Developers are demonstrating the ability of open-source databases and BI platforms to deliver advanced analytics and operate on large databases at a fraction of the cost of conventional commercial systems.
The pace of open-source business intelligence development has accelerated in recent months, with new releases of commercially supported products and the emergence of noteworthy end-user applications. Developers are enhancing their BI components and solidifying frameworks that integrate tools with workflow management capabilities. They're also demonstrating the ability of open-source databases and BI platforms to deliver advanced analytics and operate on large databases at a fraction of the cost of conventional commercial systems.
Analytical consultancy Daxpy has created what is perhaps the best demonstration of open-source BI capabilities. Frontier Airlines has deployed Daxpy's Brits revenue-management system, built with open-source components, to crunch ticketing and forecasting data. Daxpy's team created the application using the Mondrian open-source OLAP server, the JPivot Java Server Page tag library and a custom-built, Web-services framework designed to handle parameterized MDX queries. MDX is Microsoft's Multidimensional Expressions analysis language, which has been adopted by most OLAP vendors and Mondrian as a means of querying back-end relational databases. Frontier chose an open-source DBMS, Greenplum's Bizgres MPP, over expensive Oracle and Microsoft options. Bizgres is a parallelized, data-warehouse optimized extension of the PostgreSQL open-source database management system.
Daxpy CEO Kirk Abbott says his company has adopted the OpenI framework published by Loyalty Matrix for future projects, including a forthcoming health-care-pricing application. OpenI supplies a BI platform integrating Mondrian and JPivot with reporting and other services, as do open-source platform vendors JasperSoft, Pentaho and Italian developer Engineering Ingegneria Informatica, which offers SpagoBI. Pentaho last year purchased intellectual property rights to Mondrian and hired project lead Julian Hyde as OLAP architect. JasperSoft hired Mondrian contributor Sherman Wood in a similar role.
The Frontier system is not the only noteworthy BI effort using open-source components. The Cendant Distribution Travel Services Group built an application with Pentaho's framework. Cendant's Myaccount.Galileo.com portal provides custom reporting facilities to thousands of travel-agent users. It was created using the Eclipse open-source interface development environment and runs against an instance of the open-source MySQL DBMS.
Application vendors within the open-source "ecosystem" are increasingly embedding open-source BI components. JasperSoft's Wood reports that a variety of such systems embed his company's flagship JasperReports software. The company has developed DBA Dashboards for MySQL and Enterprise DB, and JasperReports for SugarCRM was the June project-of-the-month at open-source development nexus SugarForge.net. Engineering Ingegneria Informatica has inked a deal that makes its SpagoBI the open-source framework of choice for the leading French integrator Groupe Bull, and for inclusion of OLAP functions in open-source Compiere ERP/CRM software. Stay tuned as more open-source BI implementations take off. --Seth Grimes
Real Simple Syndication (RSS) present a dilemma for Web managers who justify their budgets with growing traffic numbers. More people may be viewing your content even as page-view counts are declining. -Tony Byrne
[ KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS ]
Government Data Security
Large-scale data breaches continue, with government as the latest target. In June, the Veterans Administration lost Social Security numbers and birth dates of 26.5 million veterans and possibly 2 million active-duty service people when a laptop was stolen. In April and May, the state of Georgia exposed the personal data of 12,000 employees on a government Web site.
How prepared are companies to respond to change? "Not very," according to corporate managers surveyed by webMethods. Only 13.8% were extremely satisfied with their company's "alertness," 20.7% were satisfied and more than 30% were dissatisfied. Respondents said more accurate customer information, business performance metrics and competitive intelligence would help.
IT Job Prospects
A new school for computer science software developers, Neumont University in Salt Lake City, apparently excels at preparing students for the job market. By the time the school held its first commencement ceremony this summer, 100% of graduates had accepted job offers with an average starting salary of $58,646-- 15% higher than the national average for new graduates.
The Agile ArchiveWhen it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
2014 Analytics, BI, and Information Management SurveyITís tried for years to simplify data analytics and business intelligence efforts. Have visual analysis tools and Hadoop and NoSQL databases helped? Respondents to our 2014 InformationWeek Analytics, Business Intelligence, and Information Management Survey have a mixed outlook.
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.