January 1, 2020 Last updated December 31st, 2019 3,148 Reads share

Pentaho and Jaspersoft – An Exhaustive Comparison

comparsion Pentaho JaspersoftImage Credit: DepositPhotos

“Data is what you need to do analytics. Information is what you need to do business.”– John Owen

One of the most worthwhile assets to any organization, retrieving the right information at the right time at the right place, in the right format is what Business Intelligence offers, to its finest. Business Intelligence services have proven to be an indispensable ingredient in the success and growth of any business, irrespective of geography, size or domain. Of the leading BI tools that rule the IT world, two names have carved a niche for themselves – Pentaho and Jaspersoft. BI enthusiasts have always been keen to know more about them and the nuances that make them special in their own ways.

Before we dive deeper into the comparison of both, let us have a look at what these technologies are.


Pentaho Open Source community gives a modern, integrated and embeddable platform built for retrieving virtually all types of data sources including Big Data. Pentaho tightly pairs data integration with business analytics to effortlessly access, mine, visualize and explore all data that impacts business results. Pentaho BI Suite is a comprehensive suite of Pentaho business analytics – Pentaho EE (Server), Pentaho CE (Server), Pentaho EE/CE (Client), for BI, Big Data & Data Integration.

Supporting organizations to frame their future towards analytics, Pentaho Consulting excels in any type of BI requirement apart from its proficiency in Traditional BI, Embedded BI, Mobile BI, Self Service BI, Agile BI, and Predictive BI.


Jaspersoft is an intelligent and scalable BI suite, having multifold products and services in its framework. It ensures quicker decision making with the availability of timely and accurate information. Creating a reporting and analytics embeddable platform to enhance organizational processes is a key USP of Jaspersoft BI. Jaspersoft solutions can be implemented across multiple devices using embedded services. It offers a pixel-perfect dashboard and an elaborate enterprise reporting system with cloud-based deployment options.

How It All Began – An Interesting History


Based in Orlando, Florida, Pentaho was founded in 2004 by Doug Moran, James Dixon, Marc Batchelor, and Richard Daley. Pentaho reporting began as JFreeReport, a Java-based reporting engine widget which later, got launched as a successful open-source Java project. Pentaho was later, acquired by Hitachi Data Systems in 2015 and on September 19, 2017, it became a part of Hitachi Vantara. It grew further to bring two editions – the community edition and the enterprise edition. The product stack of Pentaho has, since then, knew no bounds.


Originally termed as Panscopic, Jaspersoft was founded by Al Campa and Raj Bhargava in the year 2001. In 2004, Jaspersoft co-founder and a Java developer, Teodor Danciu was in search of a reporting capability tool for an application that could integrate seamlessly with the Java platform and was cost-effective. He built his own Java-based reporting engine and library that later got refined to JasperReports and offered stability, security, and balance. That was when Panscopic became Jaspersoft. Then came Jasper iReport Designer, a visual report designer for JasperReports which offered embeddable reports. In the year 2014, they were acquired by TIBCO Software and they never looked back.

Product Stack Components

Pentaho BI Product Stack

Pentaho EE (Server)


  • Pentaho BA Server
  • Pentaho BI Platform
  • Pentaho Analysis Service (Mondrian)
  • Pentaho Dashboard Design
  • Pentaho Analyzer
  • Pentaho Interactive Reporting
  • Pentaho Data Access
  • Pentaho Mobile


Pentaho CE (Server)


  • Pentaho BI Platform
  • Pentaho Analysis Service / Pentaho Analytics
  • CTools
  • Community Charting Components (CCC)
  • Community Dashboard Editor (CDE)
  • Community Build Framework (CBF)
  • Community Data Access (CDA)
  • Saiku / Saiku Reporting


Pentaho EE / CE (Client)


  • Client Applications
  • Pentaho Data Integration (aka KETTLE)
  • Pentaho Report Designer
  • Pentaho Metadata Editor
  • Pentaho Aggregate Designer
  • Pentaho Schema Workbench
  • Pentaho Design Studio

Jaspersoft BI Product Stack

Enterprise Edition / Professional Edition


  • Jaspersoft Studio
  • Jasperreports Library
  • Jasperreports Server
  • Jaspersoft ETL
  • Jaspersoft OLAP

Key Components That Form the Building Block of these BI Technologies

These basic components are the fundamental building block of both Pentaho and Jaspersoft, though each one of them has its own individual characteristics. Have a look here to know more:





Pentaho Data Integration (aka Kettle) is a popular ETL solution worldwide. Being robust and flexible, it proves to be a highly recommended tool for data transformations.

Talend Studio is the ETL component of Jaspersoft and is an independent company that offer its products autonomously. It is a UI intuitive approach based on a native Java or Perl code. Java based instructions can be compiled through it.

