EU Open Source Observatory

The EU Open Source observatory has been in the news and blogosphere for the past week. The resources that they're making available through the IDABC are worth a look

IDABC - Open Source Observatory

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. :>>

Talend - new open source ETL with a new data management vision

We would like to thank Charly Clairmont for visiting our Open Source Business Intelligence Squidoo Lens and writing us the following note...

"Talend is a new open source ETL with a new data management vision.
Talend's solutions collect, process and consolidate data residing in organization's various, heterogeneous systems and injects them into a centralized data warehouse (datamart)...

Talend provide 4 solutions :
* developer tools : to create process
* administrator : to manage distributed process on a grid architecture
* launcher tools : to launch process
* PAM : Process Activities Monitor

I just want to inform you about the avability of Talend a new open source ETL.

The ETL language is PERL, and JAVA. But Perl provide many more connectors than other java libraries.

What is very "sexy" is the client tool for developer which is build on Eclipse RCP. Also, because of etl experience of the leaders of the project, Fabrice Bonan and Bertrand Diard. The developer tool has a business and technical aspects...

You can find more information on :

Best regards.

end quotation

We have updated our Open Source Business Intelligence Squidoo Lens Links to OSS ETL Tools to reflect this. We look forward to checking out Talend.

Please feel free to contact us , if any of you know of any other Open Source BI Tools that is currently not in our lens or have any updates to the projects listed, any OSS events or any other feedback you would wish to give. &#59;D

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,, 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.

OSBI Coming of Age at LinuxWorld

As we've written before, 2005 saw an explosion of open source business intelligence projects. In 2006, we're starting to see these projects coming of age. This was evident at LinuxWorldSF by the showing of of Open Source BI companies Pentaho, JasperSoft, EnterpriseDB, GreenPlum, PostrgreSQL, MySQL and others. Jacqueline Emigh has a good article at LinuxPlanet, BI Vendors Get Smart Around Linux, Open Source.

Float in Project Time Management

Whether one is a project manager for an Open Source Business Intelligence Project or any project for that matter, managing and monitoring project schedules are very important. One must continuously monitor schedule to actual work performed to ensure that the project stays on target. Delays in the project schedule affect all the aspects of the project.

In our project engagements one (with respect to Time Management) of the project performance reports we do is Float Analysis.

Float Analysis
Click to view original size

The concept of float is integral to Critical Path. Float or sometimes referred to as “Slack” can be thought of as the maximum time an activity can slip without delaying the end date of project. As a quick way of looking at a float for a network diagram, if an activity is on the critical path, it has a zero float. (I have read some technical cases where this is not always true but it is still a quick way to look at it &#59;D) Simply, the activity with zero float has no time buffer or allowance for work slippage, i.e., if the activity is not finished on time, it will cause the project to fall behind schedule.

If we look at the example of the previous blog post, Critical Path in Schedule Management, the sample durations are:

Click to view original size

If you look at this simple example, all the activities are in the critical path since the critical paths are:
Start-A-B-E-F-C-End and Start-D-B-E-F-C-End.

Remember though that when managing the schedule and critical activities of your project, the other aspects of the project - Scope, Cost, Quality, Resource Management, Communication, Risk, and Procurement Management should not be neglected or have less emphasis.

Open Source Business Intelligence Adoption

According to the August 2005 TDWI Report Series,

Enterprise BI Licenses Costs up to $700,000 for 1000 users, not including Training or Premium Support Services.end quotation

Cost has been a motivator to moving to Open Source Business Intelligence (OSBI). But, why are large enterprises not fast enough in Open Source BI adoption?

I believe some of the challenges to moving to OSBI by large enterprises with existing BI implementation include but not limited to:

  • Investment: Large enterprises have spent millions of dollars in their current BI infrastructure as well as staff training. Would they easily throw that away?
  • Resistance to Change: It is human nature to resist change. As human beings, we fear what we don’t know. There is the politics involved in moving to an OSBI solution. I have seen users and administrators become attached to how they do things and using a particular tool is part of “how we do things”.
  • Changes to Operational Procedures: For BI administrators, changing tools and infrastructure means a disruption to the current and working set of operational procedures.
  • View of Career Threat: I’ve seen push backs when people think their careers will be in jeopardy because they are not knowledgeable in it. In the tough job market, people get worried that their job will go away because a new software or tool is going to be deployed.

I am sure there are other challenges out there. OSBI tools have a lot to offer. For instance, OSBI tools can be used to prototype new implementation. Developing a prototype is a good way to confirm that the design and technologies used will meet the enterprise BI needs. The OSBI prototype can be extended to see data validity or to assess data cleansing needs.

There are many possibilities but many challenges as well. Each challenge has a solution. For instance, when it is viewed as a career threat, it can be repositioned to appeal to one’s love of learning and playing with new “toys”. In adopting new technologies, cost, technologies, people and culture matter. Positioning OSBI as providing value with respect to cost, technologies, people and culture will go a long way.

Rick Mortensen

We had an interesting conversation with Rick Mortensen, CEO of MARVELit. He has a long background and a wealth of experience in developing and deploying BI solutions. The MARVELLit open source Dash Portal project came about from his own pain over the years of not being able to quickly and economically deploy BI solutions using the large, complex, expensive closed source BI products. Rick showed us how he does RAD style prototyping over the web using a private, secure demo site, by walking us through such a site he has operating for a current customer. Rick also explained their business model to us, including the use of firm-price, fixed-length engagements, called DASHpaks. Another result of Rick's experience both with BI and with open source, is the company's commitment to documentation. Rick showed us the upcoming documentation wiki, and it already surpasses most open source project documentation that we've seen.

We're going to be doing a series of podcasts with Rick over the next couple of months so he can tell you more in his own words. In the meantime, check out the demo at url.

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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