Jaspersoft, a leading provider of business intelligence (BI) solutions, just announced the inclusion of iPad support in its latest release of Business Intelligence Suite 4.2. The new software development kit (SDK) geared towards Apple’s iOS operating system is the highlight of the 4.2 release, and it puts Jaspersoft in the same boat as other companies such as Information Builders, Oracle, and SAS Institute who have decided to add support for Apple’s popular tablet device in 2011.
According to Jaspersoft, the new iOS SDK gives developers a solid platform to create native iPad BI software. Users can also call on Business Intelligence Suite 4.2 to deploy a mobile BI solution quickly thanks to the browser-based iPad compatibility it offers. Such as feature works well for those who do not require the improved power and responsiveness that is often associated with native development. Other features touted by Jaspersoft in the new release include enhanced ad-hoc reporting and its variety of data visualization options, new representational state transfer (REST) APIs, an Objective-C SDK that improves efficiency, a sample native iPhone application, and more.
Jaspersoft operates in a similar fashion to other commercial open-source vendors as it profits from the sale of premium add-ons to its core software. In addition, the company earns revenue through the sale of support subscriptions for its products. Although Jaspersoft does claim that it holds the distinction of having the most widely used BI software on a global scale, it does have its weaknesses. According to Boris Evelson, an analyst with Forrester Research, Jaspersoft needed to improve the integration and cohesion between its numerous modules. Evelson did praise Jaspersoft, however, saying, “they've always realized that, and have been doing a pretty good job at closing all of the gaps.”
As for Jaspersoft’s move to add iPad support, Evelson noted that it was an inevitable one considering the popularity of the device. Tablets such as the iPad are seen as the wave of the future thanks to their touch interfaces and displays that offer improved real estate over smartphones, which result in a better user experience. “There is no question that mobile BI is hot and the iPad is the de facto standard device, so pretty much every single BI vendor has something and if they don't, they will shortly,” said Evelson.
iPhone 5 Release Could Help Apple Regain Top Spot in Smartphone Race
Recent data released from Nielsen indicates that life is good for Google’s Android operating system at the moment. The research company reported that of the consumers who purchased a smartphone in the last three months, 56 percent made Android their platform of choice. While the current smartphone market is certainly Android-friendly, that could change once Apple debuts the iPhone 5.
It does not take any complicated formula to predict Apple’s future success after the iPhone 5’s release, as the smartphone has definitely made a name for itself and acquired many loyal customers along the way. Still, Nielsen warns that bullish predictions for Apple should be tapered, as the behaviors of those who recently acquired smartphones usually tell the real story of where the market is headed.
Rumors have been swirling around the industry as to when Apple will offer more concrete information on the iPhone 5. Right now, October 4 appears to be Apple’s date of choice. When the press conference does take place, it should help boost Apple’s numbers considerably. Nielsen noted in that Apple’s sales usually increase after it releases a new iPhone or makes the product available on a new carrier. With just 28 percent of new smartphone buyers in the last three months choosing the iPhone, such an announcement is sure to provide a much-needed boost.
Nielsen also released its current overall smartphone market share standings. Approximately 43 percent of smartphone owners have Android devices, with Apple and RIM BlackBerry coming in second and third place with 28 percent and 18 percent, respectively. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 falls into Nielsen’s “other” category, and trails far behind the top three. Trends show that BlackBerry continues to slide as its competitors pick up steam. As for Windows Phone 7, many analysts believe it has a bright future, even when taking its current lackluster performance into consideration. Microsoft’s deal with Nokia is just one reason for optimism, and IDC predicts that Windows Phone could take Apple’s number two spot in the smartphone hierarchy by 2015, right behind Android.
As consumers continue to move towards smartphones and away from traditional feature phones, competition for larger pieces of the smartphone pie should intensify. Apple’s potential with the iPhone 5 is particularly intriguing, and it also remains to be seen if Microsoft can make a strong move to make Windows Phone 7 a force to be reckoned with.