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First Look: TIBCO Spotfire 6.5


TIBCO Spotfire 6.5 (announced last month) has new capabilities around easier access to data, location analytics and R. To support effective data discovery and visualization, TIBCO believes it is essential to allow users easy access to analytics against the increasingly wide range of data sources that are available. It’s not enough that the visualization tools are easy to use – it must also be easy to bring in new data sources and to leverage the full capabilities of those data sources. With Spotfire 6.5 TIBCO has focused heavily on making it easier for a user to bring in new data sources to the visualization environment including Hadoop-based sources, and to easily interact with that data. In particular Spotfire 6.5 allows parameterized SQL driven by UI elements that is then optimized for the particular back-end data source so that users can take advantage of the power of each of these data sources.

Another area of focus is richer analyses with location analytics. Geographic data from Esri ArcGIS or WMS can now be rapidly and easily integrated into Spotfire to make it part of a visualization. MapCharts can integrate these data sources and users can interactively drill down into local ArcGIS or WMS servers.

Spotfire 6.5 also allows R to be embedded into the Spotfire expression language, making it easier for developers to embed R models into analytic applications from the core Spotfire UI. Spotfire has had S+ for a while for advanced analytics (similar to and based on R) and they added support for R in their enterprise server (using TIBCO Enterprise Runtime for R) last year. The new release makes it easy to integrate R directly in the Spotfire development environment and take advantage of the TERR execution engine. Visualizations and Spotfire applications can now embed R directly and then execute this against the TERR engine.

In addition TIBCO has been continuing to integrate their Extended Results acquisition, now called Spotfire Mobile Metrics, into the Spotfire platform. Though Mobile Metrics remains uniquely focused on delivering KPIs to mobile devices, with Spotfire 6.5 any existing data set defined in TIBCO Spotfire can be published to Spotfire Mobile Metrics simply by configuring it for mobile display.

Finally TIBCO has launched a complete, stand-alone desktop application with 6.5 called Spotfire Desktop. This analytics software does not require a server, can be easily downloaded and installed on a local desktop, allowing a single user to get started quickly.

TIBCO is one of the vendors in our Decision Management Systems Platform Technology Report and you can get more information on Spotfire here.


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