Developers creating a new application realize early on that the application will not be very useful unless its users can see detailed or summarized data in order to facilitate better insights and decision-making from the data. This is when they realize they need powerful business intelligence capabilities that can deliver rich, interactive reports and dashboards.
Then comes the great debate about whether or not you are going to build or buy your business intelligence needs. Let’s begin our dive into the subject…
“Build” a reporting solution:
You can begin building a reporting solution from scratch, using a development platform such as Java or make use of consultants to help develop your new reporting tool. This comes with a lot of planning as well as the possibility your resources are straying away from the core capabilities of your application. However, you can focus more on your core analytics needs while having the best customization of your tool.
“Buy” a reporting solution:
Your buying option is straight forward– you just buy a reporting tool that fits your requirements. Well that can be a difficult process too. There are a variety of vendors out there with many different features that can match varying requirements. It can be a little time consuming to sift through all of these vendors and determining best fits in addition to considering costs and issues of indemnity.
There are a lot more aspects you need to consider to determine whether or not you want to build or buy your next reporting tool. Furthermore, this is not a dichotomous debate. Many ISVs choose to both build and buy because they can get the best in-class functionality and author other functionalities that they need.
5 Considerations for the great debate of build vs. buy
1. What is the role that BI and reporting will play in your application? You need to understand your BI and reporting requirements. Do you need advanced data discovery? How about automated report scheduling? Determining your requirements can help you realize what reporting features are needed.
2. Consider advanced BI feature sets too. Are you going to need advanced administrative control and security permissions? How about a scalable architecture to support a growing workload? These are all important considerations when considering the development of your own homegrown solution or buying a 3rd party solution because these advanced features require a lot of work to implement.
3. Development timeframe and resources. If your project has plenty of time and resources then building a homegrown solution is a viable solution. If your timeframe and resources are minimal, it may be in your best interest to buy a 3rd party business intelligence (BI) tool to embed. The main point to consider here is whether or not you have the time and resources to build the reporting solution you need without sacrificing any of the core capabilities of your product.
4. Embeddability of a third party tool. As an ISV, you have a lot of requirements for embedding a reporting solution into your application. Ensure that there are robust embedding options available both in the front-end UI as well as the back-end server integration. One reason to build your own application may be you require a lot more integration features or greater ability to customize the look and feel of your application.
5. Do you need a scalable design? The consideration here is whether you need a static reporting solution or a more scalable design to support growing workloads. Large-scale applications that serve hundreds or thousands of concurrent BI users need an advanced solution that can even be clustered.
Are you ready to take a deeper dive into this debate? Learn more by reading our white paper today, Buying vs. Building: The Right Embedded BI and Reporting Solution.