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Information Builders WebFOCUS OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Buyer's Guide

Download the Predictive Analytics Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: July 2022

What is Information Builders WebFOCUS?

WebFOCUS is a strategic enterprise business intelligence (BI) and analytics platform that enables any executive, manager, analyst, employee, partner, or customer to execute smarter business from trusted data. The platform includes cutting-edge capabilities that provide organizations with everything they need to turn data into insight, and insight into impact.

Information Builders WebFOCUS was previously known as WebFOCUS.

Information Builders WebFOCUS Customers

Ace Hardware, AutoZone, Fred Hutch, MasterCard, OFS Brands, PostFinance, Real D, Yellow Pages, ABC Financial, AcuSport, BBVA, Babcock

Information Builders WebFOCUS Video

Archived Information Builders WebFOCUS Reviews (more than two years old)

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reviewer957300 - PeerSpot reviewer
User at a government with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Allows decision makers to harness the power of data to make strategic decisions that will advance the goals and objectives of the organization.

What is our primary use case?

The Maryland State Department of Education will be using WebFOCUS to analyze financial data including State appropriation levels and financial performance in educational institutions throughout the State of Maryland. Later, WebFOCUS will be used to predict student actions and school performance among other reporting areas.

How has it helped my organization?

Information Builders allows decision makers to harness the power of data to make strategic decisions that will advance the goals and objectives of the organization. WebFOCUS offers the ability to obtain data in real-time and in a format that can be customized for the intended audience with tremendous ease.

What is most valuable?

The features that I have found the most helpful is the WebFOCUS portal and InfoAssist. The portal allows users to display information in multiple containers that when combined, paint the perfect picture of the organization. InfoAssist places reporting power in the hands of the power user.

What needs improvement?

The service levels are remarkable. The products are great as well. Information Builders should create a way to create predictive models without having to be a statistician.  

Buyer's Guide
Predictive Analytics
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Information Builders, Alteryx, RapidMiner and others in Predictive Analytics. Updated: July 2022.
620,319 professionals have used our research since 2012.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Because IBI continues to provide its customers with innovative solutions that are in demand, I believe the solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of WebFOCUS is perhaps the most impressive feature of the solution. WebFOCUS can be used for organizations, both large and small.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have used Cognos which can be complicated for casual users.

How was the initial setup?


What was our ROI?

The ROI that I have achieved was approximately $300k in the first year.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The cost is reasonable, the initial setup can be complicated, so FastTrack is suggested.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We've considered Cognos and Tableau.

What other advice do I have?


Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
reviewer957291 - PeerSpot reviewer
User with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Very flexible to use, and a quick learning tool for new developers.

What is our primary use case?

Our hearing offices use WebFOCUS reports to manage SSA OHO daily workload. We also use it to do ad-hoc reports.

How has it helped my organization?

WebFOCUS helped SSA OHO manage our daily workload, get cases out quickly and help American people to get their disability claim processed on time.

What is most valuable?

We use WebFOCUS AppStudio and Report Caster. WebFOCUS is very flexible to use, and a quick learning tool for new developers. So it's easier to bring a developer on board.

What needs improvement?

If IBI can make each release of WebFOCUS consistent, we don't have to make changes for each release, it will be very helpful.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

WebFOCUS is quite stable after you fully test your reports.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of WebFOCUS is very good, it can handle large amounts of data from different data sources in a manageable time manner.

How are customer service and technical support?

IBI customer service/technical support team is very responsible, great experience.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Since I joined SSA, our group was using WebFOCUS, and no change since then.

What about the implementation team?

We did it in-house.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No

What other advice do I have?

It's a great reporting tool, keep up good work!

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Predictive Analytics
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Information Builders, Alteryx, RapidMiner and others in Predictive Analytics. Updated: July 2022.
620,319 professionals have used our research since 2012.
reviewer957285 - PeerSpot reviewer
User with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Reporting canvas makes it easier to put reports together quickly.

What is our primary use case?

Developer for MI web solutions. Working on 7.7 now moving to 8.02 in a Windows environment. Working with disability MI and need to be able to respond quickly to Congress and field users.

How has it helped my organization?

Has made it easier to produce reports quickly along with dashboards and charts able to respond quickly to congressional inquiries.

What is most valuable?

