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Microsoft Office rivals advance

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Rivals to Microsoft's Office productivity suite are sharpening up their game. The community is planning to add reports to its database, while SoftMaker is to extend its productivity line-up with a database, presentation tool and scripting language. has announced plans to enhance its database application, Base, with the addition of a new reporting tool. Report Designer will ship in the next release of the suite and will give users the ability to create sophisticated business intelligence reports from various sources, including Olap and XML, said.

Report Designer will be based on a reporting engine from the Pentaho open-source business intelligence project and will output reports as text or spreadsheet files in the ISO standard Open Document Format (ODF).

"The new integrated reporting and database connectivity capabilities should be well-received by the millions of users around the world," said Sun's director of engineering for and StarOffice, Michael Bemmer.

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