Visiting Pentaho. Waiting for 7.0

[Update october 18th]

Pentaho Business Analytics 7.0 will be available for download in mid november. Theses are the announcement and overview.

[Original Post]

In october 2016 we should be getting next version of Pentaho. According to its Jira records it will be a stability oriented release, I count 58 fixes for BI Server, 139 in PDI, 10 in PRD, 6 in CDE/CTOOLS (you can check it for each project and 7.0.0 version in and few improvements.

Having a reliable suite is a benefit for all specially in this market where de community editions are being abandoned in FOSS and their enterprise editions are being developed attending corporate needs rather than the medium or small companys.

On that topic, I browsed the forums ( to see what  people are asking. This is what I found from the 1st to the 22th of september:

Project Questions Unanswered Notes
BI Platform 22 8 Installation and simple questions. 2 people even asked if anyone has any clues, they were lost.
Pentaho Reporting [PRD] 30 15 Advanced questions. 2 moved as they placed it in wrong forum.
Pentaho Data Integration [PDI] 127 23 Advanced questions. Some can be solved with the modified java step or mail step examples.
CTools 32 11 They ask how to modify graphs in specific ways, some of them answered in CTools web site, but need clarification on frameworks used.

Of these projects the BI Server is the one having most novices asking already answered questions. A FAQ should help these people. For the PDI and PRD there are some senior members giving excelent advice I felt good about humanity with the existence of these people.

I guess there will be no modifications in installing or upgrading instructions, maybe I should clean up the old ones in this site.

Well that’s my 2 cents on the CE application and support for the upcoming 7.0.0 version.

Pentaho 6.1

As it was announced by Pentaho-Hitachi, version 6.1.01 was realeased on the 9th of april of 2016 in EE and CE editions. Data IntegrationBusiness Intelligence ServerReport DesignerPentaho Metadata and Big Data Shims.

There are lots of fixes: 179 of 180 issues have been resolved in PDI, 59 of 59 issues for the BI Server and 14 of 14 issues for the PRD.

These are the main improvements acording to Pedro Alvez: Services, ODBC, metadata injection, several steps improvement and enabling tests in the BI server from the PDI, this was lost since studio went down the tube.

Steps for upgrading must be the same as previously posted. If not I will get back to you and annote this post. [Which is very much unlikely].


Pentaho 6.0.x Install


After reading the changelog, I thought that the numbering from 5.4 to 6.0 was not justified. But then I realized that this is the first version of Pentaho under the Hitachi brand, and, seting a round number setted a milestone as completed. A good sign is that they kept the release day of the community version (CE), the same as the commercial one.

Recomendation: Check the ETL, it is a wonderfull tool. Spend time with it, it will let you clean and process data from several sources (Text, NoSql, DB, Excel, SAP ERP) and send it on its way [to services or users] in different formats. Of course it can be used with other suites. Then proceed with the Web server that is primary a client side tool that show processes according to user privileges and calendarize processes. To build dashboards you can choose between two sets of bulding blocks: CTools or Ivy. They are rudimentary but let you set parameters and recover data from the ETL or Report Designer and let user click on graphs for you to run queries. The Report Designer that has its own [complex] way of doing things but will let you create fixed-format reports mainly in pdf or html. The Metadata and Schema tools will help you make business/olap models and data governance.

Demo Install

First Download each file and install it as stated in the guide, play with it and then proceed with another.

Download links

Pentaho files: sourceforge zip files 

  1. ETL Tool [>810MB]: v6.0v6.0.1
  2. Tomcat Web Server [>900MB]: v6.0, v6.0.1
  3. Report Designer [>530MB]: v6.0, v6.0.1
  4. Metadata Editor [>500MB]: v6.0, v6.0.1
  5. OLAP Schema Workbench [~30MB]: v3.11
  6. OLAP Aggregation Designer [~30MB]: v6.0


Install steps for the pentaho demo applications have been using similar steps since 4.8. So the old 5.x guide works with the new files. Please follow this post using the new files.

