During the keynotes at Sapphire, there was a lot of discussion about the new Business Objects Application called Polestar. Polestar was demoed against SAP’s Business Intelligence Accelerator (BIA). The keynote demo showed Polestar working against over a billion records in BIA and performing extremely well.
I went onto the show floor to get a closer look. At the BOBJ pod, I met Nigel Stoodley from BOBJ who gave me a very good demo. Even though the demo on the show floor was not Polestar against BIA, it was nonetheless very impressive. Polestar allows you to do ad hoc analysis of your data. The current Polestar product has a Google-like interface to start with where you enter your query. It then goes against the Universe and finds potential matches for your query. You select a match and then a very nice graphical user interface comes up showing details of your selection. You can drill down in the data, you can compare data, and you can get different types of visualizations – bar charts, pie charts, etc. It is a simple yet powerful GUI that allows a non-analyst user to navigate the data and get a better understanding. It’s a very nice product and worth trying out if you want something like this.
At the demo pod, I asked Nigel more about how Polestar goes against various data. Nigel explained to me that Polestar is built to go against a Universe. Therefore, any BOBJ customer that has a Universe (or multiple Universes) can get Polestar and immediately be able to use the product. I then queried further to understand how Polestar worked with BIA. Nigel explained that SAP/BOBJ built a Universe on top of the BIA. Data was loaded into the BIA and the Universe allowed Polestar to access this data.
While Polestar is shipping, the ability to connect to BIA is not readily available. Let’s hope SAP brings this out soon. In the keynote, my understanding is that they demoed the Polestar / BIA solution live and were connecting to a BIA server that was in Walldorf, Germany. Apparently, they were connecting live all the way from Orlando to Walldorf. What was not explained was what the hardware configuration of the BIA system was that was able to process over a billion records so fast.
I really enjoyed Hasso’s keynote this year. I thought he did a really good job. Hasso is a good speaker and he had the audience engaged, interested and amused. I really cracked up when he swore on stage. Hasso seems to be a strong proponent of TREX and BIA.