Category: "Computers and Internet"

Open Solutions Alliance

The Open Solutions Alliance was formally announced on 2007 February 13 at the Linuxworld Open Solutions Summit being held in New York City, NY, USA. In their own words...

"The Open Solutions Alliance will seek to expand the market for business open source software solutions through cooperative action that increases awareness of member solutions, reduces barriers to customer adoption, facilitates interoperability, and explains the benefits of open source solutions."end quotation
-- Open Solutions Alliance "Our Mission"

Among the founding members are OSBI solution vendors JasperSoft [BI Suite], Talend [ETL], and EnterpriseDB [RDBMS]. One goal of the organization is to improve interoperability among the members' products. In an example given by Michael Harvey, chief marketing officer of CentricCRM, the work could make it easier for customers using their customer-relations software to use JasperSoft's data-mining software to plumb customer records for particular information.

Ease of, or even "pre-packaged" interoperability among applications such as CRM, BI, RDBMS, systems management [Hyperic is a founding member, with Groundwork making a membership announcement today] and collaboration will ease deployment considerably. If, of course, the member projects provide the solutions required by the business users.

During the rush in the late 90's to deploy large, integrated packages such as provided by Oracle, Peoplesoft [now Oracle] and SAP, CIOs saw the folly of trying to impose business processes on users that matched the software, or the cost of customizing the software in a, usually poor, attempt to match the business processes. Indeed, this is one reason that we are so excited by open source solutions: the software can be much more easily adapted to users' best practices, thus reducing the learning curve and increasing adoption by the users.

I believe that the Open Solutions Alliance will be, overall, good for open source communities everywhere. However, I don't believe that its mission will significantly impact the growth of open source, nor bring its members' offerings into better alignment with all those different user needs out there.

From my feed reader, here's a list of other opinions on the Open Solutions Alliance.

Three Most Important Open Source Projects

As we've noted in our OSBI Daily links for yesterday and today [wiki archive or lens archive], two events are showing the growing importance of open source solutions. The first is a survey being conducted by Nat Torkington. The second is the inclusion of several open source enterprise software packages in the 17th Annual Jolt Award nominations.

... "a theory and I need numbers to prove or disprove it. If you use open source, please tell me in the comments what you think are the three most important open source projects going today. I'll post my hypothesis, the numbers, and my conclusion next week." end quotation
-- Nat Torkington in Survey: Three Most Important Open Source Projects at O'Reilly Radar

The open source BI suite, Pentaho, and the open source ESB, Mule, are included in the Jolt award nominations. I've included these two, as well as the open source and SaaS collaboration and messaging suite Zimbra, as my three "picks" for Nat's survey. It's a tough choice; there are many competing and complementary projects that fit as well. Any of the open source BI solutions that we track for our OSBI research could be a top three choice. Just take a look at our linkblog or the link modules on our lens. In bringing collaboration to all, Alfresco and other ECM open source projects may have as much impact as Zimbra or open source competitors to Microsoft Exchange such as Open-Xchange Server.

Most of the choices in the close to 200 responses that Nat had received when I made this trackback are more of the infrastructure and developer tool variety. I think that open source solutions have moved well beyond that niche, and that the open source movement is ready to capitalize on the explosion in open source projects, VC funding and businesses that occurred in 2004 through 2006. This mini-bubble is contracting a bit leading to some consolidation and a lot of stability in business models and business growth, and in community definition, contribution and support. At the same time, controversy still abounds around licensing [GPLv3 and MPL+Attribution] and what commercial open source really means. But it's all good, and it all indicates that the open source movement is maturing.

What are your choices for the three most important open source projects? Get over to O'Reilly Radar and make your opinion heard.

Update to our Palo Description

We were contacted by Stephanie Endlich of Jedox GmbH, who suggested a better description for Palo:

"Palo is a memory based Open Source MOLAP which is able to consolidate data hierarchies in real time and which supports write-back of data. It provides a MDDB and a free Microsoft Excel add-in. For flexible integration Palo offers APIs for Java, PHP, C and .NET. From their homepage... 'Palo is an advanced data store for Microsoft Excel that allows you to handle large amounts of Excel data on a small number of worksheets. In addition, it also allows you to share Excel data real-time with your colleagues.'"end quotation

We also have the following from their website on Palo Basics.

