A Revolution in Business Intelligence

Michael Vizard

When it comes to open source in the world of business intelligence, something radical is clearly going on. Jaspersoft, a provider of open source application software, has announced what it claims is the world's largest BI ecosystem.

Jaspersoft claims to have more than 120,000 registered users and to have surpassed the 10 million download mark for its software. In addition, the company claims that there are more than 350 open source application development projects worldwide based on its software.

While some may dispute the claim about that it's the largest BI ecosystem, clearly there is a lot of open source momentum in BI.

Jaspersoft CEO Brian Gentile attributes this to the state of the economy and a nascent rebellion among BI software users. Although large vendors such as IBM and SAP have taken to bundling recent BI acquisitions in with their enterprise software suites, Gentile says a lot of JasperSoft's momentum is coming from departmental users that have declinled to use those BI applications even if the IT department provides access as part of an enterprise licensing deal.

A recent study from the market research firm Data Monitor seems to support Gentile's view. A Data Monitor survey found that sole sourcing of BI and ERP applications isn't as popular as initially assumed because of incremental costs and user preferences.

When it comes to business productivity applications, IT organizations have always found it difficult to dictate those applications to business users. The assumption about BI is that it's an enterprise-class application managed by IT alongside the rest of the ERP suite of applications. As time goes on, we may be discovering that is hardly the case at all.

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