Thursday, September 25, 2008

Europe, ETL & High-Performance Data Warehousing

I spent all of last week traveling through Europe – meeting with open source partners and speaking with analysts and press about all-things business intelligence and open source. It was truly “trains, planes, and automobiles”, with a few city buses tossed in for complexity. In total, a very valuable trip, though. As example, I met with John Powell, CEO of Alfresco ( We swapped successes and concerns and I was thrilled to learn that, like Jaspersoft, this open source content management leader is doing very well, despite the vex-some global economy (or perhaps because of the vex-some global economy?).

My primary task in travel, though, was to amplify the important announcements that have occurred for Jaspersoft and the world of open source business intelligence . . . no doubt you’ve already stitched together the theme. Just in case, I’ll spell it all out for you here briefly.

First, in mid-August, we debuted a remarkable demonstration of our technology integrated with Infobright’s Brighthouse product - which runs atop MySQL – and provides an optimized, columnar-oriented data warehouse engine. Key to this demonstration is the expertise at OpenBI, one of our most highly-skilled open source BI consulting partners ( For unmatched scalability and value, this combination of products is truly second-to-none. Check this out at the on-demand webinar section of our web site (

Second, earlier this month, Jaspersoft and Infobright ( announced a bundle of open source (Community Edition) software to dramatically alter the value delivered in this arena. Specifically, the two companies “today announced plans to deliver a joint end-to-end open source BI and data warehouse solution, available as a JasperForge project. is the largest open source community portal with hundreds of projects for the Jaspersoft Business Intelligence Suite. The new joint project bundle will be based on Jaspersoft and several Sun open source products, as well as the new open source data warehouse software, Infobright Community Edition (ICE). This enterprise-class, self-managing solution is a proven alternative to today’s high-cost, high-maintenance data warehouse products.”

So, at this point, the stage seems set . . . and our focus on delivering valuable, scalable open source BI for even sophisticated data warehouse-based projects is obvious. But then, this week, we added even more mettle to this equation by extending our partnership with Talend, the leading commercial open source data integration company.

For nearly two years, Talend ( has been behind our JasperETL product, which enables the simple and quick construction of data warehouses and data marts so that data can be fully utilized by JasperServer and JasperAnalysis.In summary, we announced that we have extended our partnership agreement by developing an entirely new version of the JasperETL solution, designed specifically to include the features most used by Jaspersoft’s BI customers. Powered by Talend, this JasperETL package will combine the elements of Talend Integration Suite that are the most relevant for BI users, and will meet Jaspersoft customers’ requests for an ETL capability that delivers more power and flexibility in their BI deployments. The new version of JasperETL will be offered exclusively from Jaspersoft and will be included in every paid subscription of the Jaspersoft BI suite.

Renewing and extending our agreement with Talend seemed perfectly appropriate under the backdrop of the Paris Capitale du Libre event, which was held this week in Paris. My last post cited the fantastic progress and momentum that open source (and Jaspersoft) is seeing in Europe. So lastly, I’ll simply encourage you to read our press release (dated September 24) to learn more about our customer and community traction in the Euro Zone: http://www.jaspersoft.c om/nw_press_jaspersoft_translates_european_roots.html

Brian Gentile
Chief Executive Officer

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Open Source Momentum in Europe

For me, this week is full of press and analyst meetings and precedes a week of conference activities that will draw together open source leaders and aficionados for some of the most advanced thought and discussion in all of open source. Must be in California, right? Wrong. Europe. The two events next week (both in Paris), the Open Source Think Tank and the Paris Capitale du Libre, will surely advance the open source agenda and spirit of collaboration destined to further this cause.

In case you weren’t aware, Europe has been quietly leading many aspects of the open source revolution. Formal adoption and use of open source products and technologies is highest in the Euro zone. A study conducted earlier this year by Forrester shows, for example, that 24% of (surveyed) organizations in France have already put open source software into production use with another 15% likely to do so during this coming year. Doesn’t hurt that several major European governments are literally requiring the consideration and use of open source software by all government organizations . . . and this is trickling into the private sector as well.