Reporting canvas makes it easier to put reports together quickly. Meta data canvas allows us to create complex relationship once to be used often.

What needs improvement?

IIt would be nice to have it easier to embed native sql. Release process in our set up is not the safest since it requires changing paths.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Used for many large-scale applications.

How are customer service and technical support?

Overall positive.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

For MI, some users used EPM. I didn't use that personally, however. The last solution I used was Cobol. Outdated technology.

How was the initial setup?

Another group had responsibility for most of the setup. My part was fairly straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

Both vendor and in-house.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

A separate committee explored other solutions like Tableau.

What other advice do I have?

Overall it is a user-friendly and powerful solution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
reviewer957297 - PeerSpot reviewer
User at a government with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
The tool helps in planning and management, decision making and optimizing resources, analyzing data and coming up with an excellent report presentation.

What is our primary use case?

Overtime; Transaction Times; Wait Times; State Stats Data Use AppStudio to create reports, deploy it to the portal.

How has it helped my organization?

The tool helps in planning and management, decision making and optimizing resources, analyzing data and coming up with an excellent report presentation.

What is most valuable?

All features are awesome and helpful in so many ways. Predictive analytics is a great tool. ReportCaster is cool too.

What needs improvement?

Making it more user-friendly and providing good documentation as user reference guide, online guides, etc.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

How are customer service and technical support?

The customer service and technical team are very knowledgeable and respond promptly to requests, email or phone calls. Always are very helpful and courteous.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No.

How was the initial setup?

Technical support does all that. Very prompt responses to requests.

What about the implementation team?

Exceptional level of expertise of vendor team.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is very scalable and caters to business needs of any type.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No.

What other advice do I have?

The product is very stable. Customer service is always available and is exceptional.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
reviewer957312 - PeerSpot reviewer
User with 10,001+ employees
Real User
We like using Report Caster with our applications.

What is our primary use case?

We provide disability data MI to our agency. Our environment setup with version 8 is under one server for all environments (DEV, VAL, Analysis & Production). We are currently converting our applications from 7.6.02 to 8.2

How has it helped my organization?

Our BI Tools group have determined that we will be using WebFOCUS for most of our MI. So, now we have uniformed most of the applications into WebFOCUS.

What is most valuable?

We like using Report Caster with our applications. We just started using Report Library, which will help the users look into one product.

What needs improvement?

We will be using the conversion process soon. I hope this will be an easy process converting from 7.6 to 8.02.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have no issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The folks in my branch also use Focal Point and consistently look at the IBI site.

How are customer service and technical support?

We are getting good support from my end of the picture.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We switched from EPM to WebFOCUS.

How was the initial setup?

For WebFOCUS 8, it has been very trying to get used to new version.

What about the implementation team?

We are using IBI. I was not part of the install team.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

They did but I do not know the products.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
reviewer957303 - PeerSpot reviewer
User at a government with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Report rewriting is easy. The interface can be more user-friendly.

What is our primary use case?

Report developer, Correction and Rehabilitation, Business Analysis, monthly report, Average Daily Population of Offenders.

How has it helped my organization?

Report rewriting is easy, use like the format. Offenders court data is easy to write and analyze data.

What is most valuable?

Web App Studio, and write a report via SQL or using report writer. I can write SQL using developer and export the state to app studio.

What needs improvement?

The interface can be more user-friendly, learning the product via a classroom format. App studio needs to copy report without issue renaming.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Great.

How are customer service and technical support?

Have not used them much, however my coworker has used them and had great results.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Crystal Reports, switch to make the report writing more easy for the user.

How was the initial setup?

Complex, the DB configured the system.

What about the implementation team?

Both vendor and in-house.

What was our ROI?

Yes, still learning.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, upgrade Crystal Reports to 2016.

What other advice do I have?

I like the product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
reviewer957306 - PeerSpot reviewer
User at a government with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
End users can run more customize reports and can see these reports in graphical form to get more understanding of the data. I'd like to see more charts added.

What is our primary use case?

Learning WebFOCUS because I am new to this MDE. I want to add a few more reports to WebFOCUS so end users can run customized reports.

How has it helped my organization?

Yes, now end users can run more customize reports and can see these reports in graphical form to get more understanding of the data.

What is most valuable?

