Doubling the functionality of its previous release, the latest version of Actuate's Information-Delivery Platform provides a scalable, cost effective way to deliver reports and information. Actuate version 6 extends information delivery beyond internal use and out to customers and potential customers over the Web. The Actuate 6 platform lets financial-services firms retrieve and manage information for delivery via Web pages and Excel-spreadsheet reports to customers, partners and employees.
"There is a strong shift being led by the financial community toward getting information through to every employee inside the firewall, as well as getting to every customer and even every prospective customer outside of the firewall," says Mike Thoma, vice president of strategic marketing at Actuate. The Actuate 6 platform delivers information as customizable Web reports that can include graphics, spreadsheet and linked documents, as well as Excel spreadsheets with formulas and formatting. Through clustering and load balancing, the platform can deliver information to millions of end users or potential end users.
"The real opportunity right now is getting business users to reach their casual end users, which are their customers," says Thoma. "For example, firms like Merrill Lynch, that are trying to get information out to both high-net-worth individuals and it's regular 5 million investors, have to be concerned, particularly in a down performing market, about the quality of the information that they send out to their customers."
The new release also features support for J2EE and .NET platforms as well as Web-services capabilities with SOAP-based APIs. "So once a service has been created for a constituency like giving high-net-worth individuals access to their personalized portfolios, firms want to be able to reuse that for retail customers or reuse that for a different geographical location once it's been done in the U.S. So it allows users to reuse these services in more places," says Thoma.
He adds that Actuate 6 also has Unicode support for multi-lingual reports and reporting encyclopedias, and multi-locale formatting from a single server. In addition to the current processor-based pricing for server products and options, the latest version will be made available on a per-user basis.