"Palo is made for Microsoft Excel. It is a cell-based database that is multidimensional, hierarchical and memory-based. Now what does those terms mean in particular?

"Trying to do Business Intelligence, Financial Analysis, Budgeting or Planning with Microsoft Excel? Looking at Excel workbooks that are difficult to maintain because of their size? Then Palo is for you.

"Palo is an advanced data store for Microsoft Excel that allows you to handle large amounts of Excel data on a small number of worksheets. In addition, it also allows you to share Excel data real-time with your collegues. You get exciting new Excel features without loosing Excel's flexibility. Works with your existing Excel 2000/XP/2003."end quotation

Let us know what you think in comments, and we'll update our OSBI Lens' linkblog "Links to OSS OLAP Tools" description accordingly.

OpenRPT 2.0 Available for Download

OpenMFG announced the availability of OpenRPT 2.0 on 2006 December 20. From their forum...

"OpenRPT 2.0 was retooled from the ground up to take full advantage of the underlying Qt 4 framework. Qt is an open source, comprehensive development framework that includes an extensive array of features, capabilities and tools that enable development of high-performance, cross-platform rich-client and server-side applications. Among the new OpenRPT features enabled by updating from Qt 3 to Qt 4 is the ability to export to Adobe PDF natively for both the OpenRPT API and the rendering application.

"Other new features include support for generic ODBC database connections (the first release only supported the open source PostgreSQL database - and native PostgreSQL support continues in 2.0); enhanced page break functionality; and power tools for developers such as command-line arguments and parameters, multiple document printing, and advanced error trapping.

"Since it was released as an open source project in 2005, OpenRPT has been downloaded over 30,000 times..."end quotation
-- OpenRPT report writer and renderer

Current Version Confusion for JasperReports iReports

We're a bit confused as to what is the current version of JasperSoft's JasperReports and iReport. SourceForge.net has version 1.3.0 of both JasperReports and iReport available for download, but with the disclaimer that...

JasperReports, the market leading open source business intelligence and reporting engine. This project is being moved to http://www.jasperforge.org/. This project is the home for all things Jasper, Reports, Analysis, Server, and Intelligence.end quotation
-- JasperReports Java Reporting home on SourceForge

The only downloads from JasperForge seem to be for documentation. Going to JasperSoft's site, there is only reference to the November release of 1.2.8, but the downloads page, after a free registration, brings you back to SourceForge.net and the 1.3.0 versions of the software.

I guess the holidays are just delaying the official release announcements. Enjoy.

OSBI for Campus Technology Magazine

I was just interviewed by Bennett Voyles for Campus Technology Magazine. The topic was information about Open Source Business Intelligence, and the article is in response to interest from their target audience, CIOs in higher education. We covered some general topics, like a timeline of OSBI evolution and the types of BI tools available, as well as some specific examples of open source BI tools solving user needs. We discussed the differences between proprietary and open source software in areas such as development, test, community, feature inclusion, selection process, security and stability.

From Ben's description, the article will cover more than our interview and topics of discussion. I'm looking forward to reading it. We'll link to it, when it comes out.

Open Source BI News Week Ending 2006 October 20

In trying to be your one source for Open Source Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing and related topics, we're starting a new feature providing links to press releases, news, blogs and analyst coverage that should be of interest. For this post, let's see what's been happening over the past week or so.

Pentaho has been making quite a few press releases in October, so you might want to look at all of their news. Rick Mortensen of MARVELit has been laying out his strategy in his blog, so the three posts listed above, are very important to anyone interested in quickly deploying dashboards. We have several podcasts currently "in audio engineering" [Clarise & I, in our spare time] :>> based upon an hour-and-an-half-long interview with Rick, and a session wherein he walked us through their online demo of Dash. I'm working towards having them up soon.

