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Technology / AI and automation


Business intelligence firm Cognos Inc has made no secret of the fact it was shopping around for suitable buys, and it has snapped up Californian start-up Interweave Software Inc to further its ambitions of opening business intelligence up to a wider internet or intranet-based audience. Cognos has paid $13m cash for the year-old developer of web-based information access systems, and will assume some $3m of liabilities. Interweave’s product will be integrated into Cognos’ PowerPlay online analytical processing tool and Impromptu, the query and reporting software. It enables data to be pulled from different relational databases over the web, and consolidates the work the company started some time ago to first web-enable its products, and more recently to re- engineer PowerPlay specifically for web applications. Basically, Interweave will enable users to drill down from summary data in PowerPlay Web Server to the underlying detail held in relational databases. The Interweave Modeler enables system administrators to give users a complete view of available data sources, without them needing to see the underlying complexities of reaching those sources. Interweave Server dynamically generates HTML or Java web pages to present the model to the user. To further consolidate its web offerings, Cognos has also announced DataMerchant, a product that enables companies to package and sell data from relational databases over the internet or intranet. DataMerchant is in effect an electronic commerce package for selling and distributing data, and enables companies to ‘package’ their data into specific services that have their own access and pricing rules. It has in-built security features and enables vendors to chose from various off-line and online billing options. It is currently in beta test and should be available by the end of the year. The Interweave acquisition will result in an after-tax charge of $13m, and a write-off of in-process research and development for the fiscal year.

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