Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Truth Happens: Open Source BI

Open Source software is software where the source code, the language programmers use to make computers do their jobs, is available to everyone. Anyone can see how the code works and can change it if they want to make it work differently. This is usually regulated under some sort of Open Source licensing, but that is beyond the scope of this blog entry. To anchor what I am talking about, below is a awesome 3 minute promotional video clip for redhat , the world's most trusted provider of Linux and Open Source technology. (Versions of the Linux operating system compete with the popular Microsoft Windows operating system) Throughout history, new technology has been resisted by those who said it couldn't be done. Yet despite opposition, time and again the impossible is made possible by those with determination and vision. redhat and Pentaho believes open source is a better way. A better way of developing technology and a better way of making it accessible. And while there are those who have ignored open source or claimed it wouldn't work or wouldn't last, redhat and Pentaho believe that truth happens.

Despite Opposition - Truth Happens

Pentaho can be compared to redhat in many ways. Pentaho is a services company pioneered by BI veterans from many proprietary BI companies. We have created and acquired Open Source Business Intelligence software and make it available to use without any obligations or licensing fees. However if you require support or consulting, for a fee we will provide the value added services to make businesses successful when deploying a Pentaho BI Solution. We call this value added service a Subscription. The Open Source Business model has been around for sometime and is very similar to the way redhat operates with it's Linux operating system and how MySQL operates with its database offering. (MySQL and Open Source database vendor, was recently purchased by Sun Microsystems for $1B.) Pentaho creates the primary source code that goes into the Open Source and Subscription BI products. Pentaho does accept contributions from community members, but strict guidelines and certification processes are followed before the contribution is ever implemented into our software.
Now, the opposite of open source is closed source or what is also known as proprietary code, where the source code is not available to everyone. BI vendors like Information Builders, Oracle, Business Objects, Cognos and Microstrategy provide similar BI software tools under a closed source proprietary model. Pentaho provides it's software free under an open source business model and standard Open Source licenses. What this means is that someone can download and use Pentaho BI software without having to pay any licensing, maintenance costs, or have any obligation to Pentaho. In order to use a proprietary vendor's software I would have to pay ridiculous licensing and maintenance fees to achieve similar results. In this age of consolidation of expensive BI vendors such as, (SAP/BO) (IBM/Cognos), (Oracle/Hyperion), (Informatica / ?) company budget cuts and a need for BI, Pentaho Open Source Business Intelligence is becoming more and more favorable in many organizations looking for robust BI capabilities with a lower total cost of ownership.

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