Open-source BI player gets internationalized

Open-source BI player JasperSoft is releasing the final piece of its software suite and further internationalizing its products

Open-source business intelligence software vendor JasperSoft is set to unveil the final piece in its BI suite, JasperETL, after signing its first full-blown original equipment manufacturer (OEM) deal with French vendor Talend. At the same time, the U.S. company will commit to complete internationalization of its entire BI suite.

JasperSoft will make the announcements Tuesday at the Solutions Linux show in Paris, according to Nick Halsey, the company's vice president of marketing.

Extract, transform and load (ETL) capabilities help BI users to ensure corporate data consistency by allowing them to move, cleanse, standardize and transform their information in response to their business needs.

For the past year, JasperSoft had been looking into how to add ETL into its BI suite, Halsey said.

The vendor looked at a number of open-source players and considered building its own ETL software. Then, it came upon Talend, a French open-source data integration startup that has been working on its Open Studio software for three years and made it generally available late last year.

JasperSoft has enhanced Open Studio so that as JasperETL the software integrates with the other components of its BI suite -- JasperServer, JasperAnalysis, JasperReports and visual report designer iReport -- Halsey said.

Like the vendor's other software, JasperETL will be available in open-source and commercial versions. The open-source release is available now, with the professional version due out later this spring.

Halsey expects Talend to be a strong partner for JasperSoft in Europe. The BI vendor already has a significant presence over there, having opened its first European business office in Dublin, Ireland, in November, and has existing research and development teams in Italy and Romania.

On the internationalization front, JasperSoft is working to deliver commercial versions of its software that are fully localized and able to recognize a user's preferred location and time zone as they log into the software. First up will be support for Japanese in February, followed by French and German, Halsey said.

The vendor will also formally Tuesday announce JasperBabylon, an open-source project where developers can work together on localizing the BI software. So far, 22 language translations are underway, including Chinese, Hindi and Italian, he added.

Competitively, JasperSoft most often comes up against closed-source offerings Business Objects SA's Crystal Reports and Oracle Corp.'s Oracle Reports, Halsey said. More frequently, the people adopting Jasper are those who previously were "making do with [Microsoft's] Excel as their BI," he added.

Like other BI observers, Halsey notes a bifurcation occurring in the market with the pure-play closed-source vendors like Business Objects, Cognos Inc. and Hyperion Solutions Corp. looking to offer more high-end BI functionality like advanced analytics, while the lower level query and reporting capabilities are being subsumed by open-source startups and Microsoft.

The company's name was coined by Teodor Danciu, the Romanian creator of the JasperReports piece of the BI suite. He was looking to develop open-source software that was the functional equivalent of Business Objects' Crystal Reports. In keeping with that vendor naming its software after a semi-precious gemstone, he chose his favorite stone, jasper, as the name for his software.

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