ObjectWeb Pushes Open-Source Business Intelligence

ObjectWeb and an Italian integrator are teaming up to produce what they call the first open-source business intelligence platform.
ObjectWeb and Italy-based integrator Engineering Ingegneria Informatica are teaming up to produce what they call the first open-source business intelligence platform.

ObjectWeb, the Grenoble, France-based nonprofit open-source consortium, and EII, a systems integrator based in Rome, want to build SpagoBI, an integrated environment for building business intelligence and analytics applications.

By integrating SpagoBI into ObjectWeb's middleware platform, the group aims to put business intelligence into the open-source domain, said Gabriele Ruffatti, architecture and consulting director for Engineering Ingegneria Informatica's research division.

"The opportunities are those given by open-source software vs. proprietary software. You pay nothing for the platform, and your costs and efforts are in the development of the custom application," Ruffatti said.

As is the case elsewhere in the model, customers pay EII or other partners for platform support and maintenance.

So far, business intelligence technology--designed to help users make sense out of reams of data collected in reports and dashboards--has been the province of companies such as Business Objects and Cognos. Once companies start delving into multiple dashboards and reports, the cost can hit six figures pretty easily, according to integrators. Microsoft is turning up the heat with a series of products, including a new scorecard server that could put price pressure on proprietary business-intelligence software players.

"With proprietary solutions, you have a shorter learning curve. But after the first steps, you find that you are working with a rigid solution,” Ruffatti said. “OSS gives you a more flexible environment so you can approach your projects step by step with an evolutionary approach."

SpagoBI, based on the Spago J2EE framework, adds yet another piece to ObjectWeb's middleware stack, which already includes the eXo Java enterprise portal and the Jonas J2EE 1.4-compliant application server.

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