Using Google Apps and Google Docs is quite an accessible and functional way to collaborate and manage documents in a Software-as-a-Service web environment, but leveraging this data in an enterprise environment could prove somewhat difficult -- that is until Panorama Software released Panorama Analytics and Panorama PowerApps.
Panorama believes that as more applications go the way of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), business intelligence software vendors are trying to keep up. Google Docs is the SaaS solution, and Panorama wants to use that service to provide businesses with ways to better leverage the data within Google Apps.
In order to do that, Panorama needed to tap into Google Docs to retrieve data for analysis. That is exactly what they did -- Panorama developed a solution for analyzing data within a Google Docs spreadsheet in the same way that is regularly done with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. The solution is capable of analyzing large volumes of corporate data.
The latest updates to Panorama Analytics include additions to user interface, which is built using Adobe Flex technology. The new release also supports more businesses and consumer users.
Unfortunately, Panorama Analytics was no where to be found within Google Docs during the writing of this article, but the updates are sure to be welcomed by users of Google Docs.
Panorama PowerApps -- a hosted online analytical processing engine that debuted in June -- collects corporate data that can be converted and uploaded to Google Docs. A recently struck deal with SDG Computing helps to make this possible. PowerApps does the difficult work for corporations and users, and then it allows users to go about their business with Google Docs as usual.
The company charges a fee for the use of PowerApps, but users can manually upload and analyze data from within Google Apps. Determining whether the convenience is worth the price is, of course, up to the user.
Panorama's Future Plans
Within the next few months, Panorama has plans to add RSS support, additional visualization capabilities, support for SAP, Microsoft and Salesforce.com. According to Panorama, these improvements will be integrated into Google Apps. Panorama Software also has plans to add APIs to PowerApps that will be available in the first quarter of 2009. Developers will be able to create applications that run on Panorama's online analytical processing engine and utilize Panorama's cloud computing analysis tools.