Using the web to deliver reports

SolNet has started distributing e.Reporting Suite 5 by San Francisco-based Actuate, a software solution which compiles personalised reports and delivers them via the web to thousands of users.

SolNet has started distributing e.Reporting Suite 5 by San Francisco-based Actuate, a software solution which compiles personalised reports and delivers them via the web to thousands of users.

Customers use Actuate to create, manage and deliver business information to customers, partners and employees.

Courier company DHL uses Actuate to produce reports from an Oracle database every morning and each user sees only the pages that are relevant to them.

In the UK, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forest and Fish is using the product to provide reports on the movement of sheep during the foot and mouth outbreak.

“Delivering information via the web is the simplest, fastest, and most standard way possible,” says Olivier Gachot, Actuate vice president of international operations. He says that typically a customer will start using Actuate for small projects, often in the sales and marketing departments, and will then spread it to other areas of the organisation. Most customers use it behind the firewall initially but a increasing number of organisations are using it to push content to people outside.

SolNet says it is working with a number of major corporates in New Zealand to implement it but won’t reveal whom, citing commercial sensitivity. However it’s telcos that make up a large proportion of Actuate customers here, which is also the case world wide along with financial services companies.

According to Actuate e.Reporting can extract data from any source eg RDBMS, data warehouse, C++/Java application objects, flat files, EAI and especially legacy systems. It can brand and customise reports and information to look like they’re part of the organisation’s website.

“If you browse a website and enter the Actuate part of the environment, you don’t see anything different,” says SolNet consultant Simon Burgoyne.

Burgoyne says users can drill down and analyse and then put the results in a pdf or XML format or transfer the information to another application. As well as being available as a stand-alone solution, it is also embedded in a number of CRM systems, such as Siebel and PeopleSoft.

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