This Tuesday, BI vendor Jaspersoft announced the integration of its BI platform with Amazon Elastic MapReduce. As a result, customers with data stored on Amazon’s EMR platform can now take advantage of Jaspersoft’s suite of business intelligence reporting and analytics and enjoy the company’s utility based, hourly pricing model. Jaspersoft’s support of Amazon EMR represents a deepening of its relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS) given that Jaspersoft rendered its offering available on AWS EC2 in March, with utility pricing enabled by a BI server on the AWS platform. To date, Jaspersoft has signed up over 500 Amazon Web Services customers that elected to take advantage of its utility pricing by way of the AWS Marketplace. Jaspersoft now integrates with Amazon EC2, RDS, RedShift and EMR in addition to Windows Azure, Red Hat’s OpenShift PaaS as well as Cloud Foundry. Expect Jaspersoft to continue seeding other IaaS and PaaS cloud platforms as it consolidates its strategy of using cloud platforms as a springboard for greater adoption of its open source BI platform.
Today, Jaspersoft announced the availability of its business intelligence suite on the Windows Azure platform. As a result, Windows Azure developers can now seamlessly embed Jaspersoft’s analytics and reporting into their applications. Today’s announcement represents yet another chapter in Jaspersoft’s business development strategy of seeding well known cloud-based platforms with its business intelligence (BI) suite of applications. In February, for example, Jaspersoft made its platform available on Amazon Web Services by way of a BI server that integrates with EC2, RDS and RedShift. Jaspersoft similarly boasts partnerships with Red Hat’s OpenShift PaaS and Cloud Foundry that render its BI suite available on both platforms. The Windows Azure partnership with Jaspersoft marks a coup for both Azure and Jaspersoft, and particularly the former as it ramps up its breadth of functionality in an attempt to keep up with Amazon Web Services as evinced by this week’s caching announcements and upgrades from both platforms. Jaspersoft represents the first open source BI application available on the Windows Azure platform.
Today, Jaspersoft announced that its BI suite will soon be available as a BI server on the Amazon Web Services platform with a utility pricing model starting at $.40/hour in addition to relevant AWS EC2 fees. Jaspersoft’s BI server is configured to automatically integrate with data stores on the EC2 platform and additionally boasts certified connectivity to Amazon’s RDS and RedShift platforms. The availability of Jaspersoft’s cloud BI server means that customers with data hosted on AWS can integrate a BI application to process analytics within minutes. As a result, enterprises that have used AWS for data warehousing purposes now have the ability to unlock actionable business insights by taking advantage of the ease of deployment of the Jaspersoft BI server on the AWS marketplace. Karl Van den Bergh, Jaspersoft Vice President of Product and Alliances, remarked on the significance of its BI server on AWS as follows:
This is about market disruption. We are going after the petabytes of data in the cloud that have not yet been tapped for insight because current BI offerings are too expensive and too restrictive. With this new BI service, we are allowing millions of developers and IT professionals to easily and cost-effectively power the intelligence inside their cloud applications.
Van den Bergh notes the disruptive quality of the Jaspersoft BI platform insofar as the utility pricing model renders massive amounts of data amenable to an affordable, BI analysis. Moreover, Jaspersoft’s BI Server’s ease of deployment on AWS renders BI more accessible to data stores and organizations of all sizes and scales. As Jaspersoft continues its strategy of seeding PaaS platforms with its software, expect it to similarly deploy its cloud BI server on Red Hat’s OpenShift PaaS platform as well as Cloud Foundry given the company’s partnerships with both PaaS vendors.
On Tuesday, Jaspersoft announced version 5 of its business intelligence suite of reporting and analytics products that boasts significant enhancements to its analytic functionality in addition to a new visualization platform that provides a richer user interface for interacting with data.
The release features data virtualization capabilities that allow aggregations of data into a single, virtual data warehouse without an ETL job or the hassle of creating an actual data warehouse. Moreover, the product now delivers enhanced OLAP analysis that includes support for Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services. Meanwhile, Jaspersoft’s Advanced Reporting Functionality features conditional formatting and cross-tab sorting that goes beyond simple sorting, filtering and table formatting.
Brian Gentile, Jaspersoft’s CEO, elaborated on the significance of the web-based functionality of Jaspersoft 5 as follows:
The Jaspersoft 5 architecture delivers advanced visualization features much like Tableau, but entirely inside a web browser using HTML5. Our server is built with pure Java and open standards, and our architecture enables access to virtually any data source as well as easy deployment on-premises and in the cloud. In total, we provide a web-scale reporting and analytics platform that can be delivered inside of any business application or process, on all major devices, and at a fraction of the cost of any major competitor.
At an architectural level, Jaspersoft 5 features a “100% web-based embeddable architecture” that can be delivered inside an application or as a standalone BI product. Moreover, the application now delivers a rich visualization interface that empowers business users and data scientists alike to more intimately interact with visual representations of data by changing axes and obtaining additional detail on data elements of interest.
Cindi Howson, Founder and Principal Analyst at BI Scorecard, remarked on the new visualization capabilities and Jaspersoft 5 more generally as follows:
I’m most impressed by the new data exploration capabilities and the improvements to interactive reporting in Jaspersoft 5. Jaspersoft understands the full continuum of self-service BI and, with this release, gets some of the highest marks for interactive reporting of any of the vendors we cover.
As Howson illustrates, customers have ample reason to be excited about the new release. The data visualization capabilities illustrate the company’s commitment to business-level explorations of data that can be performed both by data scientists and business analysts with little in the way of explicit coding skills. Moreover, Jaspersoft 5’s web-based, embeddable architecture renders it one of the more flexible BI platforms in the industry and gives users a varied set of options with respect to its deployment within a multitude of IT infrastructures.
