Business Objects Updates Metadata Manager

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Business Objects is releasing Metadata Management XI 3.0, its product for collecting and managing "data about data" within a company, on Tuesday.

The product works in concert with the Business Objects BI platform.

At this point, companies know they want to pursue BI (business intelligence) broadly, but also need to get a handle on their entire data picture, said Chris Horak, global vice president and head of platform marketing at SAP, which bought Business Objects earlier this year. "Metadata management is really key," he said.

Key to the new release is a "metapedia" -- an effort to help business users work with metadata.

The metapedia contains "business concepts" where multiple words can stand for the same thing, to account for variations that can occur in corporate culture.

For example, the person in charge of metadata could create a data category called Net Revenue, but also list "profit" as a synonym, since that word might be more common among business users, according to a product data sheet. A search by a user for data related to "profit" would retrieve the correct information.

The new capability could come in handy for less technical users who are pulling together a simple report, since standard metadata typically "is not readable by a business person," yet also preserves a consistent governance framework for classifying data, Horak said.

Other new features in the release include integration with the Business Objects Central Management Server for user access and privileges. Metadata Management XI 3.0 supports Windows, UNIX, Apache Tomcat, IBM WebSphere, Oracle BEA WebLogic and Oracle Application Server. Pricing information was not available.

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