WebFOCUS Now Available in Three Editions

Andy McCartney's picture
 By | February 12, 2016
in WebFOCUS, application edition, business user edition, editions, enterprise edition, Self-service, webfocus, WebFOCUS overview
February 12, 2016

WebFOCUS is now available in the following three flavors

  1. Business User Edition
  2. Application Edition
  3. Enterprise Edition

Why the change and when should each edition be leveraged?

The world of business intelligence and analytics is changing, and quite quickly. Self-service is permeating most analytics conversations, to the point that many people actually think that all analytics content is created via self-service tools. Well, that is not the case, but an increasing number of business users now want to create their own reports, charts, dashboards, and explore their data for new opportunity, without needing someone to do it for them.

That was then (and not that long ago):

And this is now:

Yes there is more data available to analyze, more people wanting to extract value from it, and more people in the organization now able to create the analytical content that provides insight. Ad hoc reporting tools have been around for many years, but the wave of interest in self-service has grown with the introduction of shiny new visual data discovery tools like Tableau. As more people, especially millenials become used to analyzing personal life data sets such as bike rides, steps taken, sleep patterns and fantasy sports performance, the greater their expectation and need to do the same in their business role.

This is where Information Builders' new WebFOCUS Business User Edition is targeted ... at business users and analysts who would like to either generate a report/chart/dashboard that they have in mind, or to explore their data for trends, patterns and opportunity for better business. Once that piece of analytical content has been created within InfoAssist+, it may be used by that individual, or shared with colleagues/bosses, or even operationalized by publishing or embedding it inside another system. 

Having an underlying BI platform is really critical to the success of this, as the data needs to come from credible sources (e.g. governed through metadata), the access to content needs to be secured and managed, and the model for users and content need to scale. Then there are the economics! So, Business User Edition is really intended for up to 100 business users and analysts to be able to access data from hundreds of possible governed sources, and create/share analytical content amongst themselves. 

The next edition of WebFOCUS, Application Edition takes a step up to offer the full breadth and depth of the WebFOCUS BI and analtics platform, including access to the many analytics options within the WebFOCUS portfolio (e.g predictive, search, social, write-back). This edition is really designed for the authoring and deployment of highly customized self-service analytical applications to a wide range of non-technical users. It includes the full-function WebFOCUS server with all of its infrastructure, security, and administration capability. It also includes App Studio, our sophisticated authoring environment for building rich, secure InfoApps that can be deployed on-premise, in the cloud, on mobile devices, or as software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications.

InfoApps can really take any shape or form. In the image above, this app helps a fund manager with his/her understanding of financial instrument performance, but without the need to use a self-service analytics tool to achieve business insight. This app, in effect, becomes the self-service analytics solution for them.  InfoApps can also be designed to deliver much of the flexibility of a self-service tool, whether changing graph types, filters, dimensions, metrics and other variables.  Self-service tools are absolutely not for everyone, but everyone can have self-serivce data analytics. But, at some point, if that user does become interested and savvy with a self-service tool, they could create and add additional views to their InfoApp, for their own use, or to publish and share with others. Now we are approaching that self-fulfilling prophecy where consumers become authors and an analytics culture truly emerges.

So what's the 3rd edition? It is WebFOCUS Enterprise Edition, and it is really intended for building and deploying what you might call 'super-apps'. One aspect of business intelligence that this company has been extremely successful with is delivering analytics to people outside of the corporate firewall. Some call this 'customer facing' analytics, but it could also be a customized self-service app deployed to partners, suppliers, vendors, students, patients or consumers.  Enterprise Edition enables the creation and deployment of complex, embedded or strategic applications to very large user populations, where the scaling, security and economics are critical to large scale success.

Hopefully that explains the thinking behind the new WebFOCUS editions model, and how it maps onto the very latest analytical needs from businesses and consumers. Drop us a line and let us know what you think. To learn more about Information Builders' unique approach to self-service analytics, check out this white paper, "8 Must-Have Criteria for Self-Service Analytics."