Earlier this week, I asked a simple question: "Are BI Tools Falling Behind the Times?" One reason I asked is because I'd read how BI vendors aren't jumping on SOA - or even showing much interest in working within SOA.
You generally think of business intelligence tools as something that manage data. Though BI requires data, the integration of said data generally falls outside the BI vendor's domain. So, I guess it isn't so weird that they wouldn't worry about SOA just yet.
But then I read this article about Business Objects and its move into the data integration market. While the piece doesn't mentioned SOA, it does show that some BI vendors are thinking outside their self-imposed box.
The Data Warehouse Institute article examines how Business Objects is a sort of oddball in the data integration market. It's pretty much the only BI vendor in the space, aside from the SAS Institute, which came to integration in a more obvious way. Generally, the data integration domain belonged to the middleware vendors, such as IBM and Informatica.
Last month, Business Objects took another major step beyond basic BI and performance management by buying text mining and unstructured information access specialist Inxight Software Inc., TDWI reports.
If you think about it, it makes sense. As the VP of Information Discovery and Delivery at Business Objects explains in this piece, the company is thinking way ahead about how to handle unstructured data. Business Objects customers said they wanted to be able to capture, aggregate and leverage data hidden in all kinds of odd places - from old e-mails to discussion boards. And Business Objects listened, even though it's meant entering technology markets outside their original domain.
Good for them.