Re-Wiring Our Companies Database
Dear Subscribers,
I'm pleased to announce a major upgrade to our Companies service.
Until now using our service to lay out a company's structure has been relatively difficult. You could view a business unit's place within the organizational structure in the results page (the hierarchical listing of all businesses) but not on the details page (the full-page description of one business unit).
Today that changes. Now you can view an array of in-depth organizational information--all presented in hyperlink form for rapid access--right on our detail screen. The hierarchical reporting structure... in there. Divisions and other subordinate business units... in there. Equity interests and joint ventures... in there.
A word about joint ventures is in order. As many of you have no doubt observed, our way of dealing with joint ventures has been somewhat on the awkward side. If a joint venture reported to four parents, it got four records in the Companies database—all identical, save for their Company Codes. This was done so that the joint venture would "fall out" in the right places whether you had run a search for EADS, BAE SYSTEMS, Thales, or Finmeccanica.
Under our new system every joint venture will have only one record, no matter how many owners it reports to. This has been made possible by implementing a special relational link which ties a joint venture's record to each of its parents. You'll notice the reporting relationship still appears in the list results after you've run a search for a company (and is actually improved, since the percentage of ownership is also provided). And you'll notice that some really convoluted relationships are presented in a much more intuitive, straightforward manner (for instance, the ownership of IAE International Aero Engines, a joint venture which is owned, in part, by a joint venture of three Japanese firms).
About the only bad news is that the migration to the new system is not complete. Only about 15% of the records in the Companies database have made the transition to the new system. We're working on improving that, and hope to have the migration complete in six months' time. In the meantime, feel free to ask us to prioritize any particular company or joint venture of interest.
Best regards,

Stuart McCutchan
InfoBase Publishers, Inc.
October 6, 2003
Oct 6, 2003