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Business Objects to Support MySQL

Business Objects enters into alliance with open-source database vendor MySQL

Last week, Business Objects SA entered into a business and technology alliance with open-source database vendor MySQL AB. On paper, it’s just another technology partnership, but it could mark a milestone in a rapidly coalescing trend.

Under the terms of the agreement, Business Objects will add MySQL to the list of databases it supports for use with its Crystal Reports (enterprise reporting) and Data Integrator (ETL) products. The company says it will embed MySQL’s database technology in its BusinessObjects XI business intelligence (BI) suite as a system repository on both the Linux and Unix platforms.

“Enterprise customers have asked us to provide an integrated business intelligence and reporting solution for their open-source database applications,” said Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL, in a statement. “With BusinessObjects XI now supporting MySQL, these users can take advantage of the performance and cost advantages of our database along with the industry's leading BI platform, while knowing that both companies will stand behind the software with quality-assurance and professional support.”

A blip on the radar screen, perhaps, but some analysts say the alliance has ramifications beyond the deal itself.

“By supporting MySQL, Business Objects will be able to expand the breadth and depth of its reach—a reach that has grown considerably since its acquisition of Crystal Decisions in December 2003,” notes Mike Schiff, a senior analyst with consultancy Current Analysis Inc. “As database vendors such as Oracle continue to advance their own BI products, independent BI leaders such as Business Objects … need to highlight their openness and their ability to support a wide variety of data sources. And what better way to demonstrate this openness than for Business Objects to provide formal support for an open source database?”

If nothing else, Schiff notes, the deal is a coup for the open-source database community. “[I]t will expand the scope of data sources that Business Objects supports and provide the open-source database community with a powerful set of analysis and data-integration tools,” he says.

Of course, the Business Objects/MySQL alliance, while a good start, could be improved, Schiff suggests. “In order to maximize its penetration in the open-source community, Business Objects should consider offering a very low price, limited use entry-level edition of its products that support MySQL. Business Objects can later upgrade this to a full license,” he writes. “Business Objects and MySQL should consider offering a limited use version of Crystal Reports that would be included with MySQL downloads.”

So just how serious is the alliance between the two vendors? At last week’s MySQL Users Conference, Business Objects was on hand as a platinum-level sponsor. Schiff thinks that was a wise move. “It should serve to attract the attention of a well qualified audience of potential users as well as trade press.”

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a technology writer with 20 years of experience. His writing has focused on business intelligence, data warehousing, and analytics for almost 15 years. Swoyer has an abiding interest in tech, but he’s particularly intrigued by the thorny people and process problems technology vendors never, ever want to talk about. You can contact him at [email protected].

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