So far I'm really impressed about their demo environment.
Clearly, it reveals the ambition of being a top notch BI platform - not just the umpteenth tool. It integrates virtually all of the functionalities associated with BI Projects (ETL, Reporting, Graphing, OLAP, Business Rules Integration, Bursting, Output Formatting for Excel/PDF/Web, Dashboarding) with a workflow engine (Shark) and this really offers an edge.
Pentaho claims that traditional BI usually fails because the perspective of what entails a solution to a business process is just too narrow. A typical BI solution is a product like a report or a datawarehouse - period, end of story. The people behind Pentaho take a more organic view:
- a Business Problem is a Problem that has to do with the Business Processes.
- The solution to that problem is an alteration/modification of Business Processes
- Business intelligence forms just a part of that solution - NOT the solution in itself.
- BI can play it's part more succesfull is it integrates with the business process
- Pentaho has all the facilities to implement that integration
Literally everything inside Pentaho should be coupled to a business process. To support this, it's built entirely as a Service Oriented Architecture, making it easy to integrate.
I think that taking a sophisticated view like pentaho does, really candidates this platform as a true competitor to the larger Vendors, and I'm thinking of Microsoft and Cognos. I don't think Pentaho is yet as mature, but it's got a lot going for it.
I showed it off to the managers at the office, and guess what! I can present my findings, and tell the rest of our BI unit about this. I hope I can make some waves there...