Jaspersoft claims to be the biggest open source BI vendor. Whether that means most installations, most downloads, or some other metric, it’s not totally clear so you kind of need to take their word for it. There’s no doubt that they are one of the bigger players in the open source market and have some interesting offerings on the technology side. They are one of the more fully developed community developed business intelligence integrators.

In some ways they are very similar to Pentaho. They both provide a full BI suite based on an open-source code. They were also launched in the mid-part of the last decade, into 2005. Before that they were a proprietary code based software company. They, like Pentaho, also have a lot of input into the open source core code, with several of the initial engineers on the project working with the company now. They use several widely popular pieces of BI open source including Mondrian, jPivot , and Talend. Leveraging those technologies can make them in effect an end-to-end provider, although not totally integrated. You can use the different pieces of their suite as needed.

They offer several add-on versions of the suite, including Enterprise and Professional. This is the “value-add” portion, or what is called open-core. They have gone through several versions with version 4.1 being the latest released version. These open core or extended versions have full support, consulting and training available. The Community Edition is the free version. Interestingly, they’ve been more cutting edge of the open source vendors by offering some initial built-in mobile capabilities with the latest version, including support for iPad and iPhone.

The open core model provides full access to the source code, but with support from Jaspersoft for consulting and training. It provides a lot of flexibility for very technical IT departments and reporting groups that like to “get under the hood”.

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