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Open-Season For Open Source Business Intelligence

There is almost a sort of polarization happening in the Business Intelligence arena. Mainstream vendors will always hold a meaty chunk of the market and no amount of wrestling will prize away this core segment of business from the steel jaws of IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and the other usual suspects.

But at the open source end of the BI spectrum, organizations including Actuate, Jaspersoft, Jedox, SpagoWorld and Pentaho are reaping in new customers. In Pentaho's case, the company has experienced a doubling of its new Enterprise Edition Subscriptions from Q2 2009 to Q2 2010.

Gartner analyst Andreas Bitterer has spoken of these tools 'going mainstream', saying that they are 'good enough' for routine applications. For its part, Pentaho argues that its Data Integration Enterprise Edition 4.0 and BI Suite Enterprise Edition 3.6 products can compete above some arbitrary 'satisfactory' grade level.

"We have produced the industry’s first complete, end-to-end data integration and business intelligence platform to support Apache Hadoop, creating a single visual development environment to simplify the creation of applications for analyzing massive volumes of information," said Richard Daley, founder and CEO of Pentaho.

The company's developer proposition is presented as an on-demand evaluation environment where software engineers of all levels are invited to take a 72-hour challenge to test drive the Pentaho BI Suite. This is carried out with the developer's own data, but without requiring any of their own hardware and personnel assets -- and results are delivered within three days.

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