RESEARCH & RESOURCES

SWOT: Business Objects and MySQL Expand Their Partnership

Business Objects extends open arms to MySQL; but ‘coopertition’ must be carefully played.

Building upon the partnership first established in April 2005, Business Objects and MySQL AB will jointly offer solutions combining Business Objects’ analysis and data integration technologies with the MySQL database. This should further enhance Business Objects’ credibility with the open source community while at the same time reminding its database partners, some of whom are also competitors in the BI and data integration market, that it is not beholden to any of them.

Strengths:

  • Business Objects and MySQL AB will jointly sell integrated business intelligence and data integration software solutions for the MySQL open source database. The Business Objects products include Crystal Reports and BusinessObjects Data Integrator.


  • The use of open source MySQL represents a cost-effective alternative to many of the proprietary databases offered by Business Objects’ other database partners. <.li>





  • The MySQL/Business Objects solutions have been jointly certified and will be supported by both companies. As a MySQL Network certified partner, Business Objects immediately finds itself on the shortlist in MySQL database environments.
  • MySQL will be able to leverage its relationship with a major and well-respected BI and data integration vendor, while Business Objects gains further recognition as a supporter of the open source movement. Business Objects is giving credibility to MySQL for use in the business world.
  • Business Objects and MySQL originally entered into a partnership in April 2005 for the MySQL database to be supported by Crystal Reports and BusinessObjects Data Integrator. MySQL is currently bundled with the Unix and Linux versions of the BusinessObjects XI platform as the default database for its system repository. These new bundled offerings build upon and expand an already existing partnership.

Weaknesses:

  • Business Objects Global Alliance partners include database vendors IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Teradata. These vendors may not appreciate the cost-effectiveness of Business Objects’ support for MySQL.


  • No mention was made about possible Business Objects’ support for MySQL’s other open source database, MaxDB. MaxDB is a powerful, full-featured relational offering that MySQL obtained from SAP when it was then known as SAP DB; it derives from Software AG’s ADABAS D.


  • Although certainly not as strong as its relationship with Business Objects, MySQL has an established partnership with other BI vendors including Actuate. It also partners with open source reporting vendor JasperSoft . Like Business Objects, Actuate and JasperSoft are also MySQL Network Gold-Level Certified Partners.

Opportunities:

  • It reinforces Business Objects’ seat on the open source bandwagon while providing other example of its openness.


  • By providing the open source community with proven BI and data integration technology, it represents an additional source of revenue for Business Objects.


  • For the users’ perspective, they could create a data mart using Crystal Reports for BI, MySQL for the database, and BusinessObjects Data Integrator to populate it. This is a low cost alternative to the use of a proprietary database; the starting price for the Data Integrator (with one source and MySQL as the target), MySQL database, and Crystal Reports Server package starts at $4000.


  • As database vendors including Oracle and Microsoft have expanded their own business intelligence and data integration capabilities, Business Objects partnership with MySQL presents a cost-effective alternative. It also serves to remind Business Objects’ database partners that it is not beholden to them.

Threats:

  • Business Objects partners with many database vendors and the game of “co-opertition” must be carefully played.


  • Database vendors including Microsoft and Oracle continue to expand their own business intelligence and data integration capabilities and can credibly position themselves as a single source for an integrated database, business intelligence, and data integration solution.


  • The release of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 with its enhanced data integration and analysis capabilities is placing additional pricing pressure on business intelligence and data integration vendors; Business Objects is a vendor of both.

About the Author

Michael A. Schiff is founder and principal analyst of MAS Strategies, which specializes in formulating effective data warehousing strategies. With more than four decades of industry experience as a developer, user, consultant, vendor, and industry analyst, Mike is an expert in developing, marketing, and implementing solutions that transform operational data into useful decision-enabling information.

His prior experience as an IT director and systems and programming manager provide him with a thorough understanding of the technical, business, and political issues that must be addressed for any successful implementation. With Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from MIT's Sloan School of Management and as a certified financial planner, Mike can address both the technical and financial aspects of data warehousing and business intelligence.


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