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See 'Em. Call 'Em.

We invite you to enter a contest, and to learn a little about open-source BI.
Did you ever come across that one great piece of software or hardware that actually changed the way you work? Or -- dare I say it -- the way you live?

I don't like the term "paradigm shift," but that's what we're talking about here.

We're holding a contest here at Business Intelligence Pipeline -- and on the other Pipeline sites -- that gives you a chance to vote on your favorite software app of the last 10 years. Enter The Great Tech Call-'Em-Like-You-See-'Em contest, and give yourself a chance to win one of two iPods, plus 36 other cool prizes.

Do you know a piece of software that's really popular -- or that nobody else knows about, but that would be on everyone's system if we all knew what you know? Then vote. A group of us got together and wrote up our choices for the Software Hall of Fame. Give us a look and let us know what you think.

And while you're on the site, check out the news that came out of The Eclipse Foundation and Actuate. The Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) project version 1.0 became generally available this week, following a months-long preview mode for the effort to create an open source reporting tool for Java developers.

I don't need to tell you how big that is. It was inevitable that the open source concept would find its way to business intelligence. As a category of software, BI is booming. So it makes sense that somebody out there would be willing to share a little code. That's what's happening with BIRT -- to understate things -- and among a small group of other software efforts on the table, especially on the reporting side.

Read about them here. While you're at it, vote in our contest. And I'll check in next week.