All features are very helpful and easy to use. End users can see their data in more meaningful ways.

What needs improvement?

More charts, because I like to see more graphs and get more understanding of data by seeing it as a graph.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Real User
Our users like it very much. It is very flexible to developer reports/portal.

What is our primary use case?

We use production to develop reports and portals for the Department of Police - Montgomery County, Maryland. 

How has it helped my organization?

It's a wonderful product. Our users like it very much. It is very flexible to developer reports/portal.

What is most valuable?

There are many ways to build custom reports. We also like the data quality to profile our data to get quality data for reports.

What needs improvement?

We found some minor flaws like password encryption. The Information Builders tech support provided us workarounds.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

WebFOCUS is the most scalable product I've used.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
reviewer957315 - PeerSpot reviewer
User at a government with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
It improved our reporting system a lot. The availability, presentation, and timeliness are way better.

What is our primary use case?

WebFOCUS updates, the training, as I am working on a project that will be for each program. Portal for each program.

How has it helped my organization?

It improved our reporting system a lot. The availability, presentation, and timeliness are way better.

What is most valuable?

The WebFOCUS info assists and Excel base quick data, it provides information at times when it is needed.

What needs improvement?

Upgrade and more module training, we are about to do an app studio upgrade and our team is working on getting training for our agency.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It gives better information and reliability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I believe it's excellent.

How are customer service and technical support?

Excellent, they are very very helpful.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

From mainframe to web-based. It is way more efficient.

How was the initial setup?

With the help of the IB support team, it was easier, any problems encountered, they were there to help.

What about the implementation team?

Both. They are experts in their field.

What was our ROI?

More than 80%.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Make a budget for it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Web-based.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
reviewer957279 - PeerSpot reviewer
User at a government with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
We have a BI respository and I use the software from a reporting and analysis perspective.

What is our primary use case?

We have a BI respository and I use the software from a reporting and analysis perspective.

How has it helped my organization?

WebFOCUS has improved reporting and is still a work in progress. We are currently working on converting MS Excel files into a data mart for greater efficiencies.

What is most valuable?

Learning RSTAT and will be implementing a model hopefully soon. Pull a lot of data for analysis autonomously.

What needs improvement?

More access via end users without using reporting objects. Easy way to create charts and graphs for reporting to executive staff.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far it is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Thus far our Dashboard and data downloads work efficiently.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support with our Exec has been awesome.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Since working for the State of MD, WebFOCUS is what I was introduced to. From the private sector, I used proprietary software that was very user-friendly providing analysis to our customers.

How was the initial setup?

I did not work with development. So I'm not sure. But from what I hear, it was okay because we had help from the WebFOCUS techs.

What was our ROI?

Not sure if management has performed any analysis for  ROI.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Upper Management makes the determination and IT. 

What other advice do I have?

I enjoy WebFOCUS, but would like to be able to export Excel files on my own.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
CEO at a consultancy with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
IBI Can Be Expensive, But BI Done The Right Way Can’t Reasonably Be Done On The Cheap

What is most valuable?

The simply intuitive end user experience, as well as the data animation/visualization features of Information Builders Incorporated’s (IBI's) Business Intelligence (BI) system (a la Hans Rosling, of TED Talks) are a high priority for us.

Additionally, the drag and drop functionality that IBI does better than any of its competition takes away a lot of the custom graph and report work previously delegated to the folks in IT or in Finance. Leaders using IBI can quite easily do it themselves. This is a big win for both IT and it's end users because better graphs and more well thought out reports are the result, along with more time for the IT leaders to focus on their primary area of expertise, IT systems.

How has it helped my organization?

We searched high and low for the above-mentioned functionality in a product that was available to us on-premise (this is a must for us, because we simply can’t afford to use a SaaS/cloud-based solution due to the security/risk factors inherent in the oil industry), and looked at Domo, Qlikview, Tableau, SAP, Birst, SiSense, among many others before we stumbled onto the Information Builders’ BI solution at one of their lunch and learn events, in St. Petersburg, Florida.

What needs improvement?

IBI has now added the data animation/visualization features mentioned above. This is a must for our company, and we and IBI believe they will revolutionize the BI space.

