Open Source Decision Time for Pentaho BI

Posted by Seth Grimes
Monday, October 12, 2009
5:21 PM

Companies adapt their business models to changing business conditions and emerging opportunities. For BI software publisher Pentaho, the demise of as-a-service BI provider LucidEra created an opportunity that was too good to pass up. LucidEra’s Clearview interface, acquired and rebranded Pentaho Analyzer, fills a product-line gap by providing pivot analysis for non-technical business users. That this centerpiece Enterprise Edition component was not and is not open source invites a question. Is Pentaho, founded as a “commercial open source” BI vendor, still defined by open source? Pentaho itself seems unsure.

Pentaho’s brand of commercial open source involves devoting professional resources to shepherd community developed of core BI components: the Mondrian OLAP server, the JPivot JSP (Java Server Page) tag library, JFreeReports, Kettle ETL, etc. The company has built a number of open source elements such as a workflow engine and infrastructure services that bind these components into a suite, available as an open source Community Edition, and has supplemented these tools with additional, closed source components in a commercially licensed Enterprise Edition.

Analyst Merv Adrian characterizes Pentaho as “open core,” which seems like a very apt description. The Pentaho BI Suite’s basic components are open source, and non-open source elements are based on open standards. Neither reliance on an open core nor past exclusive use of open source components, however, is not sufficient for Pentaho to continue to call itself, at this juncture, a “commercial open source” company.

Pentaho, the company, seems itself of two minds about its status.

The main page of Pentaho’s Web site contains only two uses of the words “open source.” The first, “open source business intelligence,” is in the company logo. The other is in a bullet point, “Find out why commercial open source BI from Pentaho is changing the IT landscape.” This limited usage is justified. Pentaho does, after all, commercially develop and support open-source BI, which is indeed changing the IT landscape by lowering the cost of BI, even if the company is apparently increasingly making money from closed source technology to the point where its product pages are careful in how they use the term “open source.”

Further, Julian Hyde’s Pentaho Analyzer blog article — Julian founded the Mondrian project and works part-time for Pentaho — seems to acknowledge the evolution of Pentaho’s self conception: “Releasing ClearView as part of Enterprise Edition is perfectly in sync with Pentaho’s business model.” The Pentaho BI Suite used to be all-open source; today, software that “puts Pentaho at the top of the heap, in competition with best-of-breed” is not.

By contrast, I found Pentaho’s Clearview-acquisition announcement to be confused even though deception certainly wasn’t the company’s intent. The press release is titled “Open Source BI Leader Expands SaaS-Ready Product Portfolio, Adds Best-in-Class Business User Analytics.” It couples “open source BI” with the new tool, which is inappropriate in this instance. Similarly, the release’s first sentence describes the company as “the commercial open source alternative for business intelligence (BI),” which is not false but is again contextually inappropriate.

You have to understand code words: “enterprise edition” means a closed-source (and also supported) extension of core open-source tools. I do, but does Joann Reader of any of the many articles spun out of the press release? It’s not until the fifth PR paragraph — the second from last sentence of the PR — that we learn that Analyzer will be available for “existing and new subscription customers,” and the one example I have looked at shows that not every trade-press reporter notes details that appear that far down in the text.

Doesn’t this instance of the “commercial open source” formulation confuse rather than inform?

The body of the Pentaho press release uses “open source” four times. It even includes an analyst quotation from the estimable Claudia Imhoff, “Attractive, intuitive business user interfaces are as mandatory in open source BI as they are in other forms of BI.” Yet this quotation isn’t apt, is it, given that this particular “intuitive business user interface” isn’t open source BI?

The boilerplate About Pentaho Corporation PR footer, in a release about a “strategic,” closed source component, uses “open source” three more times.

I believe that this confusion doesn’t help the market understand Pentaho and also that it is not necessary. Last March, I wrote that “OS-BI capabilities, reliability, and support have matured. Commercial OS-BI vendors now compete with BI market leaders.” This statement is just as true for Pentaho as an “open core” vendor that offers customers both lower baseline costs due to reliance on free, open-source components and also high-value, strategic, enterprise software tools such as Analyzer.

EnterpriseDB made the jump early last year and now calls itself “the leading provider of enterprise-class products and services.” The company clearly believes that product and service quality matter more to customers than the open-source status of the PostgreSQL DBMS that the company builds on. EnterpriseDB was on the same confusing path that Pentaho is now on but has clarified its messaging and appears to be thriving.

