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December 2, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 4:50pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Seagate Software first set out its plans to merge online analytical processing software from its Holistic Systems Inc acquisition with its Crystal Info reporting tool at this time last year, using the codename Black Widow (CI No 3,060). Yesterday, the software subsidiary of Seagate Technology Inc brought that product to market under the name Crystal Info 6, and threw in some integrated push technology for good measure. The product, aimed at the Business Intelligence market, and competing with the likes of Cognos Inc’s Powerplay, Brio Technology Inc’s Brioquery and Arbor Software Corp’s Essbase, comprises of an Info Cube Designer, which enables technical users to extract information from relational databases and construct multidimensional OLAP cubes. An Info Worksheet then allows users to analyze these cubes from various perspectives and perform familiar functions such as slicing and dicing, pivoting of rows and columns and drill down. The product uses technology from the company’s existing Holos OLAP tool (CI No 3,283), and is compatible with Holos data types for upgrade purposes. It will also work with Seagate’s Crystal Reports Designer 6.0, so users can create integrated reports. Integration with channel standard or so-called push technology in both Microsoft Corp and Netscape Communications Corp varieties, will enable users to flag reports, OLAP cubes and objects so they are notified as soon as updates occur. There is also a page-on-demand function so that only the required pages of a report are downloaded to the desktop. Users can organise, view and schedule reports using HTML, ActiveX or Java technologies says the company. Crystal Info 6 also enables OLAP analysis via an integrated Java worksheet which can be used to analyse multidimensional OLAP cubes via any Java compliant web browser. Support for Unix servers is promised in a forthcoming release. Users buy a basic client license, so they can view reports and can then add on optional report/query and OLAP packages, meaning they only pay for the product they actually use. A Seagate Crystal Info 6 client license costs $300 per user with the Report/Query add-on available for $200 and the OLAP option priced at $400 per user. An all in one package is available priced at $750. Seagate claims around three million installed seats and predicts it will outstrip the combined sales of its top three competitors some time in 1998.

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