ACTUATE HAS ANNOUNCED the arrival of BIRT iHub F-type, the latest version of its open source visualisation deployment application for managing big data.
Previously a paid-for package, the new version of BIRT sees Actuate moving to a freemium business model that the company hopes will bring the software suite to a wider audience.
The web app-based cloud service is capable of deep analysis and visualisation of huge data sets in a way that the makers claim is intuitive enough to allow a novice to be up and running in their first 15 minutes.
Developers using BIRT iHub F-type will be allowed 50MB of data free of charge on any given day with two overages allowed per month. Beyond that, customers can pay for additional bandwidth by credit card if and when it is needed.
Freemium business models have attracted negative press in recent months, especially with regard to in-app purchases in mobile games, however they remain a relevant marketing technique and are increasing in popularity.
Actuate CEO and president Pete Cittadini was on hand to show us the new BIRT iHub F-type, and told The INQUIRER, "The iHub server up to now has been very much tailored towards high end data. This new free version will allow more developers to benefit from intuitive, interactive, visually engaging experiences."
He continued, "The free version is aimed towards departmental applications. We won't be putting any limits on the amount of data firms can put in, the 50MB limit will be on the amount of output, which will still allows for hundreds of data sets and thousands of reports on a daily basis."
Actuate said that it will be looking at automated account top-ups in the future, but initially it will require manual payment.
For regular users whose needs outstrip the initial data caps, the paid enterprise edition remains available, or freemium bandwidth can be added at a promotional rate of $500 per month for the remainder of 2014. BIRT iHub F-type is available for download now.
Open source web apps are also becoming more common, with the launch earlier this week of the latest version of the privately hosted productivity suite Open-Xchange. µ