BI is Ready for Open Source – Is Open Source Ready for BI?

A recent article in DW Review asks whether Open Source is ready for Business Intelligence. There are already some interesting Business Intelligence Open Source tools such as Octopus Enhydra, Eclipse Birt and Mondrian, All of them in Java by the way!!! Add to this MySQL 5.0 with features matching IBM DB2 or PostgreSQL with its legendary reliability and you have everything you need for Open Source Business Intelligence, or do you? Well, support still sucks.

So, maybe someone out there should start a support company for Open Source Business Intelligence? This is compelling:

As companies invest to stay compliant with the host of new government regulations, improve operational efficiency and retain customers, business intelligence (BI) has continued its march up the corporate food chain. BI is a top IT priority. At $16.8 billion in 2001 and growing to $29 billion in 2006, the BI and data warehousing market is exploding.

Daniel Lemire, "BI is Ready for Open Source – Is Open Source Ready for BI?," in Daniel Lemire's blog, August 3, 2005.

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Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

5 thoughts on “BI is Ready for Open Source – Is Open Source Ready for BI?”

  1. Hi,

    Did you check out the Pentaho project at

    I’m sure you would have already known about it, but there was no mention of it in your post.

    Claim to be a professional OS company (similar to the jBoss model) trying to put together a complete BI stack using various popular existing products like Mondrian, BizGres(database), jBoss, etc and plugging in their own modules for Dashboard, Data Mining, Workflow, etc.

    Seem to have a very ambitious timeline. Seem to be driven by some people with the correct “corporate” profiles (but then, some of the best OS products came from people with terrible “corporate profiles” :). We should know by the same time next year whether it has crashed or is heading for market leadership.



  2. You should have a look at PALO ( which is a MOLAP based OLAP Server, with an excel add-in.

    It’s nice to see the open source olap market moving forward. They are going to have API’s in open source languages such as PHP and support open source operating systems such as Linux!

    The roadmap is ambitious with planned features such as intercube rules (ie calculated real time elemenets) RTOLAP.

    They are planning on offering a very reasonably priced support package, well reasonably priced if you consider the commerical vendors base support on a percentage of the list price of their software (which is often tens or hundreds of thousands)

    There is a previous version available from along with the excel add-in and a sample C api application.

  3. Yes, there has been an explosion in BI over the last few years business needs intelligence but will open source projects be able to handle that it still remains a question.

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