Why Read This
Comparing open source BI technologies is often an apples-to-oranges comparison: 1) not all vendors include the same functionality in the free community versions of the software versus commercial open source versions that carry license and/or support cost, 2) some tools offer full BI suites, while others offer just reporting and analytics. However, by rolling up the scores to high-level aggregates, providing customizable weights to each evaluation criteria, and drawing a clear distinction between community and commercial editions, we have achieved as close to an apples-to-apples comparison as possible. Using this approach for Forrester's 157-criteria evaluation of open source BI vendors, we found that Actuate BIRT led the pack because of richness of reporting functionality. Jaspersoft Enterprise, SpagoBI, Pentaho Enterprise, and Pentaho Community are close behind and also offer much fuller and broader BI stack than Actuate BIRT, including extract, transform, and load (ETL) and advanced analytics functionality. The community versions of BIRT and Jaspersoft mostly offer individual BI components that can be used for embedding BI functionality into applications, but these frameworks are yet not enterprise-grade fully functional BI platforms or suites.