TIBCO released Spotfire 3.3 and first (see what is new here) that jumped to my eyes was how mature this product is. For example, among new features is improved scalability – each additional simultaneous user of a web analysis initially claims very little additional system memory:

Many Spotfire customers will be able to support a greater number of web users on their existing hardware by upgrading to 3.3. Spotfire Web Player 3.3 includes significant improvements in memory consumption (as shown above for certain scenarios). Theoretically goal is to minimize the amount of system memory needed to support larger numbers of simultaneous users on the same analysis file. Main use case here: the larger the file and the greater the number of simultaneous web users on that file, then less initial system memory required to support each additional user: it is greatly reduced compared to version 3.2.1 and earlier.

Comparison with competition and thorough testing of new Spotfire scalability has to be done (similar to what Qliktech done with Qlikview here), but my initial reaction is as I said in a Title: we are witnessing a very mature software. Apparently the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) agrees with me and Defense Intelligence Agency Selects TIBCO Spotfire Analytics Solutions for Department of Defense Intelligence Information System Community. “With more than 16,500 military and civilian employees worldwide, DIA is a major producer and manager of foreign military intelligence”

Spotfire 3.3 also includes collaborative bookmarking, which enables all Spotfire users  to capture a dashboard – its complete configuration, including markings, drop down selections, and filter settings and share that visualization immediately with other users of that same dashboard, regardless of client in use. Spotfire actually not just a piece of Data Visualization Software, but a real Analytical Platform with large portfolio of products, including completely integrated S-PLUS (commercial version of R Library which has million of users), best Web Client (you can go Zero-footprint with Spotfire Web Player or/and partially free Spotfire Silver), free iPad Client version 1.1.1 (requires iTunes, so be prepared for Apple intrusion), very rich API, SDK, integration with Visual Studio, support of IronPython and JavaScript , well-thought Web Architecture, set of Extension Points etc.

System requirements for Spotfire 3.3 can be found here. Coincidentally with 3.3 Release Spotfire VAR Program got expansion too. Spotfire has a very rich set of training options, see it here. You can also find set of good Spotfire videos from Colin White’s Screencast Library, especially 2011 Webcasts.

My only and large concern with Spotfire is its focus, since it is part of a large corporation TIBCO, which has 50+ products and 50+ reasons to focus on something else. Indirectly it can be confirmed with sales: my estimate that Tableau is growing much faster than Spotfire (sales-wise) and Qlikview Sales probably 3 times larger (dollar-wise) than Spotfire sales. Since TIBCO bought Spotfire in 2007, I expected Spotfire will be integrated with other great TIBCO products, but after 4 years it is still not a case… And TIBCO has no reason to change its corporate policies, since its busines is good and stock is doing well:

(at least 500% increase of share price since end of 2008!). Also see article written by Ted Stamas for SeekingAlpha and comparison of TIBX vs. ETF here:

I think it is interesting to notice that TIBCO recently rejected a buyout offer from HP!