Here’s the thing …

Wouldn’t anyone agree that a data presentation that shows the relationship between factors in a moving/animated way would be more powerful/convincing than the typically static data presentations we have become accustomed to seeing/victimized by in all of those seemingly endless corporate performance meetings? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the results for an organization simply jumped off the page and it was relatively obvious what was going on/what needs to be done? The cool part is that this future functionality will be free from IBI as part of their regular BI solution offering!

For how long have I used the solution?

We are a greenfield operation and are designing all of our IT, BPM and BI solutions to be the best available today, working on a collaborative business partnership level with all of our vendors/business partners collectively. As such, no systems have been purchased, tested, implemented and deployed as yet.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

As mentioned above, deployment hasn’t occurred as yet. However, we have designed and built into our lab testing, implementation, and deployment processes a healthy professional services component that is designed to accommodate for any bumps and stumbles that may occur.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

There were many meetings held at our offices, we also participated in their Customer Summit, in Orlando this summer where we met lots of good, solid professionals and customer-based professionals with whom we were able to learn and grow, as well.

Technical Support:

Fabulous so far

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had been positioned to go with Domo, but because of the problems with purchasing Domo as an on-premise solution at the time, we ran across IBI, and the rest is history! Even though Domo has now told us that they would offer their BI solution to us on-premise, we feel that the intuitive, user friendly aspects of IBI far surpass what Domo has to offer, and as such will be going with IBI as a result.

How was the initial setup?

BI is complex. Anyone who imagines otherwise isn’t looking at the entire picture of what’s involved. Although we haven’t as yet deployed (as mentioned above), we believe that IBI’s implementation and testing process will be both thorough and illuminating for our staff in IT and enterprise-wide.

What about the implementation team?

In-house is planned, with IBI professional services directly.

What was our ROI?

Since we are a high risk environment, we have calculated that any core business down time will cost us ~$18K per minute (or ~$1M per hour, with our core business process’s reset time projected at ~9 hours = ~$9M or more). Similarly, any efficiencies gained will be realized at those same rates (~$18K per minute, etc.). As a result, we are expecting that our select BI solution will pay for itself many times over in both disasters averted and efficiencies gained through our core business’s continuous process improvement efforts.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

TBD. We have a cost proposal for both the solution and professional services broken out, but needless to say doing BI the right way can’t reasonably be done on the cheap. I would say that there is an economy of scale where IBI would not be affordable for just any business, as it would be with any IT solution, but for our sized and type of company (~700 staff, revenues projected in the $Bs per year, and both end user experience and continuous process improvement as key business values), we have decided that IBI makes the most sense for us. Guess it all comes down to how much your company has at stake, and how imbedded continuous improvement thinking is within your company’s culture.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, see above. We looked at Domo, Qlikview, Tableau, SAP, Birst, SiSense, among many others before we stumbled onto the Information Builders’ BI solution.

What other advice do I have?

Participate in one of their lunch and learn events as we did, and see for yourself what IBI can do!

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user326337 - PeerSpot reviewer
it_user326337Customer Success Manager at IT Central Station
Consultant

Have you seen similar features in other BI Tools or are these advantages unique to WebFOCUS?

See all 9 comments
PeerSpot user
Manager of Architecture/Design at a government with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
It gives us the ability to run reports in disconnect/passive mode.

What is most valuable?

  • Great connectivity with databases
  • Great visualization
  • Great to promote personal BI through Infor Assist +
  • Ability to run your reports in disconnect/passive mode
  • Great location and mobile intelligence.

How has it helped my organization?

It's improved the decision making process and information management.

What needs improvement?

It's too complex to setup the security features.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for one year.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We had no issues deploying it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have had no issues with the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scaled well for our needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

It's great, and very personalized.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We are retiring SAP Business Object Webi and Xcelsius, they will be replaced by IBI Web Focus.

How was the initial setup?

Security set up is a little complex, other than that is OK. We are implementing in the cloud.

What about the implementation team?

The implementation is being done together with the vendor and our BI team. This is the best approach to learn and to avoid big dependency on the vendor.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

They offer a very competitive CPU based license.

What other advice do I have?

This is a great BI product and an excellent roadmap and vision.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user

Hi, do you have any experiences concerning SAP BW as database and connection to IBI
Thanks in advance Thomas

it_user3996 - PeerSpot reviewer
Owner at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
WebFOCUS provides for both business and IT technical developers BI/BA application development tools

WebFOCUS is a powerful enterprise Business Intelligence and Analytics platform well-suited for today's complex and rapidly-changing environment. The software is produced by privately-held American software vendor, Information Builders.

