Open source solutions are becoming a mainstream option for organizations looking to implement business intelligence solutions. Vendors such as Actuate, Pentaho, and JasperSoft have paved the way for open source within the world of BI. Aside from the ability to use BI tools for free, open source vendors have the added benefit of collaborating with their end user development communities to develop and enhance the features and functionality that organizations are demanding as well as building additional services based on end user feedback. This constant communication gives open source vendors an added advantage over their general BI competition, as open source solutions are more able to adapt to changes within the industry and to grow more rapidly.
Last week two announcements were made that highlight these advantages. JasperSoft announced more than 80,000 production deployments and many updates to their business intelligence suite. Among JasperSoft’s recent updates are:
- JasperReports Flash Exporter that allows JasperReports generated documents to be exported to the Flash format using Adobe to provide easier integration of reports with Flash-based applications
- Spreadsheet Exporter’s extended ability and integration with Microsoft Excel to enable better analysis within Excel
- SOA Web Services Integration expansion to offer support for running localized reports via Web Services as well as for report scheduling
And, MARVELit, an open source vendor founded in 2001, announced its open source business intelligence dashboard software on March 18th. With a focus on providing the small to medium enterprise market with open source business information solutions, its announcement of DASH extends its offerings into the business intelligence arena. By working off the premise that business intelligence solutions are too complicated for many organizations to deploy widely and easily MARVELit developed its open source offering to give organizations easy access to information, deployed in a Web-based environment.
Some features of MARVELit’s DASH are:
- Interoperability with Excel spreadsheets giving users the option to upload spreadsheets into the dashboard or to enter data directly into the dashboard itself
- Security features that allow organizations to choose whether to link to existing security set-up to limit access to page views or to apply the built-in user authentication
- Ability to drill through information, display reports and charts that access multiple data sources from the same page, and modify reports and charts using standard SQL and XML coding
As vendors such as JasperSoft continue to gain momentum within the world of business intelligence, it will be interesting to see whether newer entrants to open source BI such as MARVELit and their dashboarding application will make a dent in the market and how it will be perceived by organizations considering open source as an option to their BI implementations.
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