The charts below show some of the capabilities of Jaspersoft’s latest visualization interface, with the filters on the far right column and the data store representations on the far left illustrating some of the ways in which users can transform the current visual representation of data.
One of the lesser commented on attributes of the cloud computing revolution is the way in which it has spawned a constellation of supporting verticals that deliver software for optimizing IaaS and PaaS deployments. IaaS, in particular, has precipitated the birth of verticals such as cloud automation, cloud security and cloud management, for example. Business intelligence (BI) for cloud platforms represents another emerging vertical that lies poised to explode given the growth of IaaS and PaaS, though in this case, one vendor appears head and shoulders ahead of the pack. Despite the relative immaturity of the market for BI products that are compatible with cloud-based platforms, San Francisco-based Jaspersoft has emerged as the early market leader as measured by its strategy of seeding PaaS and IaaS platforms with open source editions of its BI software.
In 2012 alone, Jaspersoft finalized deals with Amazon Web Services, Red Hat and VMware’s Cloud Foundry to variously facilitate access to its suite of BI products to users of each of the respective cloud platforms as follows:
• In January, Jaspersoft announced a partnership with Red Hat to integrate its BI solution on Red Hat’s OpenShift PaaS platform. The partnership empowers developers seeking to add reporting and analytics functionality to their applications to seamlessly integrate Jaspersoft’s BI suite, complete with its support for Big Data platforms such as MongoDB.
• In April, Jaspersoft teamed with Amazon Web Services to offer JasperReports Server Community Edition on the Amazon Web Services marketplace. The agreement means that developers building applications on IaaS and PaaS platforms hosted on the Amazon Web Services infrastructure can integrate an open source version of Jaspersoft into their applications with a few clicks of the mouse.
• In May, Jaspersoft announced an agreement with VMware’s Cloud Foundry to integrate its BI platform with the Cloud Foundry PaaS. The deal features the integration of an open source version of Jaspersoft with Cloud Foundry that supports both MySQL and big data infrastructures such as MongoDB.
The business development strategy behind each of these deals is relatively transparent: streamline the access had by developers to Jaspersoft with the goal of making Jaspersoft the default choice of a BI application for developers building applications in the cloud. Jaspersoft’s Karl Van den Bergh, Vice President of Product and Alliances, elaborated on Jaspersoft’s cloud business development strategy in a conversation with Cloud Computing Today as follows:
We are currently running BI for PaaS in RedHat’s OpenShift and VMware’s CloudFoundry. However, we have always been a vendor-agnostic company and plan to pair with other PaaS vendors in the future to provide developers with a wide variety of options for developing applications in the cloud. Our strategy is to become the de facto BI service inside of PaaS so that any developer building cloud applications will use Jaspersoft to deliver reporting and analytics to their end users. Today, we are focused primarily on developer mindshare, which is why we are making our open source server available for free. Later, we will look to monetize as the PaaS offerings themselves move to commercial offerings.
Van den Bergh notes that PaaS represents the target business development platform of choice for Jaspersoft and that the broader strategy consists of becoming the “de facto BI Service inside of PaaS.” Currently, Jaspersoft’s main focus consists of capturing “developer mindshare” through the dissemination of open source offerings that can be commercialized as the relationships between users and Jaspersoft deepens.
Jaspersoft’s targeting of PaaS constitutes an astute business development strategy for two reasons: (1) PaaS lies “on the cusp of several years of strategic growth, leading to innovation and likely breakthroughs in technology and business use of all of cloud computing” according to Gartner and other industry analysts such as the 451 Group; (2) Platform as a Service represents a logical infrastructure for the seeding of BI software simply because the application will effectively become just another appendage to the PaaS infrastructure: in other words, in addition to a pre-configured stack for Java or Ruby on Rails, the stack now comes loaded with Jaspersoft as well. The key question for Jaspersoft in the next few months will be how many other PaaS and IaaS deals it can finalize in order to bolster its argument as the de facto PaaS BI vendor of choice. The other question concerns the business development acumen of competitors like Business Objects, Cognos, Information Builders and MicroStrategy that are likely to start crashing the Jaspersoft PaaS party in the latter half of 2012.
In an effort to gain market share in the Platform as a Service cloud computing space, Jaspersoft announced it had reached an agreement with Red Hat to bundle its community edition for free with Red Hat’s PaaS OpenShift. Jaspersoft’s availability within the OpenShift platform is intended to entice developers and administrators to embed Jaspersoft business intelligence analytics into their applications. Developers who progress from the free, community Jaspersoft edition to a subscription version will be able to migrate all of the code used in the community version. Karl Van den Bergh, Jaspersoft’s Vice President of Product and Alliances, noted that Jaspersoft’s integration with Red Hat constitutes the “first of several [partnerships] that demonstrates our leadership in BI for PaaS.” Jaspersoft’s strategic alliance with Red Hat’s OpenShift PaaS platform illustrates an emerging sub-market within the cloud computing space separate from cloud security, namely, business intelligence applications integrated with PaaS or IaaS cloud offerings. Gooddata, for example, offers BI development capabilities within the Amazon Web Services environment. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Jaspersoft is additionally targeting VMware’s Cloud Foundry as a possible seeding ground for its BI software as well as Salesforce.com’s Heroku.
The PaaS market currently features products such as OpenShift (Red Hat), Cloud Foundry (VMware), CloudSwing (OpenLogic), Engine Yard Cloud (Engine Yard), Heroku (Salesforce), Azure (Microsoft), Google App Engine (Google), Cumulogic PaaS (CumuLogic), dotCloud, and Appfog. Although PaaS revenues are currently miniscule in comparison to IaaS, the market is expected to grow rapidly in the next five to ten years from Gartner’s projection of $707.4 million in 2011 PaaS revenues.