data extracted from those applications into "portable" reports that can be easily moved around networks without losing any formatting or design information.
A PRF file includes data format information and an index so that users can pull data out of the report to create new reports or graphs that can then be sent to others over the Net. An encryption and password option allow for increased security.
The full version of Monarch 3.0 will be available as a stand-alone application, while a low-cost version called Monarch Report Explorer that can view and manipulate but not create reports will be available as a helper application or Navigator plug-in. A beta version of Monarch Report Explorer is available from Datawatch's Web site.
Monarch 3.0 will cost $499 retail for a single user; Monarch Report Explorer will cost $250 for five users.