Jaspersoft Aims to Simplify Embedding Analytics and Visualizations

TIBCO Jaspersoft is offering up a new JavaScript framework to make it simple to embed full business intelligence capabilities into applications.

For developers, embedding business intelligence (BI) analytics and interactive visualizations in an application can be a frustrating experience. You can sacrifice flexibility and more powerful capabilities in favor of simplicity and use iFrames or charting libraries. Or you can use representational state transfer (REST) APIs that grant you lots of control but are code-intensive to embed, making them difficult to scale.

TIBCO Software's Jaspersoft group wants to change that with today's release of a new JavaScript framework for advanced embedding of visualizations and reports in applications.

Dubbed Visualize.js, the new framework is included in the newly released TIBCO Jaspersoft 5.6 platform and available as a cloud service. It combines the capabilities of the full Jaspersoft analytic server with the control of JavaScript, giving developers the capability to embed the features of the Jaspersoft analytic server directly into their applications with just a few lines of code.

IJaspersoft Simplifies Embedding Analytics and Visualizations
Jaspersoft says you can embed its analytics capabilities in any application with a few lines of JavaScript.

"BI as a category was never originally designed to be embedded," says Karl van den Bergh, senior vice president of product and customer success at Jaspersoft. "What we're seeing is that for application builders — whether ISVs or internal IT shops building internal applications — analytics is becoming a core component and differentiator of applications and services. And the demand for this analytic functionality to be embedded is growing. But it's simply been too complex or too costly to do at scale."

"REST and iFrames are two common approaches," van den Bergh says. "REST gives you a lot of control, but it's very code-intensive to embed. iFrame is simple, but essentially a dumb terminal window. We give you the best of both worlds. You get the control of REST with the simplicity of iFrames. With just a couple of lines of JavaScript, you can embed pretty much any part of our server."

Triumph Learning Provides Teachers With Insight

Visualize.js leverages the REST APIs of JasperReports Server for built-in services including data connectivity, repository access, in-memory analytics and visualization design. Customer Triumph Learning has been using a beta of Visualize.js for the past several months to build out an application for use by teachers and school administrators. The application, GET Waggle, is used to track the progress of students through school curricula — down to the question level — and then provide educators with visualizations of where each student is excelling or struggling.

"Our Web-based application, GET Waggle, makes it simple for teachers and school administrators to track and measure students' progress and growth on skills and standards," says Raj Chary, vice president of technology and architecture at Triumph Learning. "Data visualizations and analytics are a key component of our product platform, and the ability to take immediate actions on key metrics makes it a very powerful tool for our users. We needed visualizations in our product to be delightful, not a daunting experience. Jaspersoft, with Visualize.js, provided a very rich way to integrate and build reports. This allowed us to easily embed the full power of the platform into GET Waggle to create an experience that makes the data actionable for our users."

The short video below explains how Visualize.js. is designed to work.

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Thor Olavsrud covers IT Security, Big Data, Open Source, Microsoft Tools and Servers for CIO.com. Follow Thor on Twitter @ThorOlavsrud. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn.

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