Jaspersoft, the San Francisco based Business Intelligence vendor, yesterday announced the newer version of their product, Jaspersoft 4, with embedded BI market in mind. Jaspersoft 4 leverages a new modular UI architecture which makes it easy to customize and embed, thereby making the BI tool more attractive to users. This version has a new GUI for rich visual dashboarding and a host of self-service features making it palatable to more users.
Some background on the market segment
As the quantity of data in today’s enterprises grows in leaps and bounds, organizations are looking for various ways from datawarehousing to embedded BI to make their decisions. While datawarehousing tools give a holistic view of the entire organization, there is a clear need to push the decision making to various operational divisions. Today, these divisions make more decisions affecting their functions than anytime in the past. To make such decision making at the divisional levels and lower easier, it is important to have BI as an integral part of the applications. This makes embedded BI very important.
Background on Jaspersoft
In fact, the project that eventually lead to Jaspersoft had its origins on the need for an embedded BI tool (scratching one’s own itch). So we can say that embedded BI is in the very DNA of the company and their products. With everyone from a big software vendor to ISVs to System Integrators to IT Groups to Applications Developers inside an organization wanting to embed BI into their products/applications/portals, Jaspersoft is well positioned to take its share in the market. Founded in 2004, Jaspersoft is an open source company with strong commercial business model. Some interesting stats about Jaspersoft include:
- 12 1/2 Million downloads and growing
- 13,000 total commercial customers including those who had downloaded Open Source version and want either support or training to get going
- Almost 1000 paid subscribers for their paid BI Suite
- 60% of their commercial business is on Embedded BI
Jaspersoft 4 and its features
Yesterday’s release of Jaspersoft 4 is a result of herculean effort by the team to completely re-architect and rebuild the software to meet the modern day BI needs. This new version comes out of the box with a new consumer friendly web style UI made with a good use of AJAX and other standards based web technologies. When they rebuilt their entire software, they developed a new and advanced UI framework that included three separate layers for presentation, events and structure. The business logic layer stays separate from the UI framework. One of the key benefits of this UI framework is the availability of a new feature called Themes in this new version. Themes allow for customization so that an organization can have different themes for different needs. The customization can be as simple as a color change or it can be some advanced customization. They can also customize it to use mobile themes when accessed through a mobile browser and a desktop theme for desktop users. The most interesting thing from my point of view is that one can use different themes even in a multi-tenant setup of Jaspersoft 4.
Jaspersoft 4 is architected in such a way that it can run on traditional on-premise servers, virtualized appliances, cloud instances and, also, in a multi-tenant environment (a feature available from version 3.5). In this increasingly cloudy world, the ability to run on cloud instances and implement multi-tenancy is key. As large organizations adopt private clouds, the application development needs a rethink. Applications should be architected to run on multi-tenant environments as, increasingly, organizations will use multi-tenancy in their infrastructure to cater to the needs of their various divisions. Jaspersoft 4 is well suited to satisfy such needs and has the potential to succeed in tomorrow’s cloudy enterprise marketplace.
Jaspersoft’s main competitors from the proprietary side of the market include SAP BusinessObjects, IBM Cognos and Microstrategy. Some of their open source competitors are Pentaho, Actuate and Jedox.
Jaspersoft 4 is packed with quite a bit of wow factor and their support for multi-tenancy in their commercial editions puts them in the path to be a strong player in the upcoming cloudy marketplace. Even though they are playing to their strength in the embedded BI market, I am not sure about the performance of their standalone tool. Jaspersoft has been targeting enterprises and their performance in the last three year has been very good. I would say they are very well positioned in the marketplace and this new version with its inspiring UI will help cement it further.