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Actuate's "Embeddable BI" Approach

Open source business intelligence (BI) vendor Actuate has suggested that there is growing momentum among independent software vendors (ISVs) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers for its approach to "embeddable BI" solutions.

Available as an Eclipse Foundation top-level open source project, Actuate's BIRT is generally deployed alongside the company's commercial products for developers to incorporate a customizable, visually rich, data analysis and reporting environment into their software products, rather than develop their own.

Now boasting use by more than a million developers and having recently passed the 10 million downloads mark, the company says that BIRT is driving a number of new OEM accounts as ISVs and SaaS providers look to focus their resources and accelerate their speed to market.

Giving his own independent assessment of Actuate’s OEM business, Open Source industry analyst James Governor of RedMonk said, “The economics of open source software and Business Intelligence are reshaping our view of traditional reporting and analysis. Actuate is helping drive this change through its support for the fast-growing BIRT platform, which is increasingly embeddable, with packaging and full support for OEMs.”

Actuate's VP of OEM David Armstrong suggests that developers are attracted by his company's open source strategy and that they find value in being able to try out BIRT’s capabilities for free, to complement or complete their own software, with the option to purchase fuller commercial capabilities plus training and support at a later date.

“Software vendors are faced with an increasingly competitive marketplace and a higher level of customer frustration with unwieldy or non-intuitive Business Intelligence and information applications. In addition, developing, supporting, and maintaining homegrown BI is unrealistic from a cost and time-to-market perspective, while standard solutions rarely deliver the flexibility that customers demand," said Armstrong.

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