Web Application Server

The BI Pentaho server facilitates management of all BI resources, has a UI available where reports are stored, OLAP views and dashboards. The application and data usage can be managed and monitored effortlessly with management support.

As a cent percent Java J2EE web server, JasperServer facilitates management of all BI resources. It encompasses all necessary resources needed to make it a fully functional application.


As a complete reporting solution, Pentaho reporting encompasses almost all areas of reporting. It is an older version of JFreeReport and provides an execution engine, a metadata tool and UI for steering reports ad-hoc.

Offering great flexibility, this component offers report development environment that is useful for ad-hoc reporting and predefined reporting. The runtime version of reports is widely used and can be easily exported into multiple document types. It showcases a high-quality structured tool for analysis.


OLAP stands for Online Analytical Processing – an innovative mechanism to facilitate organizing information in a dimensional structure. Mondrian represents the Pentaho OLAP engine that offers a combined feature list of ROLAP engines with a cache that offers speed.

Mondrian is the OLAP engine that uses JasperServer. Mondrian represents the Jaspersoft OLAP engine that offers a combined feature list of ROLAP engines with a cache that offers speed.


One of the alluring key components of Pentaho is Dashboards, which it makes through web interface utilizing the dashboard designer.

The Jaspersoft dashboard designer offers provision to cull out ad-hoc as well as predefined reports.

Feature Wise Comparison Between Pentaho and Jaspersoft

Feature List



Reporting Analysis / Dashboards

A variety of in-depth and insightful reports and dashboards. Functionally, aesthetically superior dashboards

Better user interface and easier to use. Lightweight reports. Dashboards available only in enterprise edition


Pentaho Data Integrator aka Kettle is its own and has greater ETL capabilities and limited CPU utilization

Jaspersoft uses Talend as the ETL tool but has limited ETL capabilities and an increment of CPU time during ETL analysis

Mobile Business Intelligence

Mobile BI available for enterprise edition. Pentaho developers must depend on 3rd party tools to have a better experience

Jaspersoft offers BI for iOS and Android both. Gives a better experience in terms of functionality and UI. Provides native mobile API

Available Plugins

Pentaho has multiple plugins like Saiku, CDE, CDF etc. and comes alongwith marketplace

Jaspersoft has restricted plugins till now

Data Mining Capabilities

Pentaho’s data mining capacity is handled by Weka which is developed by Pentaho itself

Jaspersoft uses R which is quite advanced and capable

Geo charting

Pentaho uses Google maps for geographical charting

Jaspersoft uses mapbox for geo charting

Integrated BI Suite

Since most of the components are developed by themselves, the Pentaho BI suite is tightly integrated

There is integration with external components which are quite competent but don’t belong to the Jasper family


A great user community to help and enhance knowledge though documentation is a little insufficient

Informational website, better documentation, case studies and hence easy to find information. Also there is strong community support

Flexibility & Adaptability

Due to an intermediate layer Xactions, it is highly flexible in terms of plugin design, app integration

Less flexible in intermediate layer but iReport plugins and Jasper server plugins serve well for the plug in designing

What Suits Better and When – Pentaho or Jaspersoft?

Pentaho Suits Best When:


  • The need is for small and medium enterprises where the quantity of data and the workload are not critical
  • There is need for a decision supported system
  • There is a requirement for detailed dashboards for decision making
  • The platform is enterprise BI driven

Jaspersoft Suits Best When:


  • There is need for row level security with deepened layers
  • Pixel perfect and embedded reports are of high importance
  • Cost effectiveness is a concern
  • There is a high level of reporting required

A Quick Statistical Analysis

Top Companies Using Pentaho


  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Sigma Infosolutions
  • Acumen Solutions, Inc
  • Navigant Consulting Inc
  • Pivotal Software, Inc.
  • Tata Consultancy Services
  • Accenture
  • Synechron
Courtesy: https://idatalabs.com/

Top Companies Using Jaspersoft


  • Lufthansa Systems
  • Alacatel Lucent
  • Rail Europe
  • Alten Italia
  • Bank of New York Mellon Corporation
  • ICS Consultancy Services
  • NorthgateArinso, Inc
  • QA Agility Technologies
Courtesy: https://idatalabs.com/

On a Parting Note:

Which BI tool is to be used, whether to go in for enterprise edition or community edition – such decisions should ideally be taken by the organization with the help of the BI service provider.

Based on organizational requirements, infrastructure, and business workflow, the IT partner can suggest the tool which suits best – Pentaho or Jaspersoft.

The solution provider is assumed to be having spread-out experience about cutting-edge BI tools, Pentaho and Jaspersoft and hence, choosing an apt solution provider is equally important as choosing the best BI tool. Isn’t it? It would be interesting to see what’s next in the pipeline for both these BI stalwarts!

Software – DepositPhotos

Ankit Kumar

Ankit Kumar

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