Open source Jaspersoft BI links into Amazon Hadoop

Summary:As well as launching version 5.5 of its business intelligence platform, Jaspersoft has integrated its tools with Amazon's Elastic MapReduce Hadoop distribution.

Open-source business intelligence firm Jaspersoft says its tools are now available as part of Amazon's Elastic MapReduce big-data cloud service.

The move extends the integration between Amazon and Jaspersoft, which says it has added more than 500 customers since first offering its tools on a pay-as-you-go basis through Amazon Web Services in March.

"It's an expansion of the relationship to include their hosted Hadoop distribution in the cloud, Elastic MapReduce. What happens as a result is our product is available by the hour on Amazon," Jaspersoft CEO Brian Gentile said.

"If you're already an Amazon customer, meaning you use their compute services, and maybe you use their database services, now you can add Jaspersoft to that. You store the data there and you can analyse it there as well," Gentile said.

"You might be using their relational database service, you might be using their data warehousing service, or now you might be using their Elastic MapReduce service — and we support all three."

Gentile said the customer receives a single bill at the end of the month for the use of the Jaspersoft business-intelligence tools, the database and the compute cycles.

Jaspersoft has also announced the availability of the next version of its flagship business intelligence platform, Jaspersoft 5.5, which will be available for download on 29 October.

Version 5.5 offers users more advanced data visualisation, including complex charts such as scattered plots, and multi-axis charts.

For example, multi-axis charts allow the use of multiple data points plotted against different metrics on the left and right axes, and can also incorporate other elements, such as a bar chart.

Another complicated visualisation technique in 5.5 is the time-series chart, which understands the notion of time.

"A lot of data is based on time and you can immediately zoom in from days, to hours, to seconds, for instance, and the charts understand the logic of time," Gentile said

Version 5.5 also offers a new library of reports and dashboards that can be used as templates, and a new homepage with clearly presented tutorials.

"When a customer starts to use our product, the first thing they need to do is they need to connect to some data. So now on the start screen when the product launches tutorials are laid out by category," Gentile said.

"There are certain steps you invariably have to follow to connect your data and start building your first report. So rather than leaving that to mystery, we just spell it out for them. It's one of the most requested features."

The final major component of the release is a new Eclipse-based report design tool, Jaspersoft Studio, which will ultimately replace the company's popular iReport software.

"We're providing a two-year runway for customers to migrate over but this is the first time we're saying this is our primary report design tool now. Although we're going to give you two years to migrate to it, our forward energy will be on Jaspersoft Studio," Gentile said.

"We don't want to scare anybody and there a lot of very loyal iReport users. It's one of those products, if you do create reports for a living, you get pretty close to the product, so we don't want to introduce too much shock. "

More on business intelligence

Topics: Cloud, Amazon, Big Data, Business Intelligence

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Toby Wolpe is a senior reporter at ZDNet in London. He started in technology journalism when the Apple II was state of the art.

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