SLED10 under Parallels on Vate Network Problem Solved

I downloaded the iso image of the installation DVD for Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop [SLED] 10 for x86 32 -bit architecture. The installation went very well, other than it stalled during the network configuration test. This test includes downloading the latest release notes, and has a "results" field and "abort test" button. After two hours [I'm patient] I clicked on "abort test" and the results showed "failure".

Machine and versions:

  • MacBookPro17 with MacOSX 10.4.7, all current updates, standard configuration [1 GB RAM, 120 GB at 5400 rpm hdd]
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Build 1848.2
  • SLED 10-0-20060923-132957 configured for use with laptop
  • VM set up wtih Bridged Network Adapater enabled, connect at start up, using the default adpater. The adapter is the Realtek 8029(AS). Using the airport 802.11g


When checking network status within SLED running under Paralles, it shows packets received and sent, but I couldn't get out to anything, and the network status is NOT CONNECTED.

I've tried setting up the wireless network in SLED, but that didn't help, nor did I really expect it too.

Then I noticed the network icon down in the right corner of the status bar. Click on it, select wired network, the "working" icon should show up spinning, and low and behold, it connects.

And all is wondrous well. :>>

Pentaho SQR for Bugzilla

Today, Pentaho launched their new open source project, Software Quality Reports (SQR) for Bugzilla. Bugzilla is a "Defect Tracking System" or "Bug-Tracking System" that allows developers to keep track of outstanding bugs in their product. We interviewed Lance Walter and Nicholas Goodman of Pentaho for this podcast to get the inside story about this new project.

Software Quality Reports for Bugzilla is the first in a series of focused solutions that Pentaho will be bringing forth in 2006 onward. SQR for Bugzilla is based upon the Pentaho Open BI Suite to provide enhanced reporting and analysis of data from Bugzilla.

Lance pointed out that one reason the first Pentaho solution was for Bugzilla is that Bugzilla has quickly achieved worldwide popularity for its rich functionality, and is used by organizations ranging from open source leaders like The Apache Project, Novell, Open Office, and Red Hat to public- and private-sector organizations including NASA, AT&T, Citigroup, GlaxoSmithKline, France Telecom, Rutgers University, Overstock.com, Siemens and more.

Nick provides a wealth of details on the uses and goals of the SQR for Bugzilla project. Bugzilla is used as a source system for the Pentaho solution, though other source systems, such as configuration management and version control, can be added. The Pentaho SQR for Bugzilla adds reports and analytical slice & dice which allow project managers, end users and developers to answer questions about bug resolution or bug burn that can not be easily answered using only Bugzilla reports. Pentaho SQR for Bugzilla is a separate project, licensed under the open source Mozilla license 1.1, and can be downloaded from Pentaho or Sourceforge.

Screen shots can be found at Sourceforge.

The Pentaho SQR for Bugzilla podcast
is approximately 40 minutes in length and 37 MB in size.

Update: You can read the full press release from Pentaho, New Open Source Project Harnesses World’s Most Popular Open Source BI Suite to Enhance Bugzilla with Reporting and Analysis.

TeleInterActive Networks Maintenance

Our TeleInterActive Networks hosting service, including these blogs and our customer sites, will be down from midnight tonight, until, hopefully, 4 a.m. Pacific time. The server in the midwest is being moved to a new facillity.

Thank you for your understanding.

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At the beginning, The Open Source Solutions Blog was a companion to the Open Source Solutions for Business Intelligence Research Project, and book. But back in 2005, we couldn't find a publisher. As Apache Hadoop and its family of open source projects proliferated, and in many ways, took over the OSS data management and analytics world, our interests became more focused on streaming data management and analytics for IoT, the architecture for people, processes and technology required to bring value from the IoT through Sensor Analytics Ecosystems, and the maturity model organizations will need to follow to achieve SAEIoT success. OSS is very important in this world too, for DMA, API and community development.

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