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Query tools take to the Web

Business Objects' latest version of its WebIntelligence line of analytical tools can be used across either the Internet or an intranet.

Business Objects is sending its query tools to the Internet.

The San Jose, California-based vendor unveiled today the latest version of its WebIntelligence line of analytical tools. The new version features the ability to use the tools across the Internet or across an internal intranet.

"Business today is converging on the Internet," said Bernard Liautaud, chief executive of Business Objects. "This creates a great opportunity for organizations to communicate and share data over the Web with customers, partners, and suppliers."

The new version of the query, reporting, and online analytical processing software includes signed applets, firewall support, and auditing support, designed to make it easier for users to analyze data over an extranet.

For example, Owens & Minor, a $3 billion medical supply distributor, is installing the system to open up its inventory and sales information to customers. This way, a hospital will be able to manage their inventory levels more easily by reviewing and even slicing and dicing data on the supplies it gets from Owens & Minor.

For security, the signed applets feature uses digital certificate technology from VeriSign to help secure often sensitive financial or sales data while it travels along public Internet paths. The firewall feature is meant to allow the tools to work among a range of firewall configurations on the server and client sides of a system. And the auditing feature allows a user company to track and monitor usage of the software.

The product is available in beta version now and is to be available for general use in the third quarter of this year. It is priced at $595 per user and the new OLAP module and WebIntelligence Explorer feature can be added for $395 per user.