Monday, September 13, 2010

Open Source Reporting Comparison - BIRT vs. Pentaho vs. Jasper

This is a post by Scott Rosenbaum of Innovent Solutions. It does not necessarily reflect the view of any of the other BIRT project members.

One of the things that I often get asked is how does BIRT compare to BrandX? For the last six years, I have been creating solutions using BIRT, so the easy answer would be just use BIRT. Unfortunately it is not that simple.
Innovent Solutions' corporate goal is Enabling Intelligent Decisions® and we use a variety of commercial and open source tools to achieve that goal. Over the last fifteen years, experience has taught us:

  • Analysis, communication, and project management are the keys to BI and reporting success
  • Any sufficiently mature technology can be successful in the right situation 
So how does BIRT compare to BrandX? requires a bit more than just use BIRT. Most of the answer depends on the business issue that we are trying to solve. But we also have to evaluate if BrandX has reached the point of being sufficiently mature.
Over the last three years three open source business intelligence and reporting projects have emerged as leaders. BIRT, JasperReports, and Pentaho dominate the open source business intelligence and reporting space. In my opinion, BIRT reached the minimum maturity level with its 2.2 release in 2007, since then the product has continued to mature through three annual releases (2.3, 2.5, 2.6).
So what about Jasper and Pentaho, how do their features compare to BIRT, and are they sufficiently mature? In an effort to come up with a better answer, Innovent Solutions has conducted a product comparison of the open source report development tools from each project. 
The full evaluation is available on the the Innovent Solutions web site (free, no registration). The starting point for the product comparison can be found at Product Comparison Overview. If you are interested in specific comparisons, we have one for BIRT versus Jasper and another for BIRT versus Pentaho. We also created a side by side feature comparison the Open Source Comparison Matrix (BIRT, Jasper, Pentaho).
NOTE: I would love to hear what you think of the Innovent comparison, but I would like to keep the focus of this blog on BIRT. For this reason I have turned off comments for this post. Comments about the comparison should be made from the Product Comparison Overiew page on the Innovent Solutions web site.