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testdriveWell, we’ve been talking about it publicly for some time, and we’ve been working on it for what seems like an eternity, but we’ve finally found a way to let potential customers, partners and resellers see what SMI Suite is really all about.

Ladies and gentlemen: I give you the SMI Suite TestDrive.

We’ve always struggled because SMI Suite is not an application that can be demoed like most desktop apps. Offering a trial version download is simply not a realistic option because the magic of SMI Suite is all in the implementation – it’s how it connects to your SM7 database, how the mapping to the reporting database works, how the universes interact with the reporting DB and so forth.

So when people ask to see a trial version we’ve only been able to offer a webinar session to show them how it works, when what they really want to do is get their hands dirty and have a play. Which is perfectly understandable, and precisely why we’ve worked so hard on getting TestDrive online.

So what is TestDrive and (perhaps more importantly) what isn’t it?

Well, TestDrive is a hosted implementation of SMI Suite, using a generic sample database, and accessible through Business Objects Infoview, which is a lightweight web client. We’ve opened up access to the Incident universe, so you can use the BO Web Intelligence web app to create your own report based on any of the Incident Management data, and save a pdf copy to your local machine.

For mainly technical reasons this is a massively scaled down version of what you get with the full version of SMI Suite. In the full version you get not one but five universes (Incident, plus Change, Configuration, Interaction and Problem) and you get the full range of BO XI front-end capabilities, which includes more functionality for creating, viewing, refreshing, scheduling and publishing of reports than we offer in the TestDrive. And, for reasons that I hope are obvious, the TestDrive will not return any data from your SM7 implementation in the way that the full version of SMI Suite does.

Despite these caveats, the SMI Suite TestDrive is a great way to check out how powerful reporting can be with SMI Suite and how easy it can be to pull key data from SM7 and get real insight into performance, workload, patterns and other interesting and useful stuff.

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