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Oracle Tweaks Business Intelligence Software

Oracle Wednesday revamped a business integration tool that facilitates and manages data in business intelligence applications.

Business intelligence is the gathering of as much pertinent data as possible to make better business choices. Applications that fall under its umbrella include those for decision support systems, query and reporting, online analytical processing (OLAP), statistical analysis, forecasting, and data mining. Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle's competitors in this space include IBM, but other players such as Cognos, Applix and Hyperion provide some aspect of business intelligence software.

Oracle's new product, Oracle9i Warehouse Builder Version 9.0.4, is an extraction, transformation and loading (ETL) tool that lets database administrators and developers design and build business intelligence applications more efficiently. Speaking of the integration aspects, Oracle9i Warehouse Builder Version 9.0.4 uses the Oracle Database as its runtime engine, relies on the ETL capabilities and OnLine Analytical Processing (OLAP) engine built into Oracle9i Database Release 2 to create multi-dimensional objects.

As with many enterprise software players, Oracle pledges allegiance to open standards, and in this instance, crafted a product that will work well with competitor's software.

For example, Warehouse Builder Version 9.0.4 supports Microsoft's SQL for data integration routines, Object Management Group's Common Warehouse Meta-Model (OMG CWM) and eXtensible Markup Language Metadata Interchange (XMI) for metadata exchange, as well as the new Processing Description Language (XPDL) for process definition.

In addition to support for mainframes and other databases such as IBM and Sybase, the new tool includes a SAP Integrator that generates code to extract data from SAP R/3 systems and populate data warehouses.

The software also features a Runtime Audit Browser to verify the results of all running jobs and reveal any errors that may have occurred while loading data and a Process Flow Editor that allows users to create ETL transformations and automatically generate code to integrate these and other business processes.

Oracle9i Warehouse Builder Version 9.0.4 is available now for free download and evaluation from Oracle Technology Network. It also can be purchased for $5,000 per Named User Plus from the Oracle Store as part of Oracle9i Developer Suite.