Open-source business intelligence application Pentaho is joining the roster of applications available via Amazon.com Inc.'s EC2 Web hosting service.
Companies will be able to "rent" the new release of Pentaho, Version 3.0, via EC2. That arrangement should lower the upfront start-up costs of using Pentaho -- though those costs were already low for its on-site version, according to Lance Walter, vice president of marketing at Orlando-based Pentaho Corp.
The on-site version of Pentaho's open-source software can be used for free, though many business customers subscribe to Pentaho support.
Pentaho is not the first "BI as a service" provider. Cambridge, Mass.-based start-up Good Data Corp. began testing a cloud-based BI service last fall. Good Data's offering is also on EC2.
Other enterprise applications available via EC2 include open-source ERP application Compiere, application servers such as JBoss, and a plethora of databases, including Oracle, MySQL and Microsoft Corp.'s SQL Server.
Other new features in Pentaho 3.0 include redesigned dashboards that incorporate Adobe Flash technology for better visuals and are now easy enough for most business end users to build themselves, said Walter.
Pentaho and JasperSoft Corp. are the two most popular vendors of open-source BI offerings. JasperSoft is backed by Linux vendor Red Hat Inc.
Pentaho's open-source community includes 40,000 registered members and, according to Walter, "hundreds of active contributors."