What are some of the reporting tools in WebFOCUS vs. Business Objects?

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I am preparing a document on WebFOCUS vs Business Objects and I wanted to know what are the reporting tools in WebFOCUS? As in Business Objects, we have Web intelligence rich and thin clients for reporting and Dashboard design tool for dashboarding purposes. Any help with giving me few names and their functions in WebFOCUS, would be very much appreciated!

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7 Answers

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Dave WallisReal User

WebFOCUS and Business Objects have pretty similar capabilities from a functionality perspective. I don't have a function-to-function comparison, but I can talk specifically about our experience with WebFOCUS (it's been several years since I've used Business Objects).

The best thing that WebFOCUS has going for it, is the connectivity/adapter capability - both the native database adapters, as well as the ODBC. They've really figured this out. And that also enables us to do effective mash-ups of data from different sources, which we've found to be limited in other tools. It doesn't matter if our reports are combining data from Informix, Oracle, SQL Server, or some other source that requires and ODBC connection - the WebFOCUS coding can bring all of those sources in, and match/join them in the code, as the different sources are defined in an abstraction layer that hides the actual source information. You do occasionally run into data typing differences that need to be handled (i.e. - different date formats, how nulls are handled, etc).

From a company standpoint, we have recently had some struggles with IBI's product management. We are in the middle of an upgrade to WebFOCUS right now, and we are finding that there are some situations where functionality has changed - and IBI did not effectively communicate it to us. And as we find these situations, we are having to work through them with their support and development teams. We've done upgrades with them in the past, and have had similar experiences. It seems that other tools do a better job at not closing loopholes, and ensuring backward compatibility in their upgrade process. Again, I see that as a product management shortcoming.

Hope that helps provide some guidance for you!

Like (0)28 March 14
Reviewer73503 li?1414329819

I don't want to interfere in a community discussion, but I need to note that the information posted by Nurul Haszeli isn't good to work from. The Microstrategy brief is old and contains statements that were badly inaccurate even when it was created. The Summary of New Features document is for WebFOCUS 5.2, while the latest release is WebFOCUS 8. The technologyevaluation.com link is from 2000. WebFOCUS Express is not the full product. The NCAT document is for an old version as well.

Please disregard the content provided in that answer. Current information is available from http://www.informationbuilders.com.

Disclosure: I work for Information Builders

Like (1)25 March 14
Anpc li?1414329673
@ANPCReal User

I have not used BusinessObjects since the acquisition by SAP, but had experience using Crystal Reports and been\seen many SAP presentations regarding BusinessObjects.

Big positive and negative for WebFOCUS is that everything is programmable, we used it in a procedural language type of way and everything can be a variable which is nice when you need to program a complex solution. Can be a real headache when you need to debug/troubleshoot/maintain.

The FocalPoint community for WebFOCUS is very strong and probably IMHO one of the greatest strengths for WebFOCUS.

Weaknesses, the toolset has not kept up with other IDEs in regards to change management, version control and DEBUGGING - most times at our company, you are better off programming in Notepad and keeping copies of the file and "print out" a debug statement.

That's from experience. From a tool vs. tool perspective, I'd say they are very close.
What might put you in favor of one over the other will be BusinessObjects. If you have an SAP ERP - likely you have a jumpstart with pre-delivered content that you can build upon or enhance.
From WebFOCUS - customization and freedom in development (programming flexibility, D3, jquery integration)

Like (0)25 March 14
Anonymous avatar x30

Yes, I can help you. Feel free to send me a message.

Like (0)23 March 14
Anonymous avatar x30
Alan ByersReal User

I can provide some feedback on WebFOCUS, and have SOME experience in BO. What questions can I answer for you?

Like (0)23 March 14
Anonymous avatar x30
imabiproReal User

I could answer the Business Objects questions ... Webfocus is not my expertise.

Like (0)23 March 14
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