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Dimensional Insight Unveils first Java Applets for Web-Based Data Analysis


Dimensional Insight announced that DataFountain, its latest generation of Web-based data analysis products, now includes the industry's first fully functional Java applets.

The new applets provide graphical display options, including pie charts, scatter plots, and bar charts, that are normally associated with traditional desktop systems.

Based on Java, the Sun Microsystems Web programming language, DataFountain's new applets allow users to access and analyze data from corporate legacy systems with any Java-enabled Web browser. Without writing any code, DataFountain users now gain out-of-the-box business intelligence functionality, including charts and spreadsheets with "live" data and full dive-down capability.

DataFountain was developed in response to the widespread adoption of Intranets -- private corporate networks that carry Internet-developed applications on firewall-protected servers. Organizations can use the DataFountain family of products to deploy business intelligence applications on their Web servers, using data from both legacy systems and relational databases.

In addition to new graphical presentation options, Version 1.2 now offers a "Find" capability to search on words or phrases within dimensions of data. For example, a marketing director could use the "Find" box to search all customers with the word "Bank" in their names.

"With DataFountain, organizations can now access and disseminate corporate data easily and cost-effectively, on the road or at the office. Salespeople in the field will point their Web browsers to their companies' Intranets to view sales reports. Suppliers, contractors and other business partners worldwide will be able to access and share vital corporate information on secure networks -- and all with EIS-like graphical presentation," said Frederick Powers, president of Dimensional Insight.

"DataFountain fits into our Internet strategy both internally and externally," said Bernard Seban, Data General Plus manager at Data General Corp. and a Dimensional Insight customer. "Our sales force, using laptop computers, will get up-to-date information on sales and orders. And we will be able to give our customers faster, better service by delivering shipping information on demand via the World Wide Web."

DataFountain's underlying technology, which is supported by four patents, allows unparalleled speed, ease of development, and efficient use of disk storage space. The same technology is the foundation for CrossTarget, Dimensional Insight's data access and analysis solution.

DataFountain Version 1.2 consists of the following modules: the Data Integrator, the Builder, and DiveNet. The Data Integrator provides the functions of a relational database in that it can join files from multiple sources using a powerful object language. This eliminates the need for relational technology to integrate data.

The Builder uses data from the Data Integrator or directly from various data sources and creates a multidimensional data model (MDM), where the underlying storage structure uses star schema and binary approaches for data storage. The process is automated, reducing the work load for database administrators.

DiveNet is the graphical user interface which provides drillable dimensions appearing as hotlinks, as well as pull-down menus. DiveNet provides users with access to corporate data for both internal and external use. The module incorporates active links to return single-cell values or entire tables of information for inclusion in any HTML document.

Alternately, the user has the option of downloading an MDM directly to the client station using the Internet, for deep analysis and ad-hoc reporting using CrossTarget's original Diver interface.

DiveNet runs on UNIX Web servers. The Builder and Data Integrator modules support the following server platforms: MVS, UNIX-based machines, Digital VMS or Alpha, Microsoft Windows NT, Apple Mac-OS and IBM OS/2.

DataFountain Version 1.2 works with any Java-enabled Web browsers and plugs into Web servers using the standard Common Gateway Interface (CGI). DataFountain is currently available to Dimensional Insight's existing customer base and will become available to new customers in fourth-quarter 1996. Pricing is determined on a per-site basis.


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