New XMLA Spec Released

Software companies hope XML for Analysis v. 1.1 will drive adoption of Internet business intelligence apps

Tempe, AZ  November 21, 2002  A trio of software companies this week unveiled a new e-business standard that they hope will accelerate the adoption of Internet business intelligence applications and increase the market for those technologies.

Software providers Hyperion, Microsoft and SAS rolled out the new XML for Analysis (XMLA) specification. Version 1.1 of the standard provides an updated specification and application programming interface (API) standard for vendors to access multidimensional databases as a Web service.

"Microsoft is committed to providing customers and partners with rapid and easy access to analytic applications," said Bill Baker, general manager of SQL Server Business Intelligence at Microsoft. "The XMLA protocol delivers on this by creating a standard for Web-based business intelligence. The new specification provides another step toward Microsoft's vision of making business intelligence more pervasive and more accessible to everyone."

This new version is the first to be created in conjunction with members of the XMLA Advisory Council, a standards group that was formed after Hyperion and Microsoft released XML for Analysis Specification version 1.0 in 2001. The council includes a number of business intelligence software suppliers that have announced their support and backing of XMLA.

In addition to the new release of the XMLA specification, the council announced that it has added seven new members. The new additions  Crystal Decisions, INEA, MIS AG, MJM Consultant Corp., Panorama Software Systems, SAP and Silvon Software Inc.  bring additional analytics expertise to the group, according to the council.

"The addition of new council members signals the growing momentum and market acceptance of an open, scalable, standards-based specification that benefits enterprise class customers," said Keith Collins, senior vice president and chief technology officer for SAS.

"With the new specification and additional council members, we're gaining important momentum in the adoption of XMLA as a standard for creating Web-based analytic solutions," said Robert Gersten, chief development officer for Hyperion. "This will help ensure that businesses have an open standard that is scalable to meet distributed analysis needs across the enterprise."

Gersten noted that Hyperion has already incorporated support for XMLA in the upcoming version of its Essbase XTD, an integrating platform for business performance management.

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