by Kaj Kandler
Simon Murphy does reflect in a recent article on how most of his recent work in spreadsheet programming has been connected to server data.
It reminded me to check up on the announced support for OpenOffice.org Calc by the Palo Spreadsheet server. Unfortunately no product announcements have been made. But it appears Jedox still pursues the idea, as they put it on the list of projects the Palo Server team wanted to apply for Google’s Summer of Code funding.
by Kaj Kandler
Sun and the OpenOffice.org community found an agreement Pentaho to integrate business intelligence features into the next release of OpenOffice.org. Pentaho has recently integrated formerly separate open source projects JFreeReport, Mondrian, Kettle, and Weka to a powerful business intelligence server complete with reporting, analysis and OLAP capabilities.
The project offers a J2EE compliant reporting server, that can connect to many data sources and integrates workflow to create and distribute important report information to the authorized people in an enterprise. The project also offers a powerful report designer based on Eclipse and is modular so it can be integrated into other applications.
Apparently, Sun has decided it will build a Report designer of its own that defines reports in Pentaho’s formats. These reports will draw data from the Pentaho business intelligence server as well as from other sources.
If you want to see how example the integration of OLAP features into an Excel spreadsheet could look like, watch the demos of Jedox Palo Server a repository and OLAP server for Excel spreadsheets. These demos cover a specific case of OLAP and Spreadsheet integration, which I think is one possible use of the OpenOffice.org Business Inteligence integration project. However, it makes the abstract term of business intelligence more concrete. By the way Palo announced at the beginning of the year that it seeks sponsors to build a spreadsheet server for OpenOffice Calc. The sponsors role is to help cover the cost of open source development and to become first users.
by Kaj Kandler
Jedox, the company behind the Palo Spreadsheet server has started to seek sponsors for supporting OpenOffice.org Calc. In an interesting marriage of open source and commercial project sponsorship, they have found pledges from an Australian Winery and some German engineering firms. However, at this point the tally stands at 6500 Euro, which is not much for a medium size software project.
The idea behind this effort is to store spread sheet data on a server and offer OLAP capability to create sophisticated reports, that can be aggregated among many dimensions, such as sales data by month, quarter, year, sales person, region, customer size, promotional costs, support costs or any combination of these. This kind of application gears towards enterprise customers who need analytical aggregation of data to support decision processes.
Palo server is an open source project and is currently only available for Microsoft Excel.