Pentaho thrived as a commercial open source BI vendor and will do well as a core-open BI vendor, even more when the company unifies its messaging to reinforce, rather than the company’s product origins, today’s enterprise-ready capabilities.

I plan to post more on this topic in a subsequent blog article.

Modification, October 13, 8:14 AM: I modified “still an open source company” to “still defined by open source?,” which is closer to what I intended to ask. The word “defined” isn’t perfect here. The word I really want is a combination of (best) “defined,” “constrained,” “distinguished,” “described,” maybe like the French “cerner.”

GroundWork Open Source Releases GroundWork Monitor 6.0 | Press

New JBoss Portal, Customized Dashboard Builder and Seurat View Raise Commentary From Leading Industry Analysts

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– GroundWork Open Source, Inc. (GWOS,, the leader in commercial open source systems and network management software, today announced the general availability of GroundWork Monitor 6.0.

The new GroundWork Monitor 6.0 is a sleeker, easier-to-use application, with a completely revamped user interface based on JBoss Portal and includes a powerful dashboard builder for both Community Edition users and Enterprise subscribers.

Cameron Haight, research VP for Gartner, commented, “The folks at GroundWork Open Source are going to include what they call a ‘Seurat View’ in version 6.0 of their GroundWork Monitor…they’re onto clearly one of the problems in today’s increasingly virtual environments and that is how can we display information in a meaningful way for a large number of managed objects? Traditional tree- and topology-style views just don’t seem appropriate for a dynamic, virtual environment, let along one that may soon expand into the cloud world.”

“Large enterprise deployments make up 49 percent of GWOS’s customer base, making it imperative for our software to fit the demands for large, heterogeneous environments,” said Simon Bennett, senior director of product management. “The newest version of GroundWork Monitor supports a wider variety of user roles and allows for easy integration with the entire enterprise ecosystem.”

Version 6.0 updates all versions of the GroundWork Monitor product family, from the free GroundWork Monitor Community Edition to the subscription-based GroundWork Monitor Enterprise product. GroundWork Monitor 6.0 offers:

Advanced security and customization — New user interface based on JBoss Portal enables fine-grained, role-based access controls and a high level of customization.

Increased productivity and quick troubleshooting — Redesigned Status Viewer based on customer feedback, provides availability and performance data in a single view – aiding troubleshooting and reducing time needed to investigate issues.

Enhanced tools for large deployments — Embedded, context-sensitive event console for accessing performance, status and event information in one view; and “Seurat View” to access the status of hundreds of hosts and services performance.

Tailor–made monitoring — Easily create and tailor as many personal and role-based dashboards for any specific need.

Quick migration and easier integration — Technical changes provide new extension points, new APIs, and tight integration with authentication systems as well as assuring fast migration from Nagios and earlier versions of GroundWork Monitor.

GroundWork Monitor 6.0 provides developer reference material, documentation, and sample code to help extend the platform. Download developer documents including an SDK with example code via the new 6.0 GroundWork Developer’s Portal:

To learn more about what’s new GroundWork Monitor 6.0 please visit:

About GroundWork Open Source (GWOS)

San Francisco-based GWOS ( is the market leader in commercial open source network and systems management software, delivering enterprise-class network, system and application management solutions at a fraction of the cost of proprietary solutions.

GWOS’s best of breed approach gives customers the flexibility to use diverse open source and proprietary technologies together under a unified interface, allowing users to leverage the advantages of open source while simultaneously preserving existing investments in legacy management tools. GWOS’s solutions are in use at organizations like Crocs, National Australia Bank, Siemens, Travel Click and World Bank.


TYPO3 is a free Open Source content management system for enterprise purposes on the web and in intranets. It offers full flexibility and extendability while featuring an accomplished set of ready-made interfaces, functions and modules

The TYPO3 Association has released a new version of their very successful open source project. TYPO3 has been downloaded over 3.000.000 times from which makes it one of the World’s leading Enterprise Open Source products.

 The main focus of the new 4.2 version is improving usability, but there are also many enhancements for system administrators and developers. Including bug fixes, there are nearly 650 enhancements in TYPO3 4.2.
Read more…

Discover Nucleus CMS

Nucleus v3.41 Released

The Nucleus CMS core development team has released Nucleus CMS v3.41. This release fixes a bug in the configuration variables and has reordered English languages files to ease the translation. All changes can be found in the history of the included documentation (an online version can be found here).

