Category: "Computers and Internet"

Open Source Business Intelligence Squidoo Lens

Thank you for visiting, clicking through, linking to us, and emailing our Open Source Business Intelligence Lens. You have helped us keep our rank in the top 100 Squidoo lens.

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Our lens provides comprehensive links to Opens Source Business Intelligence Projects and other contents shown here:

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If there are other links you want us to include, please don't hesitate to contact us.

If you have not done so, visit and explore our lens.

OSC Podcast Pentaho Overview Part 3

Welcome to the conclusion of the conversation held on March 1st with James Dixon, Chief Geek, and Lance Walter, VP of Marketing for Pentaho, Clarise Z. Doval Santos, and Joseph di Paolantonio. In this third podcast, we talked mainly about community, and how Pentaho supports its community. Community is one of the most important aspects of an open source project. And communication is the most important means of building that community. Pentaho uses their forums, analysis of the conversations going on, and email to bring the community discussion directly into the heart of Pentaho development.

James points out that, by the very nature of business intelligence, the Pentaho community comes from other businesses. Because Pentaho has built a stack through cooperation with other BI open source projects, there is also a great deal of interaction among the members of communities from all of these projects, such as JasperSoft and Mondrian. But one incredible strength that the community brings to Pentaho is in the area of QA. Not just in bug identification and fixes to assure that the code conforms to specifications, but in contributing real-life use cases so that the specifications conform to real business needs and satisfies the users. Pentaho can release a version or module and begin getting feedback by the next day.

Another interesting difference between open source and proprietary software, is that a project can finish in open source. There doesn't exist the need to continually push our new, and possibly unneeded features, that exists in proprietary software, as the revenue stream for open source isn't dependent on forced upgrade license fees. In open source, when the community has determined that the project meets the needs, there are no more contributions. The project may not be releasing new code, but is far from dead. It has reached the required state of usefullness, and meets the users' needs.

Lance appreciates both the feedback, as well as the ability to turn-around the product rapidly, with freedom from the giant 18-month release cycles. Lance also discusses the training that Pentaho is making available through WebEx and other training plans. Sign up at:

https://pentaho.webex.com/pentaho

Pentaho Overview, Part 3

This podcast is about 26 minutes long.

Don't miss the other two parts of this conversation: Part 1 and Part 2.

We would like to thank DOVAL for permission to use excerpts from his hit single "Love Lost" for our opening and closing tracks.

OSC Podcast Pentaho Overview Part 2

Continuing our conversation with James Dixon and Lance Walter of Pentaho, we explore open source licensing, advantages and challenges. We talk about the needs of the users, and the drivers for open source business intelligence. One observation from James and Lance is that the professional business models that have recently come about for open source projects has provided the framework for open source enterprise applications to be developed. Some topics we covered:

  • The complexity and challenges of bringing together different open source projects into the Pentaho suite or stack, with different license types.
  • Current legal status of open source licenses
  • Motivators for developers to consider open source
  • Adoption of Open Source in the enterprise space
  • The growth of Business Intelligence overall
  • Open Source facilitates BI prototyping, customization, implementations and acceptance
  • Making BI transparent

Pentaho Overview, Part 2

Don't miss Part 1 of this podcast, OSC Podcast Overview.
We expect to post the final part of this podcast on Thursday, 2006 March 09. Come back then to listen to James and Lance talk about the Pentaho Community.

Update: Part 3 is now available for download.

We would like to thank DOVAL for permission to use excerpts from his hit single "Love Lost" for our opening and closing tracks.

OSC Podcast Pentaho Overview

More open source conversations at the open source café and this time, we were very fortunate to have Pentaho's James Dixon, Senior Architect and CTO (a.k.a "Chief Geek"), and Lance Walter, Vice President of Marketing. They were good enough to spend over an hour and an half with us on the phone. We've broken this up into three podcasts.

Part 1 is about 19 minutes and provides an overview of the Pentaho open source BI suite. James provides insight into the technology, the capabilities, integration with other applications, extensibility and how the various components were brought together into an open source BI stack. Lances talks about the Pentaho strategy in regard to capabilities and functions, components, building the suite, partners and verticals.

