OpenI: A complete OLAP reporting web app

  • Sandeep Giri

    Sandeep Giri - 2005-06-29

    Our company has built a complete OLAP reporting web application based on JPivot. We are not an enterprise software company, rather we deploy this application under a Software-as-a-Service model for our clients.  We want to pursue an open source development model to improve this application -- and as such, we are publishing this as an open source project under the name "OpenI" (pronounced open-eye) -- available at

    Our goal:

    * Provide a single deployable WAR application that has a complete web interface for building and publishing OLAP reports

    * Create an intuitive web interface that enables an end user (usually a business analyst) to point to an OLAP server and publish interactive reports and analyses without writing any code or MDX queries

    * Enable reporting from XMLA-based OLAP data sources, mainly Microsoft Analysis Services (Mondrian support coming soon)

    * Utilize JPivot as the underlying API and JSP tag library to connect to OLAP databases and create the data visualization

    * Provide an XML-based persistence model that retains the definitions of a report including the MDX query and visualization settings

    * Develop a clean, intuitive layout to navigate through report repositories, modify the report settings, and access popular OLAP features such as drill-down, drill-up, drill-through, filter, compare, etc.

    * Integrate the J2EE security model with OLAP data source security allowing the data source to enforce fine grained data access permissions

    * Provide easy installation with examples and documentation, so it is easy for newcomers to get the application up and running in a snap and start building reports

    * Have an open CVS repository that welcomes the community to make contribution, become committers, and get actively involved in shaping the roadmap for the application.

    You can download OpenI from (we have also applied for a sourceforge project, which should soon become available as

    With the JPivot CVS repository now becoming open, our development team will actively contribute to JPivot in improving features on JSP tag library or OLAP API level. Similarly, we plan to be active in other key open source BI component projects such as Mondrian, R, etc. We felt it was important to have OpenI as a separate project because it attempts to provide a consolidated solution instead of providing individual BI components. Still, regardless of whether you build your BI application on OpenI or on differernt combination of BI components, the key goal here is to pool our resources to build an open source BI platform that we can all leverage for our individual BI applications.

    It's about time that the "I" in BI is really about "Intelligence" and not "Infrastructure", and there is no better way to do that than commoditizing the infrastructure by way of open source.

    I would love to hear your feedback and thoughts.


    Sandeep Giri
    Project Lead,


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