Open Source BI Suites 2015
This provides an extremely flexible open source reporting and dashboard environment. It supports Eclipse Birt, JasperReports and SAP Crystal Reports reporting engines in addition to its own ad-hoc oriented reporting tools. The user interface is web based and it supports a wide range of admin tools.
Central to ReportServer is the Dynamic List. This is the preferred method supporting a wide range of functions such as column selection, filtering, sorting, grouping, sub-totals, calculation and so on. JasperReports and Eclipse Birt tend to be used for ‘pixel perfect’ reporting with output to a pdf file. Finally Script Reports are used for particularly complex reports, and require programming skills to use. Interactive dashboards are supported and are generally constructed for items called dadgets (Dashboard Gadgets) – these can be anything from a report to an interactive HTML5 app.
Currently supported data sources include Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM Informix, IBM DB2, mySQL, PostgreSQL, h2 and of course csv files.
As with all open source BI bundles users can opt to get training, consulting and support from ReportServer if they wish.
Very flexible and widely used reporting environment, but you will need to buy the commercial product ActuateOne to get bells and whistles (Dashboards, ad-hoc reporting etc).
Actuate claim that Eclipse BIRT is the most widely used open source BI suite. As the name suggests it runs on the Eclipse IDE platform and provides various reporting and data visualisation tools. This provides the foundation for report design and viewing.
The BIRT engine is at the heart of this offering, and this is a collection of Java classes and APIs which execute BIRT reports and generate them in appropriate formats. Reports include lists with grouping and calculations, charts (pie charts, line and bar charts etc) which can be rendered in SVG and support events to be interactive, crosstabs, documents (textual data) with embedded lists, charts etc, and compound reports (aggregated and embedded reports).
Actuate sell a version of BIRT on steroids called ActuateOne which includes BIRT Design (for report design), BIRT iHub and BIRT User Experience (Ad Hoc Reporting, viewers, Dahsboards, mobile support and Data Analyzer).
JasperSoft provides several versions of its JasperSoft BI suite. The Community edition essentially provides a reporting and charting environment with supporting infrastructure. The report designer supports charts, images, crosstabs and sub-reports for sophisticated report layouts. Interactive report viewing is a browser based report viewer with sorting, filtering and formatting of report snapshot views. A centralised repository provides infrastructure for reporting and stores user profiles, reports, dashboards and analytic views.
Reports can be automatically scheduled and distributed using Report Scheduling and User Access and Security provides report access by role or user. Mobile BI is also supported for iPhone and Android devices.
The commercial editions add much more including dashboards, a metadata layer, in-memory analysis, data integration capability and interactive visualizations. The list of JasperSoft customers is impressive, although most will undoubtedly be using the more capable commercial version.
Palo is an open source business intelligence suite focused around OLAP and Excel and web interfaces. The Palo OLAP Server is at the heart of the offering and provides multi-user, high performance access to data. It supports real-time aggregation and is an ideal platform for BI collaboration. Data is loaded into the OLAP server using the Palo ETL Server. This supports most data sources including relational databases, SAP and others.
Palo Web provides one of the user interfaces, both for designers and business users. Designers can administrate the system and create web-based reports, while users are able to view reports.
Palo for Excel is where business users will spend most of their time, and its central logic store avoids the bottlenecks that are often encountered using Excel for complex tasks. Because Palo is cell based (as opposed to record based) it is ideally suited to the Excel (or OpenOffice) interface.
The commercial version of Palo is supplied by Jedox in two versions. Jedox Base (effectively Palo) is free, while the premium edition offers considerably more functionality.
To see a full review go here.
This is a very capable suite of BI, reporting, and data mining tools with sophisticated functionality, and will address the needs of many organisations.
Pentaho BI Suite Community Edition (CE) includes ETL, OLAP, metadata, data mining, reporting and dashboards. This is a very broad capability and forms the basis for the commercial offering provided by Pentaho. A variety of open source solutions are brought together to deliver the functionality including Weka for data mining, Kettle for data integration, Mondrian for OLAP and several others to address reporting, BI, dashboards, OLAP analytics and big data.
The Pentaho BI platform provides the environment for building BI solutions and includes authentication, a rules engine and web services. It includes a solution engine that facilitates the integration of reporting, analysis, dashboards and data mining. Pentaho BI server supports web based report management, application integration and workflow.
The Pentaho Report Designer, Reporting Engine and Reporting SDK support the creation of relational and analytical reports with many output formats and data sources.
If you want a version with support, training and consulting, as well as a few more bells and whistles then Pentaho provide such services and product.
SpagoBI is essentially a very large collection of open source software brought together to create a broad business intelligence capability. In fact it goes beyond the traditional notion of BI to embrace domains such as data mining and BPM. This broad capability has encouraged large companies such as Fiat and Gamebay to adopt it as part of their strategic BI solution. SpagoBI is also unique among open source BI solutions in that the free version is the only version. There are no paid for versions with extra functionality. Users can elect to contract into support and training, but the product just comes in one version.
The breadth of the offering is impressive, and each area of functionality is often served by a number of engines to deliver all the functionality that might possibly be needed. The main areas of functionality include:
- Multidimensional analysis
- Interactive Cockpits
- Ad-Hoc Reporting
- Location Intelligence
- Free Inquiry (Query by Example)
- Data Mining
- Real Time Dashboards and Console
- Office Automation
- Master Data Management
If you want the full run-down on these areas of functionality go here.
Users of SpagoBI will need support, training and consulting services, and obviously this is where the revenue model is pitched.
See individual reviews for screenshots.
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