Business Objects a leading provider of business intelligence (BI) solutions, this week announced several new product integration initiatives with key Microsoft products. Business Objects announced the launch of Crystal Enterprise(TM) Live Office, a solution that enables users to embed active corporate data from Crystal Reports(R) into Microsoft Office documents.

In addition, the company unveiled an integrated solution for SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and support for the Microsoft Office Information Bridge Framework. "Our goal is ensuring that customers can take advantage of the power and familiarity of the Microsoft Office System," said Simon Marks, product manager for Office at Microsoft Corp. "Therefore, we are pleased to partner with companies like Business Objects to help enhance the business intelligence capabilities we can extend to customers across the enterprise with Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and other Microsoft Office System products." "For any company serious about using business intelligence to ensure information accuracy and drive enterprise performance, the combination of Business Objects and Microsoft technologies is a very compelling solution," said Bill Gibson, senior vice president of partners and alliances at Business Objects. "Our integrated solutions are focused on increasing developer and Microsoft Office user productivity and delivering BI to an increasing number of business users. No other business intelligence product can claim the same number of users, years of proven success, and tight integration with Microsoft." 

Enhancements to the Business Objects product line announced this week at the Microsoft TechEd Conference, include: Expanded Microsoft Office System Integration Business Objects has expanded its integration with Microsoft Office System applications with this week's launch of Crystal Enterprise Live Office. 

This solution allows business users to easily embed and manage live reports and report components in Microsoft Office System applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Crystal Enterprise Live Office will help broaden the use of BI, while allowing organizations to secure and manage information centrally. Microsoft Office users gain access to the world's most widely deployed enterprise reporting solution to help them make decisions based on timely, accurate data. 

For more information on the launch of Crystal Enterprise Live Office, see here.  

Integration with SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Business Objects also announced today a new integrated solution for SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Crystal Version 10. The solution provides personalized business intelligence content directly within SharePoint Portal Server 2003 sites, providing business users with a powerful tool for increasing productivity and obtaining a single view of corporate information. 

The integration kit for SharePoint Portal Server 2003 provides users with an integrated, personalized, and secure access to information from disparate systems, including enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications. Support for Microsoft Office Information Bridge Framework The Microsoft Office Information Bridge Framework, launched this week by Microsoft, provides software components, tools, and guidance to help developers build solutions that connect the Microsoft Office System to enterprise systems via XML Web services. 

Business Objects has committed to extend its current Office integration capabilities using the Information Bridge Framework to enable greater collaboration between its BI software and the Microsoft Office System. This integration is another way in which business users can take advantage of business intelligence as part of their everyday workflow with Microsoft products. Award-Winning Reporting Products for the Microsoft Developer Community The Crystal line of reporting products from Business Objects has established itself as the industry standard for embedded reporting, with over one million registered developers. 

The software is included on the default install in Microsoft's major development environments, including Visual Studio .NET and the upcoming release of Visual Studio 2005, and the products have won several awards from the developer community. Continuing that tradition, Crystal Reports was recently named a finalist for the Best of TechEd 2004 Awards in the "Developer Tools" category. The winners of this award will be announced on May 26, 2004, at the Microsoft TechEd Conference. Crystal Reports also recently won two Reader's Choice Awards from Windows Server System Magazine, as "Best Reporting Solution" and "Best Business Management/Trend Analysis Solution." In addition, Crystal Reports has been named the Reader's Choice for the "Best Data Reporting and Analysis Tool" from Visual Studio Magazine for the past nine years in a row.