Crystal Reports, meet open source

You can't get there if you're charging thousands of dollars per "seat," or even hundreds of dollars. If you want something to be common, if you want decision-making embedded deep within your enterprise (as nearly every enterprise claims), then you have to give everyone the tools.

Business intelligence software is a sweet, sweet business.

If you want to deploy reporting beyond a few top users, you're looking at bills of $50,000 or more. Each year.

No wonder no one takes advantage of their own data. What is the point of collecting all that data if only a few "geniuses" at the top can use it?

So, at the mySQL meeting in Santa Clara, JasperSoft this hour is moving to change that.

Meet JasperServer, an open source business intelligence server. Meet JasperIntelligence, a road map toward an end-to-end business intelligence architecture. And while we're at it, meet Paul Doscher, the JasperSoft CEO who made all this possible.

"JasperReports has been around 4 years, and has been downloaded over 1 million times," he told me before making the announcement. "We estiamte 10-15,000 actual users, and 3,000 paying customers. It’s quite a mature product, it’s very stable, and we have customer testimonials about it being stable and of high quality."

Why go open source, then?

Ventana just did a survey on open source business intelligence, and in terms of functionality we address customer requirements more easily. Some 70% of companies who use open source will use it again. Over the next 12-24 months you’ll see applications for 20,000 users using open source Business Intelligence.

You can't get there if you're charging thousands of dollars per "seat," or even hundreds of dollars. If you want something to be common, if you want decision-making embedded deep within your enterprise (as nearly every enterprise claims), then you have to give everyone the tools.

If this catches on it won't just change the BI software business, but business decision-making in general. It is, potentially, a management revolution.  

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