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confusing “Enterprise” open source

August 2nd, 2009 4 comments

MySQL is the free and open source database of choice but you would be hard pressed to find the free download link on the front page. You need to follow the download and the modern naming of “community edition” to lead you in the right direction. Now having seen the transformation over some time means you generally have an idea of where to find it. In the end it is only a database and one package is all you requrie, maybe to find the documentation download as well.

I have also followed along the transformation of Pentaho for BI and reporting. Again this was a lot cleare in the past in terms of finding the downloads and also understanding what each product does.  With names like:

All that said and done I was most impressed by an inital download of Mondrian and the Foodmart database for OLAP slicing and dicing of data through a simple jPivot web interface. For basic data analysis this is still my prefered method, especially when giving it to Business Analysts who may not be too comfortable with SQL queries. But from the Pentaho page how would you even expect to find these tools? confusing?

During some investigation around new tools, I thought I would take a look at Jasper reports and someone mentioned the JBoss stack of tools. Both are well known names but I must confess I have never used either of the products. First for Jasper.

Going to the site brings up a very professional looking site. Now in this case you really need to look hard to find a link to the community site. In this case there is a whole site dedicated to the open source part of the business . Either way you are stuck with a choice between

  • JasperReports
  • iReport
  • JasperServer
  • JasperAnalysis
  • JasperETL
  • JasperSoft

Ok so it is mostly in the names but which do I need to solve which problem? which play well together? where to get started and what is possible? I am stuck in the middle of having a JasperServer up and running but with no reports and the installation document talks of an installer script which will not run under Mac OSX and no manual override to bring in the reports. I am sure I will work it out at some stage but for the moment it would be much easier to give up and move onto the next candidate.

Finally I was recommended some tools from the JBoss stable. In this case there  is a community link is there and leads the user to . In this case there are a mutlitude of tools but in now way does the site help a user work out that for a given problem  Teiid is an option and in fact the right answer. In this case Teiid is a data virtualization tool that lets many data sources be represented as a single JDBC connection but try working that out when your problem is simply disperate data sources.

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