Single Metadata Source Reduces Business Intelligence Burden

Susan AndreArticles

A single metadata repository can remove much of the complexity associated with business intelligence. Susan Andre, MD of Sagent SA, says this is because of the requirement in most business intelligence deployments to reconcile the metadata associated with their extraction, transformation and transport (ETT) tools with that of their business intelligence platform.

"Business intelligence has a reputation, not entirely unfair, of being unduly expensive and complex to integrate," says Andre.

"This is largely due to the need for bringing together many products from different vendors, each with its own metadata repository. Being able to deploy one solution across the full range of business intelligence functionality carries many advantages."

These advantages have been recognised by Gartner Group in its report on Sagent Technology, released in the first quarter. The report focuses on:

  • Its ability to fulfil all business intelligence requirements; and
  • Sagent's support for Sun Solaris, announced late last year.

"Sagent Solution is an open end-to-end solution, supporting not only the query, mapping and functionality intrinsic to enterprise business intelligence solutions (EBISs), as well as functionality as a business intelligence platform to support developing and deploying all business intelligence applications, but also having the functionality to create and maintain data marts. Because all of the components were architected as a single platform, they are well integrated and leverage common functionality where possible. This will assist in reducing implementation time," notes Gartner.

"These issues are vital in the deployment of today's business intelligence solutions," notes Andre. "For too long now customers have had to struggle with multiple, disparate market offerings, and they've had to shoulder the burden of integration. All of this mandates against early return on investment and adds to total cost of ownership, and ultimately hinders the broader market acceptance of business intelligence."

Sagent's support for Unix will take it to new levels of scalability, Gartner states, and make it a candidate for many new organisations: "With the addition of support for the Sun Solaris platform, it will offer much more scalability, which even so was reasonably good given its support for distributed computing, leveraging of RDBMS functionality, and caching of data and reports."

Gartner lists Sagent's strengths as being its single integrated metadata, multi-tier architecture, Windows NT optimisation, process automation, support for third-party content, data flow architecture, and links to enterprise applications such as SAP R/3.

Gartner concludes: "Any enterprise seeking an EBIS, a BI platform, or an ETT tool would be well advised to take a close look at Sagent Solution."