JasperSoft Upgrades Open Source BI Suite

The JasperSoft Business Intelligence Suite version 2.1 has new tools for building browser-based reports and dashboards.
JasperSoft, a maker of open-source business intelligence software, has upgraded its BI suite with new tools for building dashboards and reports that are accessible to more people within an organization, company officials said.

The JasperSoft Business Intelligence Suite version 2.1, launched Tuesday at the TDWI Conference in Orlando, Fla., has new tools for building browser-based reports and dashboards. JasperSoft has also added application programming interfaces to the suite's modular Java architecture to help developers embed the software's analytical functionality in other applications..

Key new features include an ad-hoc report designer that leverages AJAX in building reports containing custom formulas and charts and cross-tabs with drag-and-drop capabilities. Ajax is a Web development technique used to create interactive applications that run in a browser and have functionality similar to desktop software.

For programmers and independent software vendors there is a public Java API, a new "ad hoc launcher" API to drive query and analysis functionality from another application, new Web services for scheduling, and a simplified methodology for custom data source implementation.

Dashboards can now be built in portals such as Liferay, which is bundled with JBIS, via JSR-168, a Java specification for portal computing.

Data access security for data warehouses has been added to enable a user's profile to dictate what data the user can see, and data integration capabilities have been expanded through a new multi-user repository, monitoring tools, and support for slowly changing dimensions in data warehouses.

Finally, to help in getting started, the upgrade ships with dashboard samples, enhanced wizards, additional ad hoc report themes, and a new "welcome" page with enhanced user tools.

The JasperSoft BI Suite is available now. The professional edition is licensed on a per CPU basis, and the developer edition on a per developer basis. An open source edition is available at no charge.

JasperSoft is not the only maker of open source BI software. Pentaho this month released an upgrade of its software, called Pentaho Open BI Suite 1.6. Improvements include a centralized metadata layer for easier IT management, and a thin-client interface that makes BI available to more types of users, the company said. And, as with earlier versions, there is no license fee for the open-source software.