We’re very proud of Jaspersoft’s European roots and momentum. Our technology founders, Teodor Danciu and Giulio Toffoli, are Romanian and Italian respectively and we have long-created our core products in development teams across 3 European countries. And, while our community continues to grow rapidly throughout the world, the interest and contribution from Europe seems to continue disproportionately, remaining second-to-none.

We have many significant points of European community and commercial momentum that I’ll be describing here in this coming week and next. In the meantime, I invite you to check out the expanded French and German content at Jaspersoft’s commercial web site, (select the "Worldwide Sites" option). Merci and Vielen Dank.

Brian Gentile
Chief Executive Officer

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Web 2.0 and Pervasive Business Intelligence

A recent online ComputerWorld article is entitled "Can Web 2.0 Save BI?". The article focuses mostly on the mash-up functionality delivered by a Web 2.0-based analytic application and the simplicity it can deliver to even a novice end user. I found this article interesting but narrow in its scope. So, I wondered: "How important are Web 2.0 principles and technologies to the current and near-future state of business intelligence?". I say they provide vital, lifeblood, must-have, without-them-you-perish capabilities. At Jaspersoft, we are completely convicted about defining and delivering the ultimate Web 2.0 experience in business intelligence. Here are three reasons why.

1. Aged BI Architectures That Need to Be Displaced. The large, proprietary BI software vendors have very dated software architectures (in some cases, 20+ years to origin) that will greatly constrain them as they need to transition to more and more truly web-based capabilities. These vendors will have to mostly rely on web services extensions and / or retro-fitting their C/C++ underpinnings to accommodate a web audience with growing consumer-like expectations. So, in addition to the BI consolidation and market opportunity that it presents (for Jaspersoft), these proprietary vendors are leaving a technology gap wide open for new, modern software architectures like what we offer.

2. The Consumerization of Information.
For each of the last 2 major releases, Jaspersoft has been busy building-in a growing array of pure thin-client, web-based features that rely on the most modern technologies: AJAX, Dynamic HTML, rich media integration, HTML "frames" for elegantly creating composite dashboards and reports, and the "sideband" dialog that can be orchestrated between browser (client) and server to make sophisticated user interaction more seamless. The result is a user experience that is superior to many desktop applications (because it can draw on the collaborative technologies of the web, like the ability to quickly "mash-up" data, at the presentation layer, from a variety of web sources) and provides the "consumer-like" feel that is now a requirement based on much higher customer expectations. Most importantly, because of our modern approach, we’ll just be able to continue building in features like mash-ups as new technologies and customer requirements emerge.

3. Better Business Intelligence.
Lastly, one of the primary reasons all of this is important for Jaspersoft (and its community and customers) isn’t because it provides for a compelling, web-based experience (although it does). It is because these technologies will allow us to do NEW things in BI that our aged, proprietary competitors CANNOT (or cannot with any ease). Here’s just one example: Jaspersoft has been steadily introducing more and more functionality into the most comfortable and common BI construct available: the report. Everyone knows we clearly lead the world of reporting (based on the remarkable popularity of JasperReports and iReport). We are uniquely prepared (and suited) to leverage this broad base of community and customers who rely on us (strategically) for superior reporting and then continue to introduce more and more analytic capabilities within our familiar reporting construct. This combination of analytic features within a simple report will allow everyone to interact with and analyze data much more fully than even interactive reports of the present allow. Delivering simple and sophisticated analytic (OLAP-like) functionality within the reporting environment will allow the average user to:
a) feel comfortable performing analytic chores with data that they would not through a stand-alone OLAP client tool, and
b) not leave his production / application environment for a completely different analytic system (and potentially data store(s)) to "analyze" data . . . in which case new learning must occur and the data sources immediately become suspect.

So, Jaspersoft’s answer to "Web 2.0 Pervasive BI" is to leverage the comfortable environment of the report interface and deliver within deeper, richer (but simple) interactive analytics so that every user can become more capable and informed. Jaspersoft could not provide such rich reporting and analytic functionality without the benefit of the Web 2.0 technologies that define our software. We expect it and so do our community and customers.

Brian Gentile
Chief Executive Officer