I followed up with Jake Freivald, VP of Information Builders (IBI) on their announcement that the company was utilizing the Google Maps API to visualize geospatial data (see image at right courtesy of IBI). I wanted to know what led IBI to implement this feature in its WebFOCUS platform. "We needed to do for a variety of reasons," said Freivald. "What we are coding with latest iteration of WebFOCUS is to make it a platform for mashups. All you have to do with WebFOCUS is decide what data you want; what icons you want and what other drill downs you want to go to. It’s not a lengthy development cycle and we want to make good on the promises of Web 2.0."
IBI is not abandoning its relationship with ESRI or its tools, for which it had developed a interface to share and analyze data and pass back results to IBI’s business intelligence suite. In fact, IBI is just trying to deliver a less costly alternative.
"Customers love the idea of maps but don’t want to invest that much in mapping," said Freivald. "So we have a lot of customers who want maps but don’t want to spend a lot on it." Customers will still be able to easily to transfer data to ESRI when client wants to do it for more advanced analysis.