Jaspersoft BI runs on Windows Azure

The developer-friendly, open source BI stack now runs on Microsoft's cloud platform, while Microsoft's own cloud BI platform remains in preview.

Jaspersoft's BI stack has been all over the cloud.  It runs on Amazon's EC2 platform, and can connect to Amazon's RedShift data warehouse.  Jaspersoft's Community edition also runs on GoGrid, Red Hat's cloud, and Pivotal Cloud Foundry.  But today Jaspersoft is announcing a different cloud partnership, as it says it is the first open source BI stack to be officially supported on Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud platform.

Open, Microsoft
Jaspersoft is partnering with Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft, which has been very active in getting open source software to run smoothly on the Windows Azure platform, even back in the days when Azure was a Windows-only Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud offering.  To make the open source pedigree of all this perfectly clear, Jaspersoft has a demo video of the offering, running against a MongoDB cluster that is also deployed to Azure.

Jaspersoft and Microsoft already have customers using the joint offering, including CampBrain, whose CTO, Shane Miskin, commented "With Jaspersoft’s embedded BI suite available through Windows Azure, we have been able to pair the powerful reporting we've come to rely on with the convenience and speed of a Web application" and added "Azure will make it significantly easier to scale, securely and privately."

How To
Jaspersoft runs on Linux-based Windows Azure virtual machines (VMs), on which customers must install the Jaspersoft suite themselves -- there is no pre-built VM image with the software pre-installed and configured.  Nothing stopped customers from setting up Jaspersoft in this manner previously, but now the companies are officially partnered, will be conducting co-marketing activities and Jaspersoft will explicitly support this configuration.

Running Jaspersoft on Windows Azure requires use of the Jaspersoft BI Community distribution or a properly licensed copy of higher edition.  In other words, you'll license the software from Jaspersoft and you'll pay Microsoft for the infrastructure.  While that's not as convenient as Jaspersoft's by-the-hour billing on Amazon Web Services, it will work nicely for enterprise customers that prefer to work with Microsoft's cloud.

House Brand?
Speaking of Microsoft's cloud, this offering may leave customers wondering whether Microsoft's own BI stack is available on Azure.  Windows Azure SQL Reporting represents an entry level offering - but works only with the companion Windows Azure SQL Database.  

Much more interesting is Microsoft's Power BI suite, the preview for which just opened.  That platform is tightly integrated with Excel and SharePoint and is thus available on the Office 365 cloud, rather than Windows Azure.  This leaves Jaspersoft, arguably, as the more developer-friendly BI option and, in any case, the one that can be put into production right away.