James Dixon’s Blog

James Dixon’s thoughts on commercial open source and open source business intelligence

Archive for November 2009

Microsoft snagged again by bad open source governance

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Microsoft has been caught in two GPL violations recently.

First Microsoft had to release their Hyper-V drivers as GPL because they inadvertently violated the GPL.

Now they have to put the Windows 7 DVD/USB Download Tool into open source because they again inadvertently violated the GPL. This case is particularly interesting because the GPL code in question came from their own open source hosting site – Codeplex.

If Microsoft had a good open source governance program in place this would not happen. Therefore we have to deduce that Microsoft does not have a program, or at least a well-implemented one, in place. This is very odd to me as there are tools you can use to help with this (from Palaminda, Black Duck, and OpenLogic).

At Pentaho I use Palamida’s IPAmplify product. It does a great job at identifying all of the open source components that we embed – and since we have an open source platform there is a lot of them. It also checks our source code to identify source that has been copied from open source projects without the proper attribution. It has identified several cases where internal developers and community members have used code segments from third parties and not treated that IP cleanly. Once the cases are identified it is easy to fix them with appropriate headers or packaging – but find them would be impossible without an open source governance tool like IPAmplify.

I don’t believe that Microsoft has no governance program in place, my guess is that their program is not applied consistently, or that their tooling has blind-spots and/or is not updated frequently enough.


Written by James

November 17, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Using or thinking about agile approaches for a BI project?

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As part of our Agile BI initiative I am gathering data about the current use of agile methodologies for BI projects. What has been your usage or thoughts of agile?

Question 1

Question 2

There are different kinds of agile methodologies. In the simple agile approach every iteration has the same structure and produces the same kinds of deliverable (reports and cubes that users can access). In an Agile Unified Process the iterations come in phases – requirements/inception, design/elaboration, build/construction, deploy/transition – in each phase the iterations produce different deliverables.

Question 3

Agile teams are small and cross-functional. Who do you have on your agile BI teams?

Thanks for participating. For more information on our agile BI initiative:

Pentaho Agile BI Wiki

Introduction to Pentaho Agile BI

Written by James

November 11, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Introduction to Agile BI presentation available online

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As part of Pentaho’s Agile BI initiative:

This recorded presentation is based on the Agile BI one I did at TDWI last week – http://wiki.pentaho.com/display/AGILEBI/Introduction+to+Agile+BI

We also have a wiki space for Agile BI – http://wiki.pentaho.com/display/AGILEBI/Welcome+to+Agile+Business+Intelligence

Written by James

November 10, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Pentaho Agile BI technical web event – Nov 6 at 10am Eastern

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I will be talking about Pentaho’s development focus for the near future and our Agile BI initiative. Agile BI presents a fast, interactive, and iterative approach to building and deploying BI applications. We are planning some exciting new capabilities and features around Kettle, Mondrian and Metadata.

I’ll will also be showing off some related prototype/storyboard code.

This is a technical event for the Pentaho community – click here for information about the event

Written by James

November 6, 2009 at 4:30 am