Software // Information Management
Commentary
11/17/2008
10:30 AM
Seth Grimes
Seth Grimes
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Open Source BI: Eclipse BIRT and Talend

Information Week has published my article on open source business intelligence (OSBI), Open Source BI Still Fighting For Its Share, a title that applies both to the BI software market and to IW column inches. I'll share with readers material I wrote, cut by IW's editors, on open-source data-integration vendor Talend and on Eclipse BIRT, Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools.

Information Week has published my article on open source business intelligence (OSBI), Open Source BI Still Fighting For Its Share, a title that applies both to the BI software market and to IW column inches. (The article is now also an Intelligent Enterprise feature.) I'll share with readers material I wrote, cut by IW's editors, on open-source data-integration vendor Talend and on Eclipse BIRT, Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools.IW cut material that was peripheral to the theme of my article, OSBI's growing appeal to enterprise end users. End users need capable, robust, and usable software. They are generally not caught up by systems-integrator, developer, and other ITish issues (even if they sometimes should be: something I may write about soon in a second OSBI follow-up). Hence it was enough for IW to include — That core software components are free makes open source attractive both to end users and for systems integrators and independent software vendors that sell products and services built on OSBI components. Integrator and ISV sales hinge on added value rather than on the provenance of the underlying software.

To elaborate (unpublished text): With open source, baseline costs are lowered, boosting margins, and [integrators and ISVs] have the ability to customize the code or develop extensions if they wish. Customers benefit and so does the greater user community. For instance, Yves de Montcheuil, marketing VP at open-source data-integration vendor Talend, boasts that half of his company's 250 data-source/destination connectors were contributed by users.

Talend is building out technical capabilities to encompass data profiling and data quality functions. The company has been experiencing steep growth, 70% quarter-on-quarter for five quarters as of August, according to Montcheuil. Much of the growth has come through partnerships, not only with JasperSoft, but also with BI and data warehousing name-brands such as Teradata, Microstrategy, Greenplum, and Vertica as well as numerous consultancies and systems integrators.

IW included my reporting — Two additional OSBI offerings are notably worth considering. The first, the Eclipse Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) project, is primarily of interest to Java developers. The second, the Palo OLAP Server from German firm Jedox, which develops enterprise technologies for Excel applications, targets enterprise planning, analysis, reporting, and consolidation applications.

The magazine cut further explanation — Eclipse BIRT has attracted wide interest in the three years since first release. The software provides a report designer plug-in for the Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE) and run-time reporting and charting engines for Java-environment deployment or via Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP) technology. BIRT is available for free download and use under the Eclipse Public License (EPL), which allows developers to separately license improvements they make to the code. While this and certain other provisions render EPL incompatible with the widely used General Public License (GPL), it does foster commercial extensions to the basic BIRT code including a commercial BIRT packaging from project sponsor Actuate, which supplements the open-source components with a reporting engine and report and spreadsheet design and viewing tools.

Licensing issues like the ones I got into in the last, down-in-the-trenches paragraph are of key importance in understanding open source business models, and not just in the BI domain. As I've said in courses on open source, "If software is the what, licensing is the how." (I'll share course materials: Open Source for the Enterprise, day 1 and day 2, and Open Source Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing.)

End users focus on their need for software that just works, hence the IW cuts. I hope the additional material in this follow-up article is helpful for readers with broader concerns.Information Week has published my article on open source business intelligence (OSBI), Open Source BI Still Fighting For Its Share, a title that applies both to the BI software market and to IW column inches. I'll share with readers material I wrote, cut by IW's editors, on open-source data-integration vendor Talend and on Eclipse BIRT, Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When 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.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014
InformationWeek'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.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and community news at InformationWeek.com.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.