Ever need to make internal data available externally and consumable by smart-client and mashup applications? Mash-up development has become the new craze in the Web 2.0 development world. Mashups are powerful because they can quickly and easily integrate multiple data feeds into a single smart-client or web application. For those of you in the business intelligence world, they can help you to integrate internal data with external market or web service data. In the past few months Business Objects announced two products that enable online data sharing and consumption within Web 2.0 mashups and applications.
Query as a Web Service
The recently released Productivity Pack for BusinessObjects Enterprise XI Release 2 contains a new tool called Query as a Web Service (QaaS). QaaS is a product of our Business Objects Labs, which is a center for innovation that develops prototypes to meet unique customer requirements. QaaS is a tool that allows administrators to create universe queries through a drag and drop tool, and then publish these queries as web services. The end result is a secure web service that provides a data set defined by the query created in the tool. QaaS produces internal corporate web service data.
Just as QaaS enables the sharing of internal data, Business Objects Information OnDemand increases the relevance of your business intelligence by combining internal data with relevant external information. Information OnDemand is a new service from Business Objects which allows you to purchase and integrate external market data with your relevant internal data.
QaaS and Information OnDemand are perfect data producers, but who or what can consume this data? Business Objects has two tools that can consume web service data. Crystal Xcelsius and Crystal Reports both provide web service and online data connectivity drivers. Crystal Xcelsius in particular has proven to be a great tool to create web service mashups.
The other obvious consumer of these new data tools are developers. QaaS is not a developers tool, but I really see as it as an enabling tool that will provide greater access to online data to developers. I’m very interested to see how it plays out. Who will be the greatest consumer of QaaS data? Web Service enabled client tools like Crystal Xcelsius or the developer looking for access to corporate web service data? I’ll keep my eye on the Diamond QaaS forum to see how it plays out.