Pentaho and Oracle recently announced being the first in their respective classes to bring BI applications to the iPhone. In the past, mobile BI included receiving emailed copies of reports, graphs, and maybe dashboards. Now these applications are supported through the iPhone as well. This means that customers with iPhones can receive and navigate through business intelligence graphs and reports and have access to BI when they are on the road. Expanding use to the iPhone broadens the array of uses and technologies that take advantage of business intelligence.
For Pentaho, integration with the iPhone was developed using the iUI project that is hosted on Google (News – Alert) Code. The goal is to offer an intuitive way for end users to use BI applications by extending the way they access and navigate applications. In addition to interacting with BI, organizations can integrate their BI functionality with iPhone features such as e-mail and text messaging. Because this functionality has been built within an open source model, it may be viewed by some as more widely applicable for organizations extending beyond Pentaho customers. For example, within open source, it is possible to apply the general code and manipulate it to integrate with other applications and to customize it for a specific set of uses.
Oracle’s expansion to include integration with authorized iPhone users allows end users to manage and received alerts based on pre-defined parameters. Oracle is distributing the applications through the Apple App Store, and use of these applications is free to current Oracle business intelligence customers. In addition to BI, Oracle is planning to expand integration with the iPhone for ERP approvals as well as CRM applications to bring general mobile computing to business.
Overall, integrating BI applications with mobile, search, and other general modes of interaction, increase the ability for more people to access BI. However, access should not be confused with actual application use. Even with advances such as this announcement by both Pentaho and Oracle, there will still continue to be a gap between a high level of interaction between BI and mobile devices.
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