SAP's upcoming data warehousing software has been tested by only 20 R/3 users so far, and even they are waiting for a first look at some key pieces of the product.
But that isn't stopping other users of SAP's applications from counting on the warehousing software to be the answer to their vexing R/3 data analysis problems.
For example, Japan-based Brother Industries currently has to collect data from multiple R/3 installations and manually load it in to spreadsheets that are sent via e-mail to analysis-minded executives.
If it works as promised, SAP's Business Information Warehouse should automatically consolidate Brother's financial and manufacturing data for reporting and analysis, Cox said.
The maker of faxes, printers, typewriters and sewing machines expects to install the new software early next year as it upgrades to R/3 4.0.
Business Information Warehouse combines a relational data analysis server with end-user query and reporting software, built-in data extraction routines and other tools. It is due for release to about 70 early users late this month, and general shipments are planned for August.
The software is supposed to give R/3 users a more palatable warehousing method than the two choices they have now: using SAP's tricky procedural language to pull information in to stand-alone data warehouses or letting employees fire processor-hogging queries at R/3 transaction systems.