There were so many numbers in my introductory call with Jaspersoft that I’ve split them out in a separate post. With that out of the way, here’s what’s really going on, per Nick Halsey.
The Jaspersoft Business Intelligence Suite is BI technology designed to be integrated with operational apps. Thus, Jaspersoft says that operational BI is the core of its business. In particular:
- Jaspersoft has what it feels is a reasonably full range of query, reporting, OLAP, and dashboarding capabilities. These can be used like any other BI tools.
- Query and reporting are the main uses. OLAP has a 30% “attach rate.”
- However, the base-case Jaspersoft use is to have reports, charts, or whatever pop up at the right place in operational applications.
- I’m not sure how hard-core transactional these operational apps tend to be. The examples Nick gave me were:
- SaaS for retailers, running next to Point-of-Sale data.
- Adding value to industry data. (Also a kind of analytic SaaS, I think.)
- Checking bookings for a convention center authority.
- Foreign exchange trading (which can mean anything, but probably has transactions closely connected).
- Closed-loop operational BI, in which analytics directly drives automated behavior – and associated buzzonyms like BPM or BAM — are much more of a future for Jaspersoft than a present capability. (If that.)
- As might be expected from this focus, Jaspersoft products typically run against production databases rather than data warehouses. However, Jaspersoft has been known to partner with the occasional analytic DBMS vendor.
- And as might be expected from that focus, Jaspersoft is strongest in mid-sized enterprises and departments.
- Jaspersoft’s products are designed to be modular and embed-friendly. In a first, non-technical call, I didn’t probe for details as to what this embed-friendliness entails.
- The Jaspersoft metadata abstraction layer is based on Hibernate. It allows data from multiple sources to be joined in single queries.
- You can do business with Jaspersoft in the usual open source range of ways.
- You can download Jaspersoft’s Community Edition, use it, and never send any money.
- Or you can buy packaged training, per-incident support, and so on (that’s how they got up to 9000 customers)
- You can also buy a Jaspersoft Professional Edition, on subscription. You don’t get extra code that I know of, but you get QA, certifications, warranties/indemnifications, and so on. Jaspersoft has a few hundred subscribers, averaging $25K/year.
- You also need to pay if you’re an OEM, because Jaspersoft’s Community Edition is GPLed.
- Jaspersoft’s Professional Edition is on a real release cycle, to facilitate testing, while the Community Edition evolution is more controlled-chaos (and I’m just guessing about the “controlled” part).
- Somewhat over 50% of Jaspersoft code comes from inside the company, but that’s because they were founded by some community members and since have hired others.
- Some OEMs contribute code back to Jaspersoft. For example — and here’s a blast from the past – Cincom contributed TOTAL connectivity. (Cincom and its database management system TOTAL had their heyday about 30 years ago.)
By the way, I can’t tell from Jaspersoft’s website whether the spelling is Jaspersoft or JasperSoft. There are plenty of instances of each. However, “Jaspersoft” seemed to be the more recent trend.