Adobe teams with Business Objects to fight Microsoft

Adobe Systems Inc. is teaming up with Business Objects SA to add business-intelligence capabilities to rich Internet applications (RIAs). The companies plan to announce a partnership at the Adobe MAX 2007 North America user conference, which kicks off Monday in Chicago.

The companies plan to build a Business Objects Xcelsius Connector to Adobe LiveCycle Data Services ES, the company’s software for providing data-remoting, messaging and data-management capabilities integrating RIAs with existing application and back-end data. RIAs are Web-based applications that have cutting-edge visual interface capabilities but still have the same performance stability as desktop applications. Xcelius allows for the visual transformation of analytic data from back-end systems into graphics that can be integrated into Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, Adobe PDF and RIAs.

Adobe and Business Objects also will explore technology to integrate Adobe’s Flex development environment and Xcelsius to make it quicker and easier for developers to create more visually interesting business-intelligence applications, the companies said. They also plan to enhance Xcelsius so the software can export applications to Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR), Adobe’s software that helps developers create desktop applications out of RIAs.

Adobe is fighting a war with Microsoft Corp. on several fronts, and one of those is in the area of the development and deployment of RIAs that share as robust an experience on the desktop as they do on the Web. The two companies also are competing in the area of worker collaboration software for small- to medium-sized businesses. Connecting RIAs to back-end functionality should help Adobe in both of those scenarios.

The Adobe LiveCycle Data Services ES Connector for Xcelsius is expected to be available from Business Objects in the first quarter of 2008, the companies said. Adobe and Business Objects plan to unveil other joint products in the first half of 2008.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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