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Mark Madsen

Open source is becoming a required option for consideration in many enterprise software evaluations, and business intelligence (BI) isn't exempt. This blog is the interactive part of my Open Source expert channel for the Business Intelligence Network where you can suggest and discuss news and events. The focus is on open source as it relates to analytics, business intelligence, data integration and data warehousing. If you would like to suggest an article or link, send an e-mail to me at open_source_links@ThirdNature.net.

About the author >

Mark, President of Third Nature, is a former CTO and CIO with experience working in both IT and vendors, including a stint at a company used as a Harvard Business School case study. Over the past decade, Mark has received awards for his work in data warehousing, business intelligence and data integration from the American Productivity & Quality Center, the Smithsonian Institute and TDWI. He is co-author of Clickstream Data Warehousing and lectures and writes about data integration, business intelligence and emerging technology.


Next week I'll be doing a webcast with Paul Clenahan on the topic of how software developers and OEMs can leverage open source principles (not just open source). Paul is from Actuate (the company behind BIRT development and the BIRT Exchange).

It's not often that people talk about the community side of commercial software development. The principles behind open source, like open and modular architecture or user/developer extensibility are often ignored by commercial software firms. Some are starting to embrace the practices that have made open source successful without necessarily opening their source code. This is part of an ongoing shift in the software industry as it struggles to cope with commoditization, increased compeitiveness, and (in some sectors) the pressure from open source projects.

There is no single open source business model. There are many, and they range from relatively open to relatively closed business models. Traditional software suppliers are adjusting to the new market realities, so I expect to see more and more blending of practices. This is good and bad for open source providers, because they will lose some of the differentiation they've had in the market. It's also good and bad for the traditional vendors.

I'm eager to hear Paul's take on this as it relates to embedded reporting and operational BI, the areas BIRT is most focused on. The description of the webcast is listed below.

Using Open Source Principles to Supplement OEM Applications

Online communities have proved to be a very important and necessary part of today’s Open Source and Web 2.0 world. The concept of accessing resources, services, support and products through online sites is especially beneficial to OEMs. Through the use of an online community, OEMs can retain customers, increase adoption of their product, enable users to recommend new ideas, help developers with product support and gain awareness in the marketplace for their offerings.

Posted August 22, 2008 5:39 PM
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