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Open-Source BI Startup Pentaho Makes Debut

The firm will introduce reporting, analysis, data-mining and workflow capabilities as a series of software components that can be deployed together or individually.

A firm that plans to offer a "comprehensive platform" of open-source business intelligence tools announced itself Thursday, marking the latest in a string of recent open-source BI announcements.

The Pentaho BI Project plans to introduce reporting, analysis, data-mining and workflow capabilities to mid- and large-sized organizations through a series of BI components that can be deployed together or individually. The software packages will be capable of financial reporting, sales analysis, product analysis, procurement management and other business functions, Pentaho said.

The first set of software from Pentaho will be available free as an "alpha" release within the next 60 days, the company said. Pentaho hopes to make the software generally available before year's end.

Pentaho CEO Richard Daley said in a prepared statement that users are "tired of the way software is licensed and sold," and noted that Pentaho's software will be 100 percent open-source rather than "part commercial, part open." Pentaho plans to target Java developers, independent software vendors and BI end users.

Pentaho is the second open-source BI play to make noise this month. Less than two weeks ago, the Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) project made the first version of its open-source software available, following a months-long preview mode for the effort to create an open-source reporting tool for Java developers. BIRT was started by The Eclipse Foundation and is led by established reporting software maker Actuate.

A third open-source entrant, JasperSoft, already holds a beachhead among developers. The company claims there are 10,000 users of its JasperReports Java reporting tool.

The Pentaho Workbench will integrate into Eclipse. Speaking of Pentaho earlier this month, Actuate VP of product marketing Mike Thoma summarized the firm as a "BI services company" that uses Eclipse and Eclipse-based tools.

Pentaho's leadership team includes former executives from Hyperion, Lawson, Oracle and SAS.

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