Integrating Business Intelligence Services in the Cloud: A Conceptual Model

Integrating Business Intelligence Services in the Cloud: A Conceptual Model

Volker Herwig (University for Applied Sciences at Erfurt, Germany) and Kristof Friess (University for Applied Sciences at Erfurt, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6178-3.ch027


Business Intelligence (BI) solutions are among the popular applications that businesses demand in the Cloud. Although Business Intelligence functionality is already provided in the Cloud, vendors concentrate on providing existing products like Software as a Service, ignoring changing business and provisioning models of software. Business Intelligence functionality provided in the Cloud is lacking important integration features needed by other Cloud-based applications. While a simple upload of the data to be analyzed into a Cloud-based BI solution is already possible and well established, the visualization of the results and the interactive parts of the analysis are always provided inside the Cloud-based BI solution itself. However, as this chapter shows, common usage scenarios of integrated Cloud applications demand an integration of the analysis reports from BI applications into the user interface of other Cloud-based applications. This chapter describes how a fully integrated Cloud-based BI solution can collaborate with other Cloud-based applications. The technical concept illustrated with an example delineates how the required interface can be provided.
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To secure the long-term success of an enterprise, one has to anticipate changes and that requires full transparency in terms of the business. This challenge has been present for generations of business leaders to tackle. The massive amount of information and data produced by modern enterprises today counteracts this goal.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Infrastructure as a Service: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the usage of virtual infrastructure components. This includes servers, memory, communication components, and other data center elements as services.

Cloud Computing: Cloud computing enables convenient on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal service provider support.

Business Intelligence: Business Intelligence is an umbrella term that includes the applications, infrastructure and tools, and best practices that enable access to and analysis of information to improve and optimize decisions and performance.

Software as a Service: Software as a Service (SaaS) is an application that is provided through the Internet.

Data Warehouse: During the integration of data from multiple distributed heterogeneous databases and other information sources, a data warehouse is used as the repository to store the data.

REST Services: Representation State Transfer (REST) is an architectural style to define Web-based services using a set of HTTP operations GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE. It is highly flexible and offers the use of free data structures.

Platform as a Service: Platform as a Service (PaaS) is the extension of IaaS to provide a development environment as a framework.

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