Creative vs Apple - a patent lawsuit

If you are an avid mac fan or a flamming Ipod worshipper, you've probably knew the whole story about Creative vs Apple and the much recent news, Apple vs Creative.

The dispute started about the Creative patent for a portable music device that allows searching indexed content. The content is indexed by genre, artist, album, and track. This provides a searchable, intuitive, cross-referenced database via the User Interface. It is basically a relational database patent for a music player.

Apparently the US Patent Office, just awarded Creative the patent last year which they decided to sue Apple this year.

Relational databases already existed way before the MP3 player revolution began, and in my opinion, it is imperative that this great technology will find its way to other devices - such as the case with the portable audio players.

I'm a believer of Intellectual Property. But if technology, innovation and creative thinking is hindered by having "software ideas" patented way ahead by huge companies, we should re-think again.

Gilbert on Monday, May 22, 2006 0 Comments

IBM gets Unicorn to add semantic metadata management

The Big Players (IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft) are progressively putting more of their investments in the once small industry of business intelligence and data management.

IBM just acquired Unicorn, their 18th acquisition since 2001 that are related to data management and BI. This is just to prove the point that the big players are slowly materializing their roadmap to better position their companies to have an end to end solution in data management and process.

IBM in their press release gave a nice definition of what metadata means:

Businesses need to take steps to understand the nature of their systems, processes and information sources - their structures, functions, meanings and interdependencies. This information about systems, processes and information - known as metadata - is critical to key business and technical initiatives.

Metadata is a base requirement of any SOA project. A Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), is a style of systems architecture that breaks down business applications into individual functions called services that can be mixed, matched, and reused to address various business problems. Metadata makes it easier to share services because it enables all parties to understand the meaning, structure and lineage of the information or processes being shared.

Even though they already have a metadata management tool when their acquired Ascential Metastage, this is still a good acquisition for IBM. In the last 2004 Gartner Metadata Quadrant, Unicorn was in the visionary quadrant. Ascential Metastage in that same report was not even in the quadrant because it is still limited compared with other enterprise class tools in that category.

Having the technology of Unicorn in the IBM means better positioning for their Websphere II (Information Integrator) 2007 Edition. This technology will better position WII for better handling semantic metadata management in the future releases.

Gilbert on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 0 Comments

20% use Open Source BI according to Ventana

Among organizations surveyed by Ventana Research, more than 20% had already deployed open source business intelligence. Another 19% were in development with open source BI, with an additional 43% currently considering open source BI. 11% of organizations were already deploying open source BI to 1,000 or more users, with more than 38% planning to support more than 1,000 users at full deployment. And only 4% of survey respondents indicated that they did not plan to deploy additional open source BI software.

Read the entire press release from Pentaho.

Gilbert on Monday, May 15, 2006 0 Comments

Web 2.0 and Business Intelligence

Image courtesy of Tim (O'reilly).

In the "Web 2.0 Meme Map" above, it summarizes the characteristics and some prominent examples that will best describe Web 2.0 technologies. The rich interface by Google Maps and Gmail, Wikipedia - the social encyclopedia, Blogs (like what you are reading now) are all examples of successful implementations of Web 2.0 principles.

The consumer world has been seeing a lot of emerging Web 2.0 companies, and it would not be long enough before it bridge through the enterprise world. Peter Rip has made a good analogy about the whole Web 2.0, or some might call it Enterprise 2.0.

Companies are communities. Supply chains are social networks. A customer base is a community, albeit often not interconnected, except by indirect methods like lawyers and analysts. Shareholders are a community, often interconnected the same ways.

Companies have known this for a while. Recruiting has been an exercise in social networking for a long time, both on the employer side ($500 referrals) and the job seeker side (the origin of the concept of “networking”).

But the difference between collaboration in the consumer and business worlds is one of purpose. Expression is the primary purpose is many Web 2.0 consumer sites. It may be expression for entertainment, expression for reputation enhancement, expression for contribution to collective knowledge, or something else.

Business Intelligence is among the first who will adapt this technology. Mash-ups represent a potentially powerful way to create new ad hoc Web applications out of existing enterprise data and web services. Using a single interface, Business Intelligence tools will integrate (mash-up) business process in a single interface.

Enterprises that harness this fountain of real-time and granular information will have a huge competitive edge - an edge equivalent to the first uses of data warehouses and data mining. They will find and react to opportunities the way that program traders find and react to market inefficiencies. This may well be the new Strategic IT. The strategic IT asset is not the software that automates the process. The asset is the embedded knowledge of all these enterprise communities and its integration into business processes.

Gilbert on Tuesday, May 09, 2006 0 Comments

JasperIntelligence: the upcoming Open Source BI

After Pentaho ruled the headlines for a whole month, JasperSoft - the commercial company behind the famous JasperReports - announced their plans to release a complete BI stack called JasperIntelligence.

JasperReports has became the de facto reporting tool for J2EE developers as with Crystal Reports for Visual Studio users.

“Open source is the key to solving people’s frustration with complex, inflexible, and overpriced BI solutions from large proprietary software vendors that have taken their customers’ IT systems hostage,” said Doscher, in a statement. “Customers want BI for everyone in their organization. JasperSoft is committed to giving businesses freedom of choice with JasperIntelligence, an affordable, open and extensible BI architecture that empowers everyone within an organization, from those in the board room to accounts receivables.”

For more information, you may want to visit their newly redesigned website at

Gilbert on Thursday, May 04, 2006 0 Comments