Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Actuate-Eclipse Union To Shed New Light On Business Reporting

Actuate-Eclipse Union To Shed New Light On Business Reporting

Business intelligence software vendor Actuate Tuesday said it has teamed with the Eclipse Foundation on a project to build an open-source business reporting tool.

Actuate, South San Francisco, joined Eclipse, the open-source tools group spun off from IBM earlier this year, as a strategic developer and board member.

As part of its membership, Actuate will act as the lead on the new Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) project, the goal of which is to build a business reporting tool on the open-source Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE), said Mark Coggins, senior vice president of engineering at Actuate. Actuate will contribute at least seven engineers to work on BIRT, a requirement of strategic developer membership with Eclipse.

BIRT was published for community review Tuesday and is now in a 30-day review cycle, during which community members can provide feedback on the project, Coggins said. By Sept. 24, the project should be accepted by Eclipse and a charter for the project announced. At that point developers on the project will begin building the BIRT tool, he said.

Once complete, BIRT will provide developers with a free, open-source tool that can enable J2EE applications with built-in business-reporting capability, Coggins said. BIRT also will add business-reporting capability to the Eclipse open-source IDE, a popular development framework that racks up about 10,000 downloads a day from the eclipse.org Web site, according to the Eclipse Foundation.

Joe Lindsay, CTO with Costa Mesa, Calif.-based solution provider eBuilt, said if BIRT achieves what Actuate and Eclipse are planning, it "could be really cool."

"I used Actuate [in the past] and found their product an innovative reporting solution, and they are well qualified to help deliver what Eclipse BIRT promises," Lindsay said.

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