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BusinessObjects SA
Industry Computer software
Fate Acquired by SAP (2007)
Founded 1990
Headquarters San Jose, California and Paris, France
Key people
John Schwarz, CEO
Bernard Liautaud, Chairman and Founder
Products Crystal Reports
BusinessObjects XI
Data Services
Data Integrator
BusinessObjects Edge BI
Revenue $1.077 billion USD (2005)
Number of employees
4,977 (as of Q2 2006)

SAP BusinessObjects (a.k.a. BO, BOBJ) is an enterprise software company, specializing in business intelligence (BI). BusinessObjects was acquired in 2007 by German company SAP AG. The company claimed more than 46,000 customers worldwide in its final earnings release prior to being acquired by SAP.[1] Its flagship product is BusinessObjects XI, with components that provide performance management, planning, reporting, query and analysis and enterprise information management. BusinessObjects also offers consulting and education services to help customers deploy its business intelligence projects. Other toolsets enable universes (the BusinessObjects name for a semantic layer between the physical data store and the front-end reporting tool) and ready-written reports to be stored centrally and made selectively available to communities of users.


Bernard Liautaud co-founded BusinessObjects in 1990 together with Denis Payre and was chief executive officer until September 2005, when he became chairman and chief strategy officer until January 2008. In 1990, the first customer, Coface, was signed. The company went public on NASDAQ in September 1994, making it the first European software company listed in the United States.[citation needed] In 2002, the company made Time Magazine Europe's Digital Top 25 of 2002 and were BusinessWeek Europe Stars of Europe.

On 7 October 2007, SAP AG announced[2] that it would acquire BusinessObjects for $6.8B. As of 22 January 2008, the corporation is fully operated by SAP; this is seen as part of a growing consolidation trend in the business software industry, with Oracle acquiring Hyperion in 2007 and IBM acquiring Cognos in 2008.

BusinessObjects had two headquarters in San Jose, California, and Paris, France, but their biggest office was in Vancouver, Canada. The company's stock was traded on both the Nasdaq and Euronext Paris (BOB) stock exchanges.


On April 2, 2007 a lawsuit from Informatica (inherited by BusinessObjects from the purchase of Acta Technologies in 2002) resulted in an award of $25 million in damages to Informatica for patent infringement. The lawsuit related to embedded data flows with one input and one output. Informatica asserted that the ActaWorks product (now sold by BusinessObjects as part of Data Integrator), infringed several Informatica patents including US Patent Nos. 6,014,670 and 6,339,775, both titled "Apparatus and Method for Performing Data Transformations in Data Warehousing." BusinessObjects subsequently released a new version of Data Integrator (11.7.2) which removed the infringing product capability.[3][4]


  • 1990: BusinessObjects launches Skipper SQL 2.0.x.
  • 1994: Launches BusinessObjects v3.0 and goes public on the NASDAQ in September — the first French company listed in the United States.[5]
  • 1996: Enters the OLAP market and launches BusinessObjects v4.0. Bernard Liautaud named one of BusinessWeek's "Hottest Entrepreneurs of the Year."
  • 1997: Introduces WebI thin client, which enables shared information across an extranet.[6]
  • 1999: General Electric (GE) begins working with the company.[citation needed] BusinessObjects goes public in France on the Premier Marché. Acquires Next Action Technologies.
  • 2000: Acquires OLAP@Work for approximately $15 million[7] and announces MDX Connect from this acquisition.[8]
  • 2001: SAP signs an OEM and reseller agreement to bundle Crystal Reports. Acquires Blue Edge Software.
  • 2001: Signs up its single largest global software licensing transaction with Three, formerly known as Hutchison 3G. Transaction was led by Edwin Moore Momife and Jon Stubbington of the UK Company.
  • 2002: Acquires Acta Technologies.[9] Bernard Liautaud named to Business Week's "Stars of Europe," and the company is named one of the "100 Fastest Growing Tech Companies" by Business 2.0.[10] Informatica files a lawsuit against Acta, claiming patent rights infringement.[6]
  • 2003: Acquires Crystal Decisions for $820 million.[11] BusinessObjects releases Dashboard Manager, BusinessObjects Enterprise 6, and BusinessObjects Performance Manager.
  • 2004: Debuts new combined company with the slogan, "Our Future is Clear, Crystal Clear." Launches Crystal v10 and BusinessObjects v6.5.
  • 2005: Launches BusinessObjects XI. Acquires SRC Software, Infommersion, and Medience. Launches BusinessObjects Enterprise XI Release 2.
  • 2006: BusinessObjects acquires Firstlogic, Inc and Nsite Software, Inc.[12][13]
  • 2006: Acquires ALG Software (formerly Armstrong Laing Group). Launches Crystal Xcelsius, which allows users to transform Microsoft Excel spreadsheet data into interactive Flash media files.
  • 2007: Continuing its string of acquisitions, BusinessObjects acquires Cartesis[14] and Inxight.
  • 2007: In October, SAP AG's Chief Executive Henning Kagermann announced a $6.8 billion deal to acquire BusinessObjects.
  • 2008: In January, SAP absorbs all of BusinessObjects' offices, and renames the entity "BusinessObjects, an SAP company". Following the acquisition of BusinessObjects by SAP, the founder and CEO of BusinessObjects, Bernard Liautaud, announces his resignation.[15]
  • 2009: BusinessObjects becomes a division of SAP instead of a separate company. The portfolio brand "SAP BusinessObjects" was created. Some former BusinessObjects employees now officially work for SAP.


