Over a year ago I wrote an article about – what was at the time – the newest version of Spotfire, namely Spotfire X. Fast forward to today I just realized that TIBCO did not sit back and relax after that version, but in fact, gave us every reason to upgrade to a new version of TIBCO Spotfire! For this article, I decided to do some cherry-picking from their list of new functionalities that I thought would be of interest.
It’s understandable that heavy Spotfire users want to install the latest and greatest version of Spotfire right away. However, before we continue, I do think it’s fair to warn a bit here. TIBCO supports Spotfire’s normal (MS or mainstream) versions only for a few months, whereafter you need to upgrade to a newer version as soon as it arrives. For companies that cannot update every two months (due to their size or just lack of support reps), I would recommend following the Long Time Support (LTS) path. These versions will be supported for a long time until a year after the next LTS is released. So make sure to be aware of this when planning your update!
Okay, so let’s quickly get back to all the new Spotfire functionalities. What’s new? Well.. a lot!
Spotfire provides new database connectors
First of all, many new database connections were either added or improved. Let’s take a quick look at these new connectors:
- Microsoft SQL Server 2017
- Oracle MySQL 8.0
- TIBCO Data Virtualization 8
- Vertica 9.x
- SAP HANA 2
- Google BigQuery
- Amazon Aurora MySQL
- Amazon RDS MySQL
- Microsoft Azure MariaDB
- Microsoft Azure MySQL
Spotfire Improved on Streaming Analytics
With Spotfire X, TIBCO introduced streaming analytics. Personally I was very enthusiastic about this new feature, but soon I found out that there were some functional flaws in using streaming data. For example, data wrangling on streaming had its limits, like concatenating strings. Apparently there were more flaws and some of them were mitigated in Spotfire 10.7. This eventually made sure we can now concatenate strings and calculate the GreatCircleDistance on data streaming into Spotfire.
However, in my opinion, the best improvement for me came with version 10.6. This version enabled streaming data in the Spotfire Web Client. Additionally, this version brought a very simple alerting function as well, that allowed setting a threshold and trigger actions to perform when the threshold is met.
And last but not least, version 10.8 introduced automatic reconnection to streaming data, which was a pain before. When the connection got lost, there was no way to reconnect other than to close the analysis and open it again.
Improvements on Geo-analytics
Working with map analyses always brought up a lot of internal conflicts for me personally. A specific frustration that comes to mind is the auto-zoom function. I love auto-zoom, but let’s be honest, the auto-zoom was very rigid. Once zoomed in there was no way for a user to zoom out or pan to another part of the map. But now, together with some other improvements on geo-analytics, this issue was solved in Spotfire 10.7!
Spotfire conveniently changed Page Navigation
Two important changes have been implemented in page navigation since Spotfire 10.7. First of all, you can now hide a page for end-users. I always have a page with notes (about things to do, how-to’s for colleagues, etc.) that I need to delete in production, or in smaller work-in-progress pages that I don’t want users to see yet. A simple right-click and “hide” does the trick now. Secondly, there is a change in page navigation for more guided analysis types of solutions. You can now fully disable page navigation so that you can decide how the user navigates through the application by creating buttons or actions on KPI charts.
Before you upgrade
Apart from the choice for LTS or MS there is one more thing you need to know before upgrading to Spotfire 10.3 or later. 10.3 introduced a new way of trusting scripts and data functions by authorized users. Read more about this item here. To round off, there are way more new functionalities besides the ones I covered in this article. If you want more information on all the “What’s New”s on TIBCO Spotfire I suggest you visit the TIBCO site.
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