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11/29/2005
04:17 PM
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Open For Business (Intelligence)

"We are the most open-source-friendly traditional business intelligence vendor." That seems to be the mantra of every BI software maker these days, and they'll fall all over each other to yell it the loudest.

"We are the most open-source-friendly traditional business intelligence vendor." That seems to be the mantra of every BI software maker these days, and they'll fall all over each other to yell it the loudest.Note the latest bit of news from BI stalwart Business Objects. The company is getting cozy with Red Hat, joining the big-time Linux proponent's technology partner program. Just for good measure, Business Objects brought Red Hat onto its own partner program as well. They'll be selling Business Objects' platforms, including XI, on Linux.

Business Objects poo-poos other vendors' Linux efforts, but the French software giant isn't alone among BI vendors pushing open source. Not by a long shot. Information Builders recently inked a pact to market open-source BI in cooperation with resellers of IBM mainframes and servers. And Cognos, Hyperion and MicroStrategy have all made their tools Linux-compatible. (If I'm leaving somebody out, I'm sure I'll hear from them.)

The fact of the matter is that just about all of the traditional vendors are making themselves more and more open-source-friendly. And there's a gaggle of new, pure open-source BI players ready to try steal market share as well. Some of these firms will even manage to build themselves a nice set of open-source customers to flaunt in each other's faces. For now, anyway. It's still way to early to call this market de-fragmented. But that time will come.

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