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ERIC Number: EJ842665
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Feb-1
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1553-7544
Open for Business
Voyles, Bennett
Campus Technology, v20 n6 p26-28, 30-31 Feb 2007
People know about the Sakai Project (open source course management system); they may even know about Kuali (open source financials). So, what is the next wave in open source software? This article discusses business intelligence (BI) systems. Though open source BI may still be only a rumor in most campus IT departments, some brave early adopters have begun to experiment with these applications. These pioneers say the programs often are surprisingly good, and provide much of the functionality that the big software companies promise, at licensing fees that are an order of magnitude lower, if not altogether free. Beyond the cost advantages, higher ed users of open source BI say open source programs offer them greater flexibility and control, and they are confident that these programs will keep on improving. At first glance, the open source route might seem like a strategy that would be of interest only to minor league schools with minimal IT needs, but such large institutions as Indiana University and the University of Nebraska are very serious about open source BI, and with good reason: Open source initiatives allow their members to "share the wealth" of collective advances in development, with a great deal less effort than it would take a lone shop to develop a new module. What's more, as the community effort expands, applications become richer and more fine-tuned as they are tested, used, and improved by a growing community--actually, a "user group" with vested interests. Then too, such initiatives can free their members from what is often seen as the vendor tyranny of escalating costs, dropped features, even dropped products and support. And open source options are not as limited as one might think, even in this nascent period.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indiana; Nebraska