Datawatch Adds Goodies to Data Warehousing Software
February 16, 2010 Alex Woodie
Datawatch–the business intelligence software vendor that uses existing reports to get at data–last week launched a new release of Monarch BI Enterprise Server, its top-of-the-line product for creating data warehouses. With version 5, the vendor has sweetened the deal by incorporating several options that previously were priced as add-ons to the base product.
Datawatch, you will remember from our article last month, is unique among business intelligence software in that it uses a customer’s existing reports as the basis for its product suite. Instead of forcing customers to buy ETL tools, set up large-scale transformations, and worry constantly about the quality of data, Datawatch takes another approach.
By consuming the plain text of trusted reports–and using some nifty techniques with metadata to basically recreate the relationship of data as if it were sitting in a database–this software outputs structured data that can be manipulated by the user in programs such as Excel. The approach has garnered Datawatch a following among 30,000 or so customers, including a good number of AS/400 and mainframe shops that generate reams of green-bar reports.
Monarch Business Intelligence Enterprise Server, which was previously named Datawatch ES, sits at the top of the Datawatch product ladder. It’s basically a more robust and feature-rich version of Monarch BI Server, which provides basic report distribution capabilities. (The product that does the magic bit of converting reports into structured data is the Windows desktop-based Monarch Data Pump, which costs about $600.)
Monarch BI Enterprise Server adds a number of features to the core BI Server product, including multidimensional (cube) analysis, annotations and auditing, search functionality, PDF creation, Web-based dashboards, and e-mail notification. It also runs on more powerful Windows-based servers equipped with Oracle or SQL Server databases and WebSphere or Tomcat Web application servers. It’s designed to scale up to enterprise needs.
With version 5, Monarch is adding some of the extra functionality into the base product. The software now comes with ES Spreadsheet, ES Report, ES Collaboration, ES Extended Annotation, and ES Report Search modules. Previously, users had to pay extra for the ES Report Search and ES Extended Annotation modules. Optional modules that still cost extra include ES PDF, ES Style (for creating forms), ES Total View (summarization software), Datawatch Dashboards, ES Cube, and ES Subscription.
Other new features in Monarch BI Enterprise Server version 5 include a customizable user interface scheme and enhanced Excel exporting capabilities, the vendor says. Administrators will benefit from the simplification of some basic tasks, as well as new compression capabilities to reduce storage requirements. Version 5 also gives customers the capability to store original, compressed reports side by side with working reports, which will benefit customers with compliance initiatives, Datawatch says.
Datawatch sees the current economic environment giving its simpler and less expensive products an advantage over more complicated and pricier BI options. “It’s like getting 80 percent of the functionality of a data warehouse at 20 percent of the cost and five percent of the effort,” says John Kitchen, senior vice president and CMO, in a press release.
Monarch BI Enterprise Server version 5 is available now. Pricing starts at around $30,000. For more information, visit www.datawatch.com.