There are no security updates in this release so that you have not to hurry up. But we recommend to update so that your blog software is up to date and work with all plugins.

March 16, 2009 – Permalink

2 May 8 Popular Open Source Forums

* – phpBB is one of the most popular forum softwares. With phpBB you can customize with mods and you can stylize your forum. For a fully Modded phpBB forum with about 500 different mods that all have been fully tested click here.
* – Vanilla is a lightweight open source forum that was developed by Mark O’Sullivan using PHP and MySQL. Vanilla comes loaded with extensions, and you can customize the forum with your own add-ons.
* – YetAnotherForum.NET is a Open Source forum or bulletin board for web sites running ASP.NET. YetAnotherForum.NET is fully coded in C# ASP.Net and uses Microsoft SQL Server. It comes with all the standard forum features and even WYSIWYG editors.
* – YaBB is an Open Source forum system (bulletin board, message board) written in Perl. This system is the first and most popular open-source perl forum software and it runs very fast.
* – IceBB is an open-source forum solution powered by PHP and MySQL. IceBB is written with the prototype and scriptaculous frameworks and the code output is very clean. IceBB has mostly all the same features as some of the paid forums but it even has an RSS feed.
* – WP-Forum is a simple discussion forum plugin for WordPress. It has three themes that you can choose from and is a simple solution if you have a WordPress powered site.
* – miniBB is an open source message board script written in PHP. miniBB is a lightweight and compact alternative to phpBB. With miniBB you can customize the software with add-ons and it is Search Engine Optimized.
* – SMF is a free professional grade forum software that actually isn’t open source. SMF has loads of features with a great community and tons of free modifications.

If you know of any more Open Source Forums then please comment below. Thanks!!!

Popularity: 100%

CMS Toolbox: 80+ Open Source Content Management Systems


CMS Toolbox: 80+ Open Source Content Management Systems


A content management system, or CMS, is the easiest way to get a content driven site up and running fast. Frequently, they’re also used for building social networks. We’ve rounded up more than 80 popular CMSs due to reader requests. For the sake of brevity, we haven’t delved too deeply into CMSs for personal blogging or wikis (although we recommend WordPress and Mediawiki, respectively).

Editor’s note: Selecting a CMS is about selecting the right tool for the job. However, the most highly recommended general purpose CMSs tend to be Drupal and Joomla. We welcome your own recommendations and experiences in the comments.

Joomla – popular, award-winning CMS that will help you build powerful online applications.

XOOPS – extensible, easy to use; ideal tool for developing small to large dynamic community websites, blogs, portals and much more.

Drupal – equipped with a powerful blend of features, rich set of modules, very popular.

e107 – totally customizable content management system written in PHP using MySQL database.

Plone – ready-to-run, easy to set up, extremely flexible, and ideal for project groups, communities, websites, extranets and intranets.

Zope – an open source application server for building content management systems, intranets, portals, and custom applications.

PHPnuke – established CMS featuring web-based administration, surveys, customizable blocks, modules and themes with multilanguage support.

Dotnetnuke – port of PHPNuke into Microsoft .NET platform.

Typo3 – flexible and extensible CMS with an accomplished set of ready-made interfaces, functions and modules.

PostNuke – fork of PHP-Nuke to make it more secure, stable, and able to work in high-volume environments with ease.

SyntaxCMS – simplify publishing , create and edit site content online, and approve it before publishing to the web.

jLibrary is a DMS (Document Management System), oriented for personal and enterprise use.

V2 CMS – simple CMS, easy to install and modify.

Website Baker – PHP-based CMS designed to make website creation easy.

Jahia – use the Jahia community edition for publishing, managing files, and workflow.

eZPublish – created by eZ Systems, which has a team of professional software developers responsible for creating and maintaining the CMS.

Magnolia – makes Enterprise Content Management simple by being user-friendly, battle-tested, enterprise-ready and open-source.

WebGUI – built to give average business users the ability to build and maintain complex web sites.

OpenCMS – helps content managers worldwide to create and maintain beautiful websites fast and efficiently.

PHP-Fusion – a lightweight, small and versatile CMS.

