Jaspersoft BI suite gets more interactive

Jaspersoft 4.7 offers greater self-service capabilities, as well as built in connectivity to MongoDB

The newly updated version of the open source Jaspersoft business intelligence suite offers end users more controls on how they can format reports and dashboards, including the ability to filter results and remove unnecessary columns.

"Ultimately, we want to get casual BI users more self-sufficient with their data," said Mike Boyarski, director of Jaspersoft product marketing. "This capability is great for IT people who want to get out of the business of writing reports again and again."

Jaspersoft 4.7 also comes with built in connectivity to the MongoDB data store and, for end users, the Android mobile clients.

The software is most widely used for generating reports and dashboards, so Jaspersoft is focusing on making these capabilities easier to use, Boyarski said. Former versions offered basic interactive tools such as the ability to drill down to a new level of information, and the ability to change tags on charts. The new version also offers the ability to filter data on the fly, as well as remove and reorder columns. Once the end user sets up these preferences, updates to the report will flow into this format.

"It's almost like an Excel experience, but one using live data," Boyarski said. This release also allows administrators can also schedule Jaspersoft to generate reports on regular intervals.

This release features built-in connectivity to MongoDB, so the data store can be tapped without the need for an ETL (extract, transform and load) tool. Jaspersoft automatically detects data fields in a MongoDB instance, which then can be accessed from the report building tool.

"Many of these new data engines are not SQL based, so it is hard for traditional tools to connect with them," Boyarski said. The company has offered stand-alone connectors for other nonSQL data sources such as Cassandra and the Hadoop data processing platform. The MongoDB connector however has been built in to the suite because MongoDB is so widely used by Jaspersoft's user base, Boyarski said.

With Android support, Jaspersoft provides client software that can be used to download and view reports. The software also exposes an API (application programming interface) for developers to connect their own Android apps to Jaspersoft as well.

The basic open source version of Jaspersoft is available for no cost under a GPL public license. The paid version, with commercial support and additional features, starts at $10,000 for a single CPU, for unlimited users. Jaspersoft estimates that about 175,000 copies of its BI software are used in production duties. The company has about 2,000 paid customers.

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

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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