BusinessObjects Board

Comparing BO with other tools

I would like to start what will hopefully become the comprehensive Bob stop on your quest to compare BO with other tools. We’ve got loads of info regarding BO versus this, that, and sundry other BI tool. I’m going to post links to the nuggets here and hope that you all will do the same.

Here goes…

A really great comprehensive list of BI tools by Larry Greenfield can be found here.

We have discussed the pros and cons of BO here.

We have compared Crystal to BO here, here, here, here, and here.

We have compared Actuate to BO here, and here.

We have discussed the pros and cons of BO here.

We have compared BO to Cognos here, here, here, here, and here.

We have compared BO to Discoverer here, here, and here.

BO versus Brio is here and here.

BO versus Proclarity

How various companies use BI tools

Maybe this would work best if we don’t actually discuss the tools here but keep the discussions in a different thread and let this be links to them. Heck, whatever you think. Feel free to add what’s on your mind.[Changed to a Sticky - Dave]

Cindy Clayton :us: (BOB member since 2002-06-11)

would a comparison of BO and Excel fit in here too?
we have lots of posts on that it seems
but I couldn’t find the Dave rant on this subject :roll_eyes:

scott copeland (BOB member since 2002-08-15)

Well, seeing Excel isn’t a reporting tool, only used as one not sure if it is a fit for a comparison.


Scott Bowers :us: (BOB member since 2002-09-30)

A lot of the newbies I work with (mainly accountants) are constantly comparing BusObj with Excel, even though, as you indicate, Excel is not a querying/reporting tool (it’s an analysis tool, as I incecently point out). So while there may not be reason to compare them in our (Bobbers’) minds, it might help to have a comprehensive list of differences when working with newbie Excel users.

jcaparula (BOB member since 2002-08-15)

I had a chance to work with Cognos Impromptu for 7 months. I liked some of the features like drill down and powerprompts, but I don’t see much flexibilities as in BO. You cannot create multiple tabs in one report, but you can create another separate report and link with it. So, finally, to reach one mile distance you have to travel atleast 5 miles in Cognos, but in BO just one mile :roll_eyes:


Ravi_Pazhani (BOB member since 2002-08-20)

Maybe this isn’t the right place to put this comment, but we went through a big cognos vs busobj selection a year ago, and busobj was chosen.

Now as a DW developer I have found busobj to be an incredibly useful aid to the development process. When i modify ETL processes i can query the “new” result, query the “old” result using either freehand sql’s or a very quickly developed sandbox universe, and join them together to find erros/differences extremely quickly. I can compare final fact table query results with source-file based results. I crosstab reports to look for patterns in data, do quick filtering in seconds on freehand sql riesult sets that might have taken 10 minutes to initially fetch from the db. I can integrate the results of these tests into my test dcumentation very easily. It has saved our client $1000’s in development cost, and we come in under budget very often (this is your tax dollars, folks!)

It would be very difficult to go back to trying to do these checks through Access or SQL*Plus.

slimdave :uk: (BOB member since 2002-09-10)

Totally right place to put it :yesnod: . Thanks a bunch!

Cindy Clayton :us: (BOB member since 2002-06-11)

Hi Cindy - i sent you a comparative BI Tool guide (very detailed) offline that you might find usefull (BO, Cognos, Brio, Crystal etc)


MikeD :south_africa: (BOB member since 2002-06-18)

Hi Steve - i’m not aware of a place to post attachments to BOB, isn’t there a discussion on this at the mo :wink:
I’ve been sending them direct to BOB’ers …
Theses docs were created a while back i.e. before the recent BI upswing with everybody jumping onto this bandwagon AND before the newer releases of BO
and MicroStrategy etc, but there still should be some relevance or at the very least it could be used as a template for BOB’ers to feed into :?:

The 2 docs are on there way …


MikeD :south_africa: (BOB member since 2002-06-18)

Having developed using both tools in a Teradata environement, I would say that Business Objects is a far better more flexible tool for getting information into the users hands.

The only places where MicroStrategy “beats” Business Objects is the following:

  • Exporting formatted results into Excel. Our users scream for this and we can’t do it in Bobj
  • Business Objects doesn’t lend itself to large developement efforts. More then 2 developers working on a single universe is all but impossible. Because MicroStrategy allowed individual “objects” to be checked in and out of the metadata and locked access the individual object.
  • Prompts get the nod in MicroStrategy.
  • MicroStrategy is more advanced with their Web stuff.

gzollinger1 (BOB member since 2003-01-23)

Wait for Tosca/BO v6 8)

You can use linked universes (which have some drawbacks when migrating from Development to Test to Production)

Andreas :de: (BOB member since 2002-06-20)


Do you know the origin of BI Tools.pdf? I am using information from it in discussions with my supervisor and would like to be able to tell her more about its origins. Saying “I got it from this guy on the internet” just doesn’t compare to saying “It was prepared by Mr. X when Company Y was researching BI tools for a new implementation”.

Lee Drake :us: (BOB member since 2002-08-15)

A co worker of mine found the origin of BI Tools.pdf.

Lee Drake :us: (BOB member since 2002-08-15)

Does anyone have any prior working experience with a tool named nQuire?

The company was bought over by siebel sometime last year. There was a proof of concept started at my prior client’s place but stopped because it had some issues dealing with the specific nature of data.

Anjan Roy (BOB member since 2002-07-10)

BO versus Proclarity.

Cindy Clayton :us: (BOB member since 2002-06-11)

What about prices? I don’t know other products but do you think that BO is an expensive product?

Schuster :united_arab_emirates: (BOB member since 2002-08-29)

BO is not the cheapest, but it’s also not the most expensive. Talking about pricing isn’t a very useful exercise as it will vary in every situation.

BO is a great product that can help with a big Return on Investment on your BI project. It might be a bit more expensive than some of the products, but price should not be the reason to buy something else.

Steve Krandel :us: (BOB member since 2002-06-25)

Cognos is coming out with a product called ReportNet which will compete with Webi and full client. Here is an article.

Cindy Clayton :us: (BOB member since 2002-06-11)

Designer 5.5? Wow, that is a well-informed buyer’s guide! :rotf:

JF Cayron :us: (BOB member since 2002-08-15)

How does Hyperion Essbase fit. Is it a competitive or a complementary product to BO :?:


joeoc :ireland: (BOB member since 2002-11-18)