As part of WebFOCUS, Information Builders provides two BI/BA application development tools, one for business developers and another for IT technical developers:

  • BI Portal and InfoAssist for business developers (web-based and mobile)
  • Windows-based Developer Studio for IT technical developers

With WebFOCUS, companies can provide business users with self-service intelligence and analytics:

  • Dashboards and scorecards
  • Self-service guided ad-hoc data exploration
  • Mobile BI with right-time data on any device
  • InfoApps to easily analyze and manipulate information
  • Deep integration with desktop products such as Microsoft Excel and Adobe PDF
  • Integration with open-source software such as R statistical programming language and Python
  • Dynamic report scheduling and distribution, with real-time alerts
  • Integration with enterprise data and information management

Note: Within the next month or two, Information Builders will release the next generation of Developer Studio which will be called the Application Studio. The new product’s “look and feel” will be consistent with that of InfoAssist. For example, Application Studio will also have a ribbon-based user interface.

BI Portal and InfoAssist

The WebFOCUS BI Portal enables business users to easily create and share sophisticated portals, launch pages, reports, and graphs hosted within the corporate WebFOCUS environment or in the cloud. The users have no software to install.

InfoAssist, the report and graph layout tool, is appropriate for business users as well as for light-weight IT development. Information Builders will license BI Portal/InfoAssist based on a certain number of users (e.g., one hundred) or on an unlimited basis.

WebFOCUS 8 comes with sophisticated multi-tenant security enabling companies to open up web and mobile BI to not only their internal employees, but also to external partners and customers.

Picture: BI Portal with InfoAssist


Windows-based Developer Studio (IDE)

The Developer Studio is a Windows-based IDE enabling IT technical developers to build complex, interactive BI applications hosted within the corporate WebFOCUS environments or in the cloud.

However, the Developer Studio product is not an appropriate tool for business users. Instead, Information Builders provides for business users the web and mobile InfoAssist product.

Picture: Developer Studio IDE


Developer Studio Features

The Developer Studio provides an IT BI/BA developer with a variety of software development features, including:

  • Metadata Management: tool for generating and maintaining the metadata layer
  • HTML Composer: layout tool for designing and creating web launch pages
  • Procedure Viewer: layout tool to visually display multiple-step procedural logic
  • Report Painter: layout tool for designing and creating interactive and dynamic reports
  • SQL Report Wizard: tool for building reports using SQL requests
  • Define Dialog: tool for creating virtual columns using business rules
  • Join Painter: tool for logically connecting tables across the enterprise
  • HTMLForm: tool for embedding HTML commands inside WebFOCUS procedures
  • Match Wizard: tool for logically matching tables across the enterprise for either join-like functionality or exceptions
  • For creating graphs, Developer Studio utilizes the InfoAssist product


Developer Studio Editions

IT technical developers can purchase and install one of two different “editions” of the Developer Studio product:

  • Report Developer Edition
  • Full Edition: includes MAINTAIN development and full personal WebFOCUS image

Information Builders offers a lower-priced Edition for IT technical developers who do not need to develop online database maintenance applications or have their own personal WebFOCUS environment. Typically, few IT technical developers need all of the features within the Full Edition.

Report Studio Edition

The Report Developer Edition of Developer Studio has all of the features needed to build web and mobile BI applications, including the Procedure Viewer, HTML Composer, Report Painter, Join Painter, Financial Modeling Language Painter, Reporting Server Management, and Change Management features.

An IT technical developer can download and install this edition of the Developer Studio on his or her workstation for a reasonable one-time license fee plus on-going annual maintenance fee.

Full Developer Studio Edition

The Developer Studio IDE can also be purchased in the “Full Edition” version with its own personal, stand-alone WebFOCUS environment—a WebFOCUS Client Tier (web server, Java app server, client components, security repository, etc.) and a WebFOCUS Reporting Server. This provides a personal “sandbox” for testing WebFOCUS functionality.

In addition, the full edition of Developer Studio comes with the MAINTAIN development product for creating web and mobile database maintenance applications. This full edition is limited to those IT technical developers who perform MAINTAIN development or to those few individuals with a valid business case for a personal BI environment.

