Info

Tech entrepreneur, executive, and investor; father of eight children; Googler.

BusinessObjects/SAP is on. They’re talking about their desire to create more engaging products. Once again they repeat the theme that the move to the Web cost theme in terms of their user experience and with Flex/AIR they can recapture some of that.

They’ve got a new application–Polestar–that helps casual users generate reports. The first feature they demonstrate is a simple Google Search style interface to the system. Enter “sweaters” and it finds the data you want.

When you choose a search result, you’re given a very intuitive way to query the data. Having used BusinessObjects and hated it in the past, this is very interesting stuff. The UI actually looks… usable.

The UI is built dynamically based on the data in the system. They’re spending a lot of time on specific use cases for the UI. One of the cooler things about the charting system is that the charts transition in meaningful ways. When you transition chart types or change chart scopes, you can see the data move to the appropriate part of the screen.

They also have widgets. Everyone has widgets. Goodness. They have a widget “factory” that can be used to generate new widgets on demand. Neat.

We are very interested in social networking and our products, especially to learn about the types of people in the company and bring them the right data.

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  1. Maz #
    February 27, 2008

    Hi Ben, and thanks for your series of Engage posts. Good to see real life applications choosing AIR.

    You can have a closer look at Polestar here : http://www.businessobjects.com/product/catalog/polestar

    For the widgets part, you are right, a bunch of companies are doing widgets. But we somehow have to. Especially us at Business Objects, we deal with companies’ private data and I can tell you that they don’t want that data hosted in ther netvibes page or in Yahoo! Widgets…
    You can find a video and further info on BI Widgets here :
    http://labs.businessobjects.com/biwidget

    Thanks,

    Mathieu LEMAIRE
    Business Objects Labs

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