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Data Integration: Easy as ABL

Data Integration: Easy as ABL

January 30, 2015 0 Comments

We know that our Progress® OpenEdge® community is always looking for new revenue streams. Whether it’s new professional services offerings or new features that customers are demanding, business never sits still.

We also know that with today’s highly connected application development environment, there is a hunger to collect data-driven insights across the enterprise. So the need for aggregated reporting and analytics—connecting islands of information—is now one of the key issues facing IT and application development teams today. But connectivity and interactivity go far beyond just reporting. Developers face real challenges as they try to build applications that rely on data blended from multiple systems. 

Data Quality Challenges

When it comes to building data-driven applications and blending data to create reports, your customers need you to help them overcome the following challenges:

  • How do you provide access to data in the customer’s application portfolio from any reporting and analytics tool in use today?
  • How do you get a single data-centric view across multiple data sources that have completely different data structures?
  • How do you integrate data from cloud, on-premise and ubiquitous sources such as Excel files?
  • How do you assure data quality with data that is clean, normalized and valid—and that data records in one system are tied to the correct records in another system? 

Easyl Use Cases

Progress® Easyl® is specifically designed to drive value and new revenue streams for your business that help meet these challenges. Easyl enables you to blend data easily and intuitively, extending the reporting capabilities of your applications and providing the new features and components your customers are demanding. Easyl also provides a clean data conduit to Business Intelligence (BI) visualization tools like Tableau, Qlik and even Excel.

Easyl is also designed to power additional revenue streams through professional services by:

  • Blending your application data with the data from the many other systems your customers use, for insightful, custom tailored business intelligence
  • Enabling customers to access and extend data sets that you create, so that they can do their own reporting and analytics
  • Building dashboards that provide metrics and insights your customers crave

Let’s look at some recent Easyl use cases:

  • An application development company provided a new professional services offering where they combined data from their own applications with customer-supplied data from QuickBooks, Sage, or MS-Dynamics, to provide their customers with 360 degree reporting.
  • A financial services company whose customer data resides in hundreds of spreadsheets wants to integrate that data in the cloud, do reporting across clients, and do business process automation using the Easyl data sets as their core application database
  • Under pressure to integrate their customers’ SalesForce.com data into their application (and in some cases, to move their application data into their clients’ Salesforce accounts), this OpenEdge partner gave their application an exciting up-to-date feel with cloud-driven connectivity
  • A consulting business is founded on delivering blended reporting directly integrated with popular BI tools like Tableau. They sell their customers sophisticated Tableau business intelligence and visualizations, powered by Easyl’s bi-directional integration with Tableau and Tableau Cloud
  • A B2C business wants to analyze sales and marketing effectiveness by blending the data in their Avaya Aura call center application with data stored in their sales automation system. Easyl made it a breeze to access both systems and blend the data for powerful business insights
  • A managed services firm needs to blend analytical data from their application with data from their customers’ various HR applications, for insight that has a direct effect on corporate budgeting

How Easyl Data Blending Works

Easyl is designed for both blended reporting and for building data marts that can drive integrated applications and utilities. How does it do this? With ease-of-use, simplicity, scalability, security and performance!

  1. Just point Progress® Easyl™ to a data source, any data source, and the data is presented in a simple worksheet view. It doesn’t matter whether the source data is a cloud application like Salesforce, NoSQL like MongoDB, an on-premise database, or a cube like Google Analytics. Easyl’s DataDirect connectivity converts it to familiar tables.
  2. Easyl is built on Progress® DataDirect® technology, and Progress® Software is the leader in database and big data connectivity. DataDirect drivers are fast, meaning you can blend data from large data sets and from complex database schemas in record time.
  3. DataDirect drivers are fast, meaning you can blend data from large data sets and from complex database schemas in record time.
  4. Easyl enables you to do everything through an easy-to-use web interface. But if you want to integrate Easyl features into your application at the API level, Easyl also provides an API.
  5. No infrastructure to manage! Easyl is a cloud-based SaaS application, so we host your data sets and reports. We handle the IT issues, from scaling and performance to backups and security, so you can focus on building great apps.
  6. Familiar ODBC, JDBC, and now OData access to your data sets enables you to build complex blended databases in the Easyl cloud, and access them from your desktop or from an application through protocols that are easily set up. You can use any third party tool you like to access your data, including SAP BusinessObjects, MS Access, IBM Cognos, SAS, Microstrategy, Excel, SQL Server Linked Servicer, dBVisualizer, and BI tools like Tableau!
  7. Manipulate your data sets with ABL: you can perform CRUD operations on your data sets, and even use our handy SQL Recorder to perform automatic transformations every time the data is refreshed using Easyl’s reload scheduler.

Naturally, Easyl comes with built-in support for Progress® Rollbase® and OpenEdge, so that developers can access their own application data.

Easily Access Your Easyl Data Sets

Once you blend data in Easyl, you can of course generate and share reports (in your favorite BI tools, like Tableau, DataPA, Qlik, or Excel). But most important to application developers, we enable you to access your Easyl data sets simply and conveniently using ODBC and JDBC. This means you can build applications that leverage your data sets for reporting and analytics. How cool is that?

As you might expect from any Progress product, Easyl has licensing terms that make it easy for our application development community to generate profits. Whether you are a one-person shop or a billion-dollar multinational software company, Easyl is designed with our development partners in mind, with flexible terms that enable us to add Easyl to your existing Progress account.

Learn More About Easyl

To find out more about how Easyl can help you drive revenue with your customers, watch this Easyl demo now and get started now with a free trial download.

About Rich Julius

Rich is the Principal Product Manager for Progress Easyl, a cloud-based data integration and blending tool that enables you to create reporting data sets and data marts “on-the-fly” quickly and easily. Rich has spent two decades working with data-driven applications and marketing automation, and served in senior management roles at a number of Silicon Valley companies before settling in North Carolina.

Rich has years of experience leading consulting engagements for Fortune 1000 clients that include Cisco, Microsoft, Seagate, and McKesson, and is an alum of PeopleSoft, Oracle, and Informix. Most recently, President Barack Obama nominated Rich to serve as a senior advisor with the Department of Treasury, as a member of the IRS Oversight Board.

Rich Julius

Rich is the Principal Product Manager for Progress Easyl, a cloud-based data integration and blending tool that enables you to create reporting data sets and data marts “on-the-fly” quickly and easily. Rich has spent two decades working with data-driven applications and marketing automation, and served in senior management roles at a number of Silicon Valley companies before settling in North Carolina. Rich has led consulting engagements for Fortune 1000 clients including Cisco, Microsoft, Seagate and McKesson, and is an alum of PeopleSoft, Oracle, and Informix. Rich was nominated in 2015 by President Barack Obama to serve on the Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board.

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