FusionCharts goes OpenSource – so Pentaho Reporting can go FusionCharts

With a rather silent Blog-entry, the FusionCharts team announced that FusionCharts Free will – from now on – be opensource. The code is dual licensed under the GPL v3 as well as under the MIT license. Thanks, FusionCharts and welcome as open-source citizen.This is a great move!

One of the goals of our Sugar-release will be to make the Web-experience of our reports a lot richer. For that, we plan to finally implement image-map support and to add built-in and easy-to-use Flash-Charting capabilities. With Citrus, we already have the technical base for it, as the attribute-expressions allow you to include any kind of HTML code into the output. But manual methods are cumbersome and prone to errors, so we can certainly do better. Originally, when FusionCharts was still closed-source, we had focused our plans solely on OpenFlashCharts as provider for more interactive charts. FusionCharts was barely on our radar at that time, as including closed-source parts into a open-source solution swiftly moves you into a strange legal limbo of when and how and how much you may or may not be able to distribute the closed-source parts and what may or may not constitute a legal use of this component. For that reason, we strictly limit our open-source software to open-source components.

(Yes, we could certainly use close-source components in the Enterprise-Edition parts of the application and would be able to work out some sensible license-agreements for all the components. But Enterprise-Edition/closed-source components get no community testing (so all the burden lies on our backs) and we get no contributions from outside of Pentaho. Therefore our development cycles for this stuff are much slower and more expensive than the cycles for the open-source code. From a pure developer’s perspective, I won’t shed a single tear if all closed-source code becomes open-source.)

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About Thomas

After working as all-hands guy and lead developer on Pentaho Reporting for over an decade, I have learned a thing or two about report generation, layouting and general BI practices. I have witnessed the remarkable growth of Pentaho Reporting from a small niche product to a enterprise class Business Intelligence product. This blog documents my own perspective on Pentaho Reporting's development process and our our steps towards upcoming releases.