You can skip the Java SDK installation if you already have it on your system. On a new box you’re better off with java SDK 1.8.0 as Pentaho 6.0 now works with it. Warning: If you’re on 5.x you’re probably on java SDK 1.7.0 and you can work with it, just rememeber to backup your development files before upgrading to java 1.8.0.

In that post you’ll also find instructions to install MySql that is an option in case you want to use your data. BTW I now use MariaDB and its working fine.

Memory adjustements:
I tested the apps on a windows 32 bits system and I had to edit the startup batch files to  lower the memory limits:
DATA INTEGRATION 32 bits: spoon.bat
FROM      -Xms1024m -Xmx2048m
TO            -Xms768m -Xmx1024m
REPORT-DESIGNER 32 bits: report-designer.bat
FROM      -Xms1024m -Xmx2048m
TO            -Xms512m -Xmx1024m
BI SERVER 32 bits: start-pentaho.bat
FROM     -Xms2048m -Xmx6144m
TO           -Xms768m -Xmx1024m

Update Pentaho BI Server CE from 5.2 to 5.3, and 5.4.

Pentaho BI Server CE 5.2 migration to 5.3 and then 5.4 has been a difficult process. Soo many changes, undocumented, some without obvious reasons. I hope it’s just because I don’t get the new vision and that it will get easier over time.

This notes are from my system in which I use MySql for hibernate, quartz and business databases. The Jackrabbit repository is kept on the filesystem. The steps are the same on Linux and Windows, just change the suffix from .sh to .bat. By the way if you’re on windows 7 32 bits, stick to jdk 1.7, Pentaho is not compatible with the current 1.8 version.

Note: They fixed in 5.4, for people using i18n localization in PRD parameters, so numbers in text fileds doesn’t get reformated (i.e. years got visualy modified to 2,015).

Part I: Backup

  1. Take an inventory:
    Log into your system, browse your ‘solutions’ and make an inventory, maybe take some snapshots so you can check that every option did make it through the export-import step.
    Browse your files (enable ‘show hidden files’) for resources, and files like .xmi, .sailu, .cda, etc.
    List the Marketplace plugins you use.
    In Datasources and administration make note of your configuration an users you have set up.
  2. Stop your server:
  3. Modify the exporter utility to backup your Saiku files (optional):
    Open the file: biserver-ce/pentaho-solutions/system/importExport.xml
    Add in convertersMap:

    <entry key="saiku" value-ref="streamConverter"/>

    Add to the map of NameBaseMimeResolver bean:

    <entry key="saiku" value="text/xml"/>

    Add to the list approvedExtensionList:


    Credit: Joel Blog.

  4. Start Your Server
  5. Start a Terminal window and run the command in the \biserver-ce folder:
    ./ --export --username=YOUR-USERNAME --password=YOUR-PASSWORD --url=http://localhost:8080/pentaho --charset=UTF-8 --path=/public --file-path=$HOME/Pentaho5/

    You can read the infocenter documentation here and here.

  6. Copy the file to (keep the original as backup). Open it and delete folders that are from Pentaho Demo (Steel Wheels, cde, plugin-samples, bi-developers), those ‘solutions’ already exist in Demo. Just keep your files.
  7. Edit the exportManifest.xml in the same zip file to remove all items (xml opening and closing lines) that are not from files, your solution folders, take for example one at the bottom that correspond to a graphics file:
    〈ExportManifestEntity path="public/plugin-samples/samples.png"〉
     〈EntityMetaData name="samples.png" createdDate="2015-02-21T00:34:32.695-06:00" isFolder="false" path="public/plugin-samples/samples.png" isHidden="true" locale="es_ES" title="samples"/〉
  8. Shutdown your Server.

Part II: Install CE Demo

  1. Download from:
    – BI Server 5.3 Sourceforge Folder. With a 673MB zip file
    – For 5.4 we have the Sourceforge Folder or the 814MB file.
  2. Rename your current folder to something like ‘Pentaho5-old’.
  3. Create a new Pentaho5 directory an unzip the biserver-ce into that folder
  4. Start the Server (Demo).
  5. Log in to http://localhost:8080/pentaho
    This will deploy web server files and upload initial content (biserver-ce/pentaho-solutions/system/default-content) for the web application.
  6. Stop the server.

