Pentaho CE tips

Pentaho CE, i.e. Pentaho Community Edition, suite solution is an open source version of the BI-tool provided and developed by Pentaho. The product provides tools for data-integration, ETL-processes, OLAP-services, dashboarding and for data-mining. The BI-suite operates over Java software platform and is available for Windows, Linux and for Mac OS X operating systems.  

Low cost

Tired of the high-cost BI-server tools? Still need a BI-solution that is available for variety of users through web-interface? One of the strengths of Pentaho CE is that the software itself does not cost anything. However, if the Pentaho BI-Server platform is deployed to a cloud environment like Amazon or Azure, there will be reasonable maintenance costs from server infrastructure.

Cloud based BI-tool

Pentaho CE BI-platform can be installed on a Cloud Based Environments like Amazon or Azure. It is possible to restrict the BI-tool to be visible only for the company’s network, i.e. for internal use only.  

Easy Integration

Integration of Pentaho CE BI-platform tool is very simple. It can be downloaded from the provider’s website and it is ready to be installed. It is possible to install a locally running instance of the Pentaho BI-platform for personal use and development purposes. A more preferable way to install it and benefit of the Pentaho CE’s features, is to install it on a cloud-server instance. The users can then access the BI-solution whenever needed. Cloud-servers are also easily scalable. If the bi-server is used more than planned, it is possible to scale the cloud-server up to be more efficient. 

Variety of tools

Pentaho CE offers multiple tools for different use cases. There are tools for data

integration, OLAP services, reporting, dashboarding, data mining and ETL capabilities.

The following are the main Pentaho CE downloads:

Business Intelligence Server

The main software in Pentaho CE’s offering is the software that hosts content created both in the server itself through plug-ins or files published to the server from the desktop applications. The server includes features such as managing users and user groups, running reports, displaying and creating dashboards, OLAP-analysis and scheduling data refresh.

Data Integration

The software is also known by its code name Kettle. This software is used mainly for the ETL (Extract, Transform & Load) processes. The data can be gathered from multiple sources into one. It contains GUI-application that allows the user to define data integration work and transformations. The software supports deployment on local computers and it works also in cloud-servers.

Report Designer

Visual report maker that can turn data streamed from multiple sources through data integration engine into reports that contain sub reports, charts and graphics. Report designer has capabilities to query and use data from sources such as SQL, MDX, CDA etc. Report designer allows you to save the output reports in several different formats, such as PDF, Excel, HTML, RTF, XML and CSV.

Marketplace

Marketplace allows its user to explore a variety of different community driven and open-source plugins. With plug-ins it is possible to extend the capabilities of the Pentaho platform.

To read more about the available tools in Pentaho CE, please visit http://community.pentaho.com/ .

Summary:

If you need a BI-tool for standardised visualization and have a limited budget, Pentaho Community Edition is a good solution. It is, however, mostly used by IT professionals as there is quite much work included and you need to be able to use a number of IT-tools.

Strenghts:

  • Community

  • Price (no licences)

  • Server solution

  • Visualization as HTML page

  • Possible to integrate into mobile

Challenges:

  • Development complicated; demands time and know-how

  • Not supporting end-user ad hoc analyses

Dashboard sample created with Pentaho CE

This example dashboard was initially developed to analyze Pentaho CE's capabilities against the leading BI-visualization tools like Tableau, Microsoft BI and QlikView (ranked by Gartner).

Please see the dashboard at: http://bit.ly/GuestDash

You can log in to the dashboard with the following credentials:

user: guest

password: guest1

Pentaho CE sample dashboard

Used technologies to build the dashboard graphical interface were HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The database behind the dashboard were created with MySQL. The Pentaho dashboard and MySQL database are running on Amazon Cloud Services.

Testing was done with the following versions of the browsers:

Chrome v 35.0.1916.153

Firefox v 29.0.1

Opera v 22.0.1471.70

Safari v 5.1.7

This site is not build responsively, so it will unfortunately not work with mobile devices correctly.

For more information and consultancy, please contact  us!