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JasperSoft and OpenBI team up to discuss Modern Open Source Solutions
Looking at open source solutions

by Lyndsay Wise, President, WiseAnalyticsFriday, August 1, 2008

The interviews below were conducted by Lyndsay Wise of Wise Analytics.

JasperSoft Interview with Nick Halsey

OpenBI Interview with Steve Miller

Currently, the BI landscape is changing. Offerings are expanding to enable organizations more choices when looking to deploy a BI solution or to increase their current use of BI. Whether because of newer solutions targeted to the mid-market, new product offerings, or uncertainty based on roadmap gaps due to acquisitions, organizations are looking for alternatives to traditional BI. Extend these changes with the focus on bringing Web 2.0 concepts into the workplace, and organizations are looking for better ways to interact with their IT environment. Unfortunately for BI, ease of use was never considered one of its strong points. Therefore, the new focus on Web 2.0 only increases the perception that BI may not meet the needs of organizations requiring large-scale deployments.

Because of all of these changes, open source BI has a natural advantage. Open source offerings in general are built on the premise of applying community feedback to product upgrades. What this means is that open source BI vendors are used to interacting with their end user and developer communities as resources to improve product design. Consequently, they are more adept at adopting Web 2.0 concepts within their software offerings as an extension of how their solutions were originally developed. This means that as a Web 2.0 framework is adopted within more organizations, the use of open source BI within those environments will increase as well.

This podcast looks at JasperSoft to identify how its new product release V3 is integrating Web 2.0 concepts and enhanced analytical capabilities. Also, insights into the overall open source BI market are provided including how the use of columnar databases within BI is used to enhance an organization’s analytics.

The current expansion of open source BI

A few years ago open source BI was a fringe option for smaller startup organizations without large budgets. Within the last couple of years, open source BI has grown into a market with full-scale offerings and is now considered a mainstream option when evaluating potential business intelligence solutions. The key reasons this has occurred are because of the advances made within the software offerings themselves, and that a wider variety of organizations are interested in deploying BI. With expansion into the mid-market and the commoditization of technology, many organizations do not want to invest large amounts of money into complicated infrastructures and applications. Within the world of open source, organizations can download software and develop their own solutions before investing financially into the software. This enables organizations to test drive the application first to know exactly what they are getting.

Aside from organization adoption, much use of open source, and with JasperSoft specifically, comes from being embedded in other software applications to provide BI capabilities within an organization’s CRM, ERP, etc. solutions to allow decisions to be made as a part of the organization’s business processes. This means that in many cases, end users don’t even know they are using open source BI, because the integration is seamless. The broad adoption among solution providers to embed analytics within their operational suites allows organizations to take advantage of analytics and BI functionality without paying high additional costs.

As the focus on pervasive BI continues and efforts are made to deploy BI solutions to many decision makers across the organization, the number of embedded solutions will increase as organizations turn to applications that allow flexibility within a single user environment. Jaspersoft’s newest product is moving towards just that with its focus Web 2.0 and its increased use of column oriented databases to enable more robust analytics.

JasperSoft V3

JasperSoft is a leading open source BI vendor. Its newest release, JasperSoft Suite V3 combines a full range of business intelligence options with a Web 2.0 spin. Using Ajax frameworks and DHTML to deliver browser based business intelligence, V3 enables BI mashups within the users’ browser by integrating JasperSoft functionality within any URL address (for example Salesforce.com or google maps) or application and control it within the browser due to adhoc capability. This increases BI’s general ease of use and allows end users to access BI functionality within an interactive framework, adding value to the overall use of BI.

Columnar databases are used to quicken query return times within analytics. Many data warehousing vendors use underlying open source technologies to build their platforms and keep overall costs to customers low in order to compete in the market. One example is JasperSoft’s use of infoBright to query large data sets of over a million rows to enable more data to be analyzed. In addition, the ability to access more data means that predictive modeling is more easily attained.


Open source BI has been deployed more regularly within the mainstream BI community in the past couple of years. As the market continues to change and with customer demands for Web 2.0 interaction and autonomy within their work environments, easier installations, and lower price points, the benefits of using open source solutions will continue to expand. As general use of computer systems and the Web shift, open source solution providers like JasperSoft may be the best prepared to address the challenges of developing suites with strong foundations and Web 2.0 components.

About OpenBI and Steve Miller

Steve Miller is the president of OpenBI, a consultancy firm that helps customers develop BI solutions using open source BI software. Steve is also a monthly columnist for DMReview and a regular contributor to Dashboard Insight and B-eye-Network. OpenBI’s partners include Pentaho, JasperSoft, MySQL, infoBright, and Vertica.

For more information and to access product demos, please click on one of the company logos below. Also stay tuned for OpenBI’s and JasperSoft’s Webinar in conjunction with infoBright on August 14th.

JasperSoft File Download
OpenBI File Download

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(Copyright 2008 - Dashboard Insight - All rights reserved.)

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