Right now, lots of Business Intelligence implementers and analysts are trying to choose right tools for their BI implementations. And a big percentage of these professionals are trying to figure out how open source BI tools would take the business scene and how would be its performance.
First of all, Open Source Business Intelligence Applications are, from my point of view, capable tools to build and show proofs of concepts, a key starting point for BI efforts. Additionally, most of Open Source BI Applications (OSBI Apps) can be utilized instantly by developers with no licensing costs.
Secondly, OSBI Apps Had reach an acceptable maturity level and friendly graphics users interfaces for developers, aimed by OS Integrated Development Environments efforts like Eclipse, which standardize and make little more easy developers' work. Then, a developer familiarized with Eclipse, easily can develop a wide range of applications with the same IDE, including BI Apps. Thanks JDBC connectivity, ETL programming can access virtually all databases and data repositories, allowing an easy data integration processes development.
Thirdly, OSBI Apps requires less hardware and software resources that it commercial counterparts, allowing affordable labs or development farms with cheaper servers and storage, even OS's like Linux.
Finally, OSBI apps support can be obtained commercially from OSBI big players: Pentaho, Jaspersoft, SpagoBI and Actuate offers these support services and many Consultant companies and developers offers outsourcing services based on these tools.
Depending on Business Intelligence services' demand on any organization, IT units can:
* Show projects' Proof of Concept to obtain approval from users and stakeholders.
* Start to offer Business Intelligence Applications and Services to any organizational unit or to all company using these tools.
* Upgrading and growing with these Open Source tools or migrates with minimal efforts to commercial tools.
* Mixing commercial and Open Source tools in traversed (some units with some tools, other units serviced with other tools) or layered (some layers commercial, some Open Source tools) ways.