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IBM's ILOG Builds Sophisticated Data Display Components

Feb 27, 2009 (08:02 PM EST)

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IBM's ILOG acquisition included a little known tools unit skilled at providing means of visualizing complex data. ILOG is known mainly as a business rules engine, acquired by IBM in January, but its tools unit came up with ways of showing sophisticated data that resulted from executing the rules.

Now that unit has supplied four new components that can be used to display complex data in a rich Internet application.

Rich Internet applications put more tools and interactions into the hands of en d users. Ajax, with its ability to automate interactions between an end user and an Internet server, is one of the key enablers of such applications. ILOG's Elixir 2.0 in combination with Adobe's Flex 3.0 platform is another. On Feb. 23, ILOG Elixir gained four components that can be used with Adobe's Flex Builder to display sophisticated data.

A Gantt chart module allows a project manager to show a project schedule as a bar chart, with interrelationships between parts of the project color coded into the bars. Now Gantt charts can be used as a component that can be dragged and dropped within Flex Builder into the user presentation by a Web application.

A calendar module provides rich calendar displays for Web applications, allowing different users to mark calendar dates and share that information with other users.

A heat map module allows developers to map data to a particular geography and show where concentrations or "hot spots" occur within the data set.

An OLAP and pivot chart module allows developers to present new forms of business intelligence and data analysis. The presentations allow end users to visually analyze large data sets, determine trends and see outliers. This charting module can show clusters of data and drill down into the cluster, at the end user's discretion.

The Elixir 2.0 components are tightly integrated with Flex Builder, the integrated development environment for building Web applications with Adobe Flex components. ILOG was one of the few independent software developers (before being acquired by IBM) allowed to build components that were designed to be added to the Flex Builder environment, said Erwan Paccard, product marketing manager for ILOG.

The first Elixir components came out a year ago as additions to Flex at a price of $799. The four new components will be added to the existing seven at no change in price.

IBM completed its acquisition of ILOG, a software firm with 850 employees headquartered in Paris, for $340 million last month.


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