Collaborative Portal Server (CPS) – most complete platform for building Enterprise Content Management applications, built on top of the Zope application server.

SiteFrame™ – lightweight content-management system designed for the rapid deployment of community-based websites.

TribalCMS – includes multilanguage support, template architectures, AJAX User Interfaces and unique administration.

Xaraya – create sophisticated web applications; designers enjoy considerable flexibility.

Krang – designed to publish magazine websites.

MMBase – CMS with strong multi media features and advanced portal functionalities.

Pligg – based on Menéame (Spanish Digg clone), Pligg enables you to create Digg-like sites.

elevateIT – an extension of ZOPE/Plone server.

Cofax – manages your text and multimedia content, and simplifies the presentation of newspapers.

DBPrism – first open source CMS based on Oracle XMLDB repository.

Flux CMS – XML/XSLT based, easy to use, extensible and suitable for developers to fill specific needs.

Apache Lenya – Java/XML based CMS that comes with revision control, multi-site management, scheduling, and workflow.

Rubricks – CMS for Ruby on Rails fans, boasts simplicity and speed.

Silva – built on top of Zope, enables you to export to Word, stream media, store content as XML, and manage hierarchical and traditional websites.

YACS – build your online blogging communities.

Clever Copy – A scalable website portal and news posting system.

Fundanemt – focused on usability and aimed at small and medium sized websites.

Dragonfly CMS – feature-rich open source content management system, based on PHP-Nuke 6.

ContentNOW – simple to use, flexible, multilanguage, modular CMS.

Bitweaver – suitable for large-scale community websites and corporate applications.

Elxis CMS – professional free open source CMS released under the GNU/GPL license.

Etomite – allows you to remotely administer your website from anywhere.

fuzzylime – simple way for you to run your site and keep it up-to-date.

iGaming CMS – build your own gaming websites.

MODx – CMS that helps you take control of your online content.

PHP comasy – simple, multilingual and fast content management system.

Mambo – very well-known CMS. Can be used for everything from simple websites to complex corporate applications.

Jupiter – one
of the most lightweight portal systems available.

Ovidentia – integrate an environment for publishing content on the www or a groupware portal.

Jaws – build your own modules on the powerful Jaws framework.

Geeklog – out of the box blog solution with support for comments, trackbacks, multiple syndication formats, and spam protection.

CMS Made Simple – make a home page for your family or your multinational corporation.

Eazy portal – solution allowing you to maintain your own online community.

Papoo – accessible content management system

phpWebSite – develop an interactive, community-driven website.

RunCms – portal system that includes most things a webmaster would expect from a CMS.

Exponent – allows site owners to easily create and manage dynamic websites without necessarily directly coding web pages, or managing site navigation.

SPIP – publishing system, use it freely for your own site, be it personal, co-operative, institutional or commercial.

Silverstripe – powerful enough for any website or intranet design and simple enough for anyone to use.

Pheap – created for folks who don’t like complex CMSs like Joomla and Drupal.

MDPro – an innovative and imaginative content management system.

TYPOlight webCMS – specializes in accessibility and uses XHTML and CSS to generate W3C/WAI compliant pages.

PlumeCMS – have multiple websites, multiple authors with different rights.

Xepient Open-Point – create a professional website quickly through the browser.

SlashCode – the original code for the Slashdot geek news service.

YaWPS – is a hybrid between a content management system and a web portal for medium or small-sized websites.

APC ActionApps – allow authorized users to easily update the content of their website.

Pagetool – suitable for people with limited technical skills to modify and contribute to an organization’s web site

OpenACS – toolkit for building scalable, community-oriented web applications.

ttCMS – build your community website with calendars, surveys, member management and authentication, file downloads, forum, articles, and announcements.

MySource – enables technically unskilled users to build and maintain their own web solutions.

Ariadne – web application server and content management system.

Mason CM – makes it easy to manage the workflow of information as it moves from staging to the live site.

Managee – comprehensive web based CMS.

ESY Web Builder – an intuitive content management system that allows non-technical people to create and manage websites and extranets.

PHProjekt – a groupware suite, for the coordination of group activities and to share information and documents via intranet and internet.

PROPS – extensible publishing system designed specifically for periodicals such as newspapers and magazines

Midgard CMS – internationalized set of tools for building web sites and networked applications.

Pivot – web-based tool to help you maintain dynamic sites, like weblogs or online journals.