Note: The IT technical developer’s version of Developer Studio must be kept in sync with the other components of WebFOCUS environments. In other words, the developer should not install a client release higher than the software release of the WebFOCUS web tier and BI server.


GUI Code Generators

These WebFOCUS tools enable a visual application development process by providing layout tools that can translate the design and generate the necessary computer programming instructions.

When developing BI applications with WebFOCUS, several languages are involved:

  • InfoAssist: generates the FOCUS 4GL
  • Developer Studio’s Report Painter: generates the FOCUS 4GL
  • Developer Studio’s HTML Composer: generates HTML, JavaScript, and XML

Being a business user tool, InfoAssist does not provide access to the generated instructions. Developer Studio, on the other hand, lets the IT technical developer get to a text editor from where he or she can modify the generated instructions.

There are really only two valid situations where the IT technical developer needs to manually type instructions: the FOCUS 4GL’s Dialogue Manager and the HTML’s JavaScript. Both are procedural scripting languages that accompany the main logic.

There is no reason for an IT technical developer to manually change any of the actual HTML/XML logic generated by the Developer Studio’s HTML Composer other than to add JavaScript.

Likewise, the IT technical developer must be careful when modifying the 4GL non-procedural code used for creating reports, graphs, and extract files. It is possible to make manual changes not recognized by the Developer Studio’s parser which will cause the layout tools to fail. Where this might happen is when the developer creates a highly-dynamic layout that cannot be painted.

WebFOCUS technical developers should consciously avoid developing BI/BA applications that cannot be opened in the graphical layout tools. While necessary in some complex situations, having “non-paintable” code dramatically increases the skill-set requirements, shifting from individuals who can use visual GUI development to those who must know how to hand-code the 4GL instructions.


Should You Use WebFOCUS?

A list of Information Builders' customers looks like the "Who's Who" of global businesses and government agencies. For over a decade, Gartner has included Information Builders in the Leader's quadrant for enterprise BI products.

WebFOCUS runs on a variety of platforms (e.g., Windows, UNIX, Linux, and mainframes) and can scale to handle millions of users. It provides super-secure web access to sensitive data, which can be stored in many diverse formats (Information Builders has always been a well-known provider of enterprise data adapters through their iWay Software brand, partnering with many of the other leading software vendors).

WebFOCUS provides business users with easy-to-use yet robust BI/BA tools. It provides IT developers with a sophisticated IDE to produce robust self-service web and mobile applications.

WebFOCUS is highly dynamic. Unlike old-fashioned report writers like Crystal Reports which were limited to static layouts, with WebFOCUS an IT developer can create a single procedure capable of producing thousands of different self-service versions.

Legacy tools can modernized into WebFOCUS. For example, SQL routines can be directly embedded inside the WebFOCUS language to leverage legacy assets. For many other reporting tools, there are utilities to automatically assess and transform into WebFOCUS in order to reduce the time and risk of the BI modernization initiative.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user11340 - PeerSpot reviewer
it_user11340IT Manager with 51-200 employees
Vendor

I´ve been using InfoAssist allmost daily for a year and its precessor MRE for several years and I´m quite satisfied with it. One of its impressive features is hwether I want the results in a table or as a graph.

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Ariel Lindenfeld - PeerSpot reviewer
Director of Content at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Community Manager
Gartner's Magic Quadrant report states that many users have not implemented the latest software

Gartners February 2013 Magic Quadrant report says that "almost 2/3rd's of respondents consider Information Builders to be the enterprise BI standard." On the other hand, a large percentage of users are not using the latest software version.

Do you use WebFOCUS? Why do you think that many users have not implemented the latest version of software?

Add your comment below or write your own review. Share your opinion with our community!

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user4401 - PeerSpot reviewer
it_user4401Developer at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor

Yes, I use WebFOCUS, and it has three pros that I like most: First one is that it provides real-time, native access to more than 85 data sources over 35 different platforms, and most of the real-time access is read/write. Second one is that the user may append sticky notes to any of the reports defined in Managed Reporting. Sticky notes contain archived information, such as detailed discussions about an item in a report. Third one is that WebFOCUS can consume web services information and incorporate it as a data source.