  • Common services for deployment and management of BI tools
  • Reporting
    • Query and analysis tools for self-service reporting, including Lumira (desktop-based client, originally called Visual Intelligence) and WebI (Web Intelligence, for more advanced reporting).
    • Enterprise Reporting (SAP Crystal Reports) access, format, and deliver printable information to large populations of users.
  • Data Visualization (Dashboard Design/Design Studio) supports creation of flash/HTML dashboards and dynamic charts and graphics with data from BO universes, SQL databases, or Excel spreadsheets.
  • Universe Designer: An administrator tool used to construct Universes or abstracted end-user views of the database; allows pre-defining table joins, object descriptions, and measure object behavior during aggregation. This tool is succeeded by "Information Design Tool" (IDT) in SAP BusinessObjects 4.0
  • Enterprise Information Management (EIM) integrates and improves data to create a trusted foundation for business decisions. Creates a basis for querying and analysis through ETL or EII.
  • Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) helps users align with strategy by tracking and analyzing key business metrics and goals via management dashboards, scorecards, analytics, and alerting.
  • InfoView web portal, which is succeeded by BI Launchpad in SAP BusinessObjects 4.0[16]
  • Office Analysis, A plugin for Microsoft Excel - allowing users to connect directly to the Business Warehouse (BW) from within Office creating a familiar environment and even allowing users the ability to save the report for later use in WEBI.
  • BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation (formerly OutlookSoft) a corporate performance management tool which runs within Microsoft Excel[17]
    • On-demand BI software (Business Intelligence OnDemand), hosted on the web.


  1. ^ "Press and News | About SAP AG". SAP. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  2. ^ "SAP to buy BusinessObjects for $6.8B". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  3. ^ "BusinessObjects Issues Statement on Informatica Lawsuit". BusinessObjects. Archived from the original on 26 July 2012. Retrieved 2007-06-01. 
  4. ^ "BusinessObjects Provides Update on Informatica Litigation". BusinessObjects. Retrieved 2007-06-01. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Bernard Liautaud Joins MySQL Board of Directors". MySQL. Retrieved October 18, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Howson, Cindi. BusinessObjects: the complete reference. RR Donnelley, 2003.
  7. ^ "BusinessObjects Acquires OLAP@Work". May 9, 2000. 
  8. ^ "BusinessObjects Announces BusinessObjects MDX Connect, First Product in Enhanced OLAP Strategy". Information Management Online. June 27, 2000. 
  9. ^ Whiting, Rick (July 15, 2002). "BusinessObjects To Buy Acta In Analysis Software Deal". InformationWeek. 
  10. ^ "BusinessObjects Named to Business 2.0's 100 Fastest-Growing Technology Companies List.". 
  11. ^ Evers, Joris (July 18, 2003). "BusinessObjects to acquire Crystal Decisions". InfoWorld. 
  12. ^ Kirk, Jeremy (2006-12-01). "BusinessObjects acquires SaaS firm Nsite | Business". InfoWorld. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  13. ^ "Press and News | About SAP AG". SAP. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  14. ^ Whiting, Rick (Apr 23, 2007). "BusinessObjects To Acquire Cartesis". CRN. 
  15. ^ Havenstein, Heather (January 30, 2008). "BusinessObjects founder resigns after SAP acquisition". Computer World. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "What is SAP BPC". 2009-11-27. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 

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