Thursday, June 16, 2005

Eclipse takes BI down open road

From VNUNet.com

Global open-source body the Eclipse Foundation has launched its first business intelligence (BI) tool, providing Java developers with reporting functionality for embedding in enterprise applications and automating previously hand-coded reporting tasks.

Experts said that Eclipse's Business Intelligence Reporting Tools (Birt) project version 1.0 falls short of being a full-blown BI platform, but is a first step towards Eclipse offering analytical BI.

Developed in co-operation with BI specialist Actuate, Birt features a desktop authoring environment for designing reports; an engine to generate reports within Java applications; and APIs to enable the product to be integrated or extended. The program has been downloaded 9,000 times since a preview version was launched in February, according to Eclipse.

Actuate vice-president of product marketing Mike Thoma said Birt can produce reports in either HTML or PDF format within hours. "Instead of writing code for reporting tasks, developers have a tool to automatically extract data and format reports," he added. "It also creates lower cost of ownership for firms, and as it is an Eclipse standard a large pool of people will understand the technology."

Actuate has launched a Birt services package, including maintenance and legal indemnity, with an annual subscription priced from $95 (£52) per user.

Thoma said that because Actuate had written a large portion of Birt's code it could offer legal protection against patent suits.

Read complete article. . .

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