Jaspersoft rearchitects BI stack for the Web

Jaspersoft 4.0 anticipates greater use of BI in the cloud by making the suite more easily manageable for a wider range of admins

Anticipating greater use of BI (business intelligence) on the Web and in the cloud, Jaspersoft has rebuilt its software using a standards-based Web architecture.

"The Web is driving the new development paradigm" for business intelligence, said Brian Gentile, CEO of Jaspersoft.

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With the just-released 4.0 version of the company's eponymous software package, Jaspersoft is eschewing the typical upgrade process taken by most BI vendors, that of adding new analytical features. Instead it has focused on making its software more easily manageable for a wider range of administrators who are not BI tool specialists.

The new version "makes it easier for the developer to extend, integrate, customize, and maintain custom or specific Jaspersoft functionality," Gentile said.

By relying on Web standards, the new version of Jaspersoft should also be more portable, allowing organizations to deploy the software in-house as a service, or as part of a public-facing or internal Web application stack, Gentile said.

Version 4.0 has been reorganized into three distinct layers, each based on an open Web technology, Gentile said.

The bottom layer, where the BI engine resides, can now be extended using Java Server Pages. The middle layer, which Gentile called the event layer, can now be extended through the use of Javascript.

This middle layer is where administrators can set up workflows, such as the ability to e-mail reports if a particular metric crosses a pre-defined threshold.

The top layer, or presentation layer, has been re-rendered using HTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). The company also used CSS to redesign the software's stock user and administrator user interfaces.

While previous versions of Jaspersoft used Web technologies such as Javascript, "it wasn't consistent across the architecture," Gentile said. In order to make changes, the user would sometimes have to alter the underlying Java code directly. The company is assuming that working with JSPs, Javascript and CSS will be easier, as well as more understandable by a wide range of IT professionals

Jaspersoft estimates there are 160,000 production deployments of its open-source BI software now running, and the company has 13,500 paying customers.

The enterprise version of the software was released on Wednesday, and the free open-source community version will be available within the next few weeks, Gentile said.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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