Forum OpenACS Q&A: Curious what reporting / BI / Dashboard solutions people here use?


What 3rd party tools do people use with OpenACS for business intelligence and data analysis (or just general reporting)? I imagine there's nothing unusual about OpenACS that lends itself to more or less compatibility with a particular approach, but am still curious as to what people use.

thanks for any replies


Please have a look at these slides:

They are basically still valid, even though we have re-implemented most of the graphical stuff using Sencha ExtJS.

The highlights:

- Data-Warehouse using ROLAP technology: That's not the fastest way to do OLAP, but it's OK for < 10M rows in the DB...
- Reporting-Engine: This is a bit like "Crystal Reports" with counters, subtotals, drill-down etc. Unfortunately, there is no graphical designer, so you need to know your way around.
- 2x2 diagrams with drag-and-drop: This is not only a two dimensional bubble-chart. You can also just drag-and-drop the bubbles around to update the underlying values in the database.

Just grab the latest ]po[ V5.0.beta2 from and check it out. This "community" edition doesn't include the data-warehouse, though.


Hello Brian,
most of my customers are used to/require QlikView (

When I have the freedom to chose, if my solution has to be based on Microsoft technologies, then I would use Power BI (, if it has to be based on Java, then I would use Talend (

Anything you may find on OpenACS risks to be quite beyond these tools, technologies, platforms. But all of them are able to read/connect to a PostgreSQL database, so... there you are...

Quite often, what I found is that the customers want to have an easily generated Excel file. Then they take over and do with it whatever they want/need.

Hope it helps,

Thanks Frank and Maurizio!
Another tool worth mentioning is

Its pros are a very mild learning curve, support for many libraries and tools (R, weka...) and nice GUI. It is open source and cross platform (based on Eclipse) and can connect to a variety of data sources including postgres.

I have used it for some projects with good satisfaction. This said, Talend or other tools capable of compiling their workflow are probably better performance wise.

Nice tip. Thanks Antonio!