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Microsoft said today that it has acquired Datazen Software, a company with mobile-friendly business-intelligence (BI) tools.

“This acquisition accelerates our Power BI strategy to help organizations create a data culture with easy-to-use, accessible tools to extract maximum value from data — from anywhere, on any device,” Kamal Hathi, partner director of cloud and enterprise at Microsoft, said in a blog post on the news today.

But Datazen customers can continue to use all of the startup’s products in their current form, wrote Miljan Braticevic, Datazen’s chief executive, in a blog post of his own.

Business intelligence on mobile devices is especially important to Microsoft these days, given chief executive Satya Nadella’s emphasis on building for a mobile-first and cloud-first world. Indeed, Datazen’s software works on Windows mobile devices as well as iOS and Android devices. It also works with HTML5.

And the pressure is on for Microsoft to become stronger in mobile-first BI. Salesforce last year announced a mobile-friendly BI tool, the Wave analytics cloud, last year. Microsoft is gradually making progress; in December it brought Power BI to the iPad.

Microsoft customers love Datazen’s software, Hathi wrote:

In particular, SQL Server customers love Datazen, because it is optimized for SQL Server Analysis Services and the overall Microsoft platform, enabling rich, interactive data visualization and KPIs on all major mobile platforms: Windows, iOS and Android. As of today, SQL Server Enterprise Edition customers with version 2008 or later and Software Assurance are entitled to download the Datazen Server software at no additional cost. This means millions of people around the world will now be able to visualize and interact with data on their mobile devices, using the native mobile apps available at no charge at the respective app stores.

Last year Datazen brought offline support to its mobile apps.

Previously known as ComponentArt, Datazen started in 2002 and was based in Toronto.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.


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