Will let developers more easily create BI applications infused with geographic details
Information Builders Inc. today rolled out a new mashup application for integrating business intelligence data with Google Maps without any developer coding.

The new WebFocus for Google Maps GUI allows users to overlay maps with operational data and reports created using the IBI's WebFocus reporting tool. The combination will let users more easily identify performance issues or trends like the volume of service calls made to a specific call center or store locations, Information Builders said.

The new tool will let developers quickly build geographically aware BI applications without custom coding, said Rado Kotorov, technical director of strategic product management at Information Builders. Currently, such projects require the hard-coding of mapping data and BI data within a portal, he added.

Kotorov added that BI users are beginning to demand the same type of simple, easy-to-use applications at work that they use as consumers at home.

"All of the technologies included in Web 2.0 -- mapping technology, mobile technology -- make BI more accessible," he noted. "[Web 2.0 technologies] are making BI development teams think differently. Until now, BI developers were thinking, 'Let's just get the data to the end user.' The end user doesn't want the data. The end user wants something that tells them a story, something that is happening with the business."

Key features in WebFocus for Google Maps include:
- GUI-driven development that allows users to insert and configure Google Maps to WebFocus procedures with little training and no coding.
- Dashboard integration, which lets Web-based reports have multiple reporting outputs in one dashboard view.
- Conditional map styling, which allows Google Maps to be enhanced by color-coded data based on business expectations.
- Parameter prompting, which lets Google Maps be used preselect data to filter drill-down reports.