TECH BRIEF

SAP launches new data warehouse search tool

BusinessObjects Explorer due out this summer

SAP AG is launching a Web-based search interface that lets people query information from large data warehouses and ultimately other enterprise resources.

The company has unveiled BusinessObjects Explorer, billing it as the most significant technology developed by SAP and Business Objects, which SAP acquired last year for $6.8 billion.

Explorer evolved from a Business Objects-developed tool called Polestar, released in late 2007, which lets individuals conduct searches against data in the SAP BusinessObjects XI 3.1 BI platform. Using a Web-based interface, SAP officials said Explorer will now let any user, regardless of their knowledge of BI, query SAP's NetWeaver Business Warehouse Accelerator (BWA), the company's tool for creating data warehouses.

Using traditional Web-type searching techniques such as entering keywords, the company said users can query millions of records and render information and reports in a matter of seconds, based on in-memory processing technology co-developed by Intel.

As an example, beta customer Molson Coors has used Explorer to determine profitability of specific products in certain regions. Using Explorer, users could query 900 million records in BWA in less than three seconds. "People cannot believe how quickly the data is coming back," said Katrina Coyle, Molson Coors' global information manager, at the launch.

SAP officials emphasized the broad appeal it sees for Explorer's Web-based interface, which also supports Adobe Flash plug-ins. It is designed to let anyone -- from a clerk to a business analyst or executive -- find any kind of information that may be dispersed within an enterprise repository in much the same way they would perform a Google search.

The initial version, due out this summer, will integrate only with BWA. Later this year, it will be able to query any non-SAP data sources. The company did not disclose pricing.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner and an editor-at-large at Redmond magazine, affiliate publications of Government Computer News.

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