Pentaho Overview, Part 1"

Update: Part 2 is now up at OSC Podcast Pentaho Overview Part 2.

We expect to have part 3 posted on Thursday, 2006 March 09.

Update: Part 3 is now available for download.

We would like to thank DOVAL for permission to use excerpts from his hit single "Love Lost" for our opening and closing tracks.

Squidoo Lens in Top 100

We're quite proud to announce that for the past week our OSBI lens, concentrating various resources for Open Source Business Intelligence, has been in the Squidoo top 100, generally ranked between 50 and 90. Take a look at our lens, and let us know what you think in the comments below. How can we improve it?

OracAlumni Event: Terry Garnett of Ingres Open Source

Clarise and I attended the Oracle Alumni event, held at SAP tonight. The speaker was Terry Garnett, the CEO of the new Ingres - the corporation spun off by Computer Associate in conjunction with their releasing the source code for the Ingres database, 2005 November 07. In addition to listening to Terry's talk (not a presentation - no slides, just a conversation with a room full of fellow ex-Oracle folk), we also got to talk with Terry privately as well as with other Ingres attendees: Dave Dargo - CTO, Andy Allbritten - Senior Vice President of Support and Services and Shelley Keefe - Recruitment.

All of this is actually quite new. The company Ingres took possession of the asset Ingres from Computer Associate only two months ago, and they are still formulating many of their strategies. Terry does have an interesting perspective. He feels that the next step for the Open Sorce movement is to become business open source. Just as the PC moved from a hobbyist movement to an ubiquitous technology with multiple, focused business models, Terry sees open source moving from DIY to ubiquitous technologies with multiple, focused business models.

Look for the upcoming podcast of this session. We'll provide a link to it, when it's available.

There will be a podcast of the event a week or so afterwards,
thanks to the sponsorship of John Houghton and MobilecastMedia.end quotation
-- email from Dennis Moore, Founder of the Oracle Alumni Group

OSBI Squidoo Lens

Clarise and I have created a "Lens" on Squidoo as yet another tool to help support our Open Source Business Intelligence book project. A "lens" is basically a Web2.0 tool to aggregate content about a topic. There has been some controversy about Squidoo, in that it can be used as a feed scrape.

I wondered about that when looking at Squidoo, which in the words of John Battelle, “is either brilliant, or an AdSense honeypot scheme, or both.” I admit, it makes me shudder! In the case of say Yahoo RSS, Google RSS reader or Bloglines, the difference is that readers are making a choice, and deciding well, they want my feed. In the process, the middle men are making money, but its good, because I get readers. In straight up scraping, I get nothing out of it.end quotation
-- Om Malik in "Why Bloggers Need Google’s Help?"

Spam type feed scrapers take and publish full content from RSS/RDF/Atom feeds, without attribution or links back to the content creator, and make money off the backs of content creators from this content, usually by ad placement on their pages. Probably not much money. I can sort-of see the concern, though Squidoo provides full attribution and links to the source. One positive and interesting part of the Squidoo business model, is that whatever monies it generates, through ads, Amazon sales, etc, are shared with charities and with the lensmasters, but not with any content creators whose full feeds might be on Squidoo.

One way in which we hope to avoid any semblance of scraping, is by having only our own feeds on the lens, and only providing excerpts, even then. We may ask others if we might provide their feeds on the lens, but will only do so with their permission, and only providing linked headlines or excerpts.

We think that there is an advantage that the lens concept might have as a good resource for us. If we tried to maintain a linkblog for everything related to our subject, like standards (e.g. XMLA for OLAP), tools (e.g. Java Portlets), definitions, other blogs, the companies and communities around a project, etc, it would be huge. The lens might be a better place for it. An OPML list might be good, as well. At any rate, it might make for a good interplay with the blog and wiki and drive traffic to us.

Please visit the OSBI Lens and let us know what you think.

