Symtrax Touts Dashboard Control and Flexibility with StarQuery
June 25, 2013 Alex Woodie
Organizations will no longer have to choose between flexibility and control when deploying business intelligence reporting tools according to Symtrax, which last week unveiled a new release of its StarQuery BI solution that it says will eliminate compromises.
All too often, organizations are forced between a rock and a hard place when deploying business intelligence. Strong central control is viewed as a necessary element for organizations that value knowing who is accessing what data, when they access it, and how often they access it. On the other end of the spectrum are on-demand and Web-based BI tools that give users the freedom to explore data, create reports, and share their insights with others.
Flexibility is a key advantage of the latter approach, which is viewed as friendly to end-users. However, control-happy administrators will feel helpless with on-demand reporting, as best practices for reporting are thrown out the window, and islands of reports that aren’t easily shared proliferate.
Symtrax claims to have eliminated key aspects of this compromise with StarQuery 4.2, the latest release of its Windows-based reporting and business intelligence tool, which enables users to query data in multiple databases from the comfort of Excel.
With version 4.2, the company says it delivers the benefits of the flexible approach, including giving users the capability to share reports and dashboards with others. At the same time, the product will keep administrators happy by enabling them to retain control over what data users can access. The release also helps promote best practices by enabling administrators to provide end-users with examples of reports and dashboards, and by allowing end-users to learn best practices by sharing reports and dashboards with others.
Symtrax released StarQuery in late 2003 as a replacement for its XL400 product. The core components of the StarQuery suite include: a data mapping engine called MapDesigner that’s used to create user-specific views of a database (DB2/400 quite often); a runtime component and multi-dimensional database; an Excel plug-in called StarQuery for Excel; StarQuery Console to centralized reports and queries; and StarQuery Scheduler. The company also sells a product called StarQuery Web that works entirely within a Web browser and doesn’t require Excel to be loaded onto the computer.
Much of the centralized management benefits that Symtrax is talking about with version 4.2 appear to come from StarQuery Console, which wasn’t part of the suite when Symtrax launched version 4.0 several years ago. The company calls StarQuery Console a secure and centralized Web-based repository for storing dashboards and frequently used reports.