JasperSoft releases new Community Edition

JasperSoft is releasing a new open source version of its business intelligence software and calling itself the most widely-deployed business intelligence (BI) product in the world.The company's LGPL and GPL Community Edition is downloaded over 70,000 times per month, CEO Brian Gentile (above) said, but the BI market is so large the company will now focus on a few sectors of it.

Brian Gentile, CEO, JasperSoft
JasperSoft is releasing a new open source version of its business intelligence software and calling itself the most widely-deployed business intelligence (BI) product in the world.

The company's LGPL and GPL Community Edition is downloaded over 70,000 times per month, CEO Brian Gentile (above) said, but the BI market is so large the company will now focus on a few sectors of it.

The Community Edition consists of the LGPL  Jasper Reports, and the GPL  Jasper Studio, Jasper Server, Jasper Analysis, and Jasper ETL for data integration.

Since Gentile took over from Paul Doscher in December, "we've spent a lot of time in strategic planning" and have decided to focus on four key sectors:

  1. Operational reportig

  2. Production Reporting

  3. End user query and reporting

  4. Data analysis

The first area, essentially the embedding of reports, is over 60% of the company's current business, Gentile said.

Production reporting goes alongside an application and is used by line workers. End user query and reporting is like traditional BI -- querying a database.

The last is what used to be called Online Analytic Processing (OLAP), which Gentile said was too hard for most users. "What we're trying to do is simplify it to enable a broader audience to interact with multidimensional data."

Things the company isn't great at will be de-emphasized. "We do great dashboards but not scorecards. Predictive analysis, data mining, complex event processing – those are areas where we'll partner." Or community members could pick up the slack.

Despite the enormous growth of BI,  "We find ourselves mostly working in competition with hand coding techniques," Gentile admitted.

"If you're building a piece of software that solves a business process problem, and you're using Java or something like it, your first reaction is to build it yourself. We are mostly trying to replace that."

What about real competitors? The kind headed by people who work in offices and wear nice ties?

"In terms of commercial competitiors it's usually Crystal (from Business Objects) or Actuate, sometimes Cognos (now being acquired by IBM) and lastly the rest of Business Objects."

On the open source front JasperSoft usually goes up against Pentaho and the Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) Project launched by Actuate.

Facing such high-powered competitors as its sales scale up, it only made sense to focus, Gentile said. "BI is just an enormous market," he said, and open source is a great way to attack it, but that won't get all the sales JasperSoft is capable of.

For the rest, "We're reaching out and doing more traditional sales and marketing techniques."

On a stick, I asked? Good idea, Gentile admitted. "Our whole Community Edition is just 220 megabytes." And if prospects don't like it they get to keep the stick.

 

 

 

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