More than 30,000 BI developers have registered for JasperForge.org since it was launched in July of 2006, creating a vibrant ecosystem of businesses and community developers that has already produced over 130 BI projects.
JasperForge.org is an online developer site that provides free access to software and tools to build, deploy, and extend open source BI software. Projects range from developer tools to integration toolkits to localization powered by an interactive online translation tool, JasperBabylon, where more than 30 different translation projects are underway. Some of the more popular JasperForge.org projects include the Drupal Bridge for JasperReports, iReport with Hibernate, Oracle Stored Procedures, Reporting and OLAP Analysis Tools for Bugzilla, and Jasper4Eclipse, an iReport plug-in project for eclipse.
“The rapid growth of JasperForge.org shows that open source BI provides unique value that goes beyond what proprietary BI solutions can deliver,” said Tim Cloonan, director of community relations at JasperSoft. “In JasperForge.org, we see both commercial businesses and independent community developers taking advantage of our free project hosting services to build solutions for their specific problems. The solutions are rapidly built with community support without having to wait for large proprietary software companies to understand and evaluate how to best address the needs of both groups.”
Reflecting the breadth and range of the Jasper community are projects from Cincom, a large software and services company, and John Bindel, a software developer who independently developed better file virtualization capabilities for JasperReports.
Cincom, a privately held software and services company based in Cincinnati, Ohio, with annual revenues exceeding $150 million, joined the open source BI community on JasperForge.org in order to increase the value of BI and reporting software they offer to their customer base.
Cincom developed extensions to JasperSoft products to increase the capabilities of its products that access mainframe data. Cincom integrated the waRehouse Explorer tool with the iReport IDE to enable querying multidimensional data sources. They also helped with the implementation of the XMLA protocol and support of PostgeSQL for JasperAnalysis.
“JasperSoft encourages cooperative business development to extend JasperSoft products for specific needs,” said Jeff Gunderson, engineering manager for database products at Cincom. “The collaborative environment at JasperForge.org combined with the strong open source community cooperation at JasperSoft enabled us to contribute code to projects to give us support for data sources and databases that met our specific requirements.”
John Bindel, a software developer for Works Inc., which is now part of Bank of America, contributed to the open source BI community at JasperForge in order to increase the scalability of the JasperReports library.
Bindel started development work when he noticed limitations on very large report size during an evaluation of JasperReports. Bindel’s work with file virtualization and in-memory compression enables very large reports to be created rapidly with JasperReports. Thanks to Bindel, the reports generated in the Adobe PDF format are now limited only by the amount of disk space available.
“JasperReports is a great example of what open source development can produce — a high-performance reporting library that can effectively compete in functionality with more expensive proprietary offerings,” said Bindel. “When I started to work with the project lead, Teodor Danciu, JasperReports could already generate PDF files quite well, but I saw that it could benefit from support for arbitrarily large files. I wrote a multiple file virtualizer as part of my evaluation and later added the GZip compression virtualizer. Freely giving my work back to the community was absolutely the natural and proper thing for me to do.”
The rapid success of JasperForge.org is an outgrowth of JasperSoft’s pioneering work in applying a commercial open source business model to BI solutions. By nurturing the growth of a wide range of freely-available open source BI projects, JasperSoft increases the value of its JasperSoft BI Suite. Thanks to the community, more than two million copies of JasperSoft’s core BI products have been downloaded. This has enabled the development of a robust business in offering commercial products and services that bring increased value to customers looking for enterprise-class product features, support, and certification.