Open Source Will be the Most Discussed tech Issue

One of the most discussed "communications/computer technology impacts society" issues in 2005 main stream media was undoubtedly blogging, and the related read-write web topics of Web2.0, podcasts, vlogs, and tagging. Shel Israel predicts that the topic of 2006 will be Open Source.

9. The technology issue most discussed will no longer be the blog, but open source and its impact or disappointment on technology development o all levels everywhere.end quotation
-- Shel Israel "10 More 2006 Predictions"

I think one caveat to this is to consider the circle of conversation to which you're pointing. Is it main stream media in the main, or just the technology snippet that is often thrown out to prove they're cool? The majority of people don't have a blog, don't understand what makes a blog different from any other web site, and don't see any of the social networking or consumer-as-producer, read-write web, semantic web, Web2.0, etc. stuff having an impact on their life yet. I think that the same applies to open source software, content, intellectual un-property and other open movements. But they will.

Miss Rogue discovered this over the holidays.

Over dinner tonight with my parents, there was a little lightbulb moment for both of us... For me, it was, "Gee, otherwise, nobody in the real world gives a shit about open source, social networks and my so-called life online stuff." Even my parents, who I would think would be fascinated by it. Ha.end quotation
-- Tara Hunt "The Trouble with Normal"

Societal and behavioral changes take decades, if not generations, to become fully ingrained; be it the roads and aqueducts of the Romans, the telegraph, telephone, radio, railroad and automotive technologies that ushered in the 20th century, or the command, control, communications, computation and intelligence technologies that are ushering in this century.

But I'm very glad to see Shel recognize the importance of Open Source. As Web2.0 and Open Source become better defined by the early adopters, and as these philosophies resolve real business and personal issues, we'll see the resulting technologies, behavior and business models become integrated into the daily lives of the main stream.

But let's all try to have fun as we work towards that goal.

Nicholas Goodman

I recently came across the blog of Nicholas Goodman, a BI professional who writes about open source tools, Oracle Warehouse Builders, and other BI topics.

I commented on his post about KETL vs KETTLE.

Check him out.

Open Source: Closing thoughts of Vladimir Stojanovski

Over the past five years, our research into open source BI components has shown few projects supporting BI, and no BI suites, until recently. Bee is the oldest of the open source BI suites, starting in 2002. Five years ago, there was one open source project developing an Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) tool - Jetstream, one for reporting - JasperReports, one for analysis - Mondrian. Of the open source Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS), none were optimized for very large databases, or for querying, until this year. There are now over 25 open source projects supporting every aspect of BI, from ETL to the user Portal, including reporting, on-line analytical processing (OLAP), advanced analytics and data mining, workflow, and dashboards. Six of these can be considered BI suites, with all but Bee having launched this year.

Vladimir Stojanovski has written a five-part article in his blog at ITtoolbox. Part of his conclusion is quoted below.

Call me shortsighted, but then this nomer could also apply to the CRM/BI industry indiscriminately (except for the brave souls at places like SugarCRM [see post Open Source: CRM and Business Intelligence (Part 2 - SugarCRM)] and Pentaho [see post Open Source: CRM and Business Intelligence (Part 3 - Pentaho, et al)]). The industry is finally being forced to take Open Source seriously not necessarily because we think it is a great movement, but because our clients are forcing us to do so. An increasing number of companies are adopting Open Source in fundamental areas such as operating systems (Linux), database platforms (MySQL, PostgreSQL), application servers (JBoss), and web servers (Apache). This foundational platform is then forcing itself onto enterprise-class applications, such as CRM.end quotation
-- Open Source: Closing thoughts, I think... (Part 5) by Vladimir Stojanovski

As shown in my opening paragraph, the open source movement is responding to the interest in open source solutions for enterprise applications, particularly, BI. You can check out the links in the side column of this blog for a list of open source BI suites and tools being developed. We'll be continuing with our research and use of open source BI solutions over the past year, and I think it will be some time beyond that before we, or Vladimir, or anyone else, actually writes the final Closing Thoughts on open source BI.

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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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