Part III: Replace your MySql Database instead of demo’s in-memory HSQLDB

You will be updating config files, so double check their content (you can use Meld in Linux or Win Diff in windows) before copying them. Also verify they are in utf-8 format.

  1. Delete file
    It will be created automatically as a copy from the one edited in point 3.
  2. Copy
    mine has two almost identical MySql connection strings, the lines changes to:

    driverClassName="com.mysql.jdbc.Driver" url="jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/hibernate"
    validationQuery="SELECT 1" />
  3. To disable HSQLDB startup, edit

    Comment out block at line 73:


    And line 205:


    At line 539 you can change your session-timeout. Its’ in seconds:

  4. Copy
    The only change is to replace mysql: mysql5.hibernate.cfg.xml
  5. Copy jindi datasources:
    The strings change to MySql like this:


    Copy and paste the appropiate lines to configure your databasources.

  6. Copy MySql config for Hibernate:
    Change MySql strings and the dialect to:

  7. Copy
    It contains in different lines:

    datasource.validation.query=SELECT 1

    Note: They used the string userdb instead of hibernate but Im not using such database for users as they do in the demo so I changed it back.

  8. Copy
    I changed:


    to stop the login message that show users and:

    	  〈query>select 1〈/query〉
  9. Check your quartz5 prefixed database against the script on, including case sensitive if your OS or DB are sensitive.
    If there are diferences it is better to recreate the database.
  10. Modify
    the quartz config, to:

    org.quartz.jobStore.driverDelegateClass = org.quartz.impl.jdbcjobstore.StdJDBCDelegate
  11. Copy special DB drivers like (ojdbc14.jar, orai18n.jar) if you have them. MySql 5.17 is already there from your backup folder to biserver-ce/tomcat/lib.
  12. If you’re updating 5.4 a problem that we though was solved is present again (you do not need to do this for 5.3). Move to a backup folder the following file:
  13. Start your demo:
  14. If you get an error, clear your browser cache, for Quartz errors check your database prefix.
    Login as ‘Admin’ again.
  15. Install Plugins:
    If you use a different language than English, in Home->Marketplace, install your language package, restart the server. Then from the Tools -> Language Packs choose install and restart again. These are two related steps.
    In Home->Marketplace install plugins like Saiku, Saiku Chart Plus, WAQR, restart.
    In Home->Administration, create your users. Asign the admin role to at least one of them.
    In Manage DataSources, modify the SampleData jdbc to access MySql. You can create your SQL Mysql Database Connections or wait until you move in your files in next section.
  16. You can check the new Dashboard in Browse Files->Public->Steel Wheels->Dashboards->CTools Dashboards.

Part IV: Move in Your Content

  1. Wiith your server running:
    In a terminal, load your backup file. Use your user and password that you created in las section:

    ./ --import --overwrite=true --username=YOUR-USERNAME --password=YOUR-PASSWORD --overwrite=true --permission=true --retainOwnership=true --url=http://localhost:8080/pentaho --charset=UTF-8 --path=/ --file-path=$HOME/Pentaho5-old/
  2. Copy your content from your backup folder in
    This files (solution folders, metadata files, mondrian models) are not used as they are outside of the repository but I use them for development and then upload them.
  3. In ‘Manage DataSources’, create your JDBC, Analisys, Metadata and OLAP connections, as you upload files that were not included in the export-import process like mondrian.xml, metadata.xmi. This is where your inventory from your old system is most valuable (you can start it as long as both are not running at the same time).
  4. Restart your server. Clear your browser’s cache, reset your pentaho solutions.

Part V: Apply your Look and Feel

As of this writing (5.2->5.3: 02/21/2015, 5.3->5.4: 06/28/2015):

  • The changes on login screen images, login page html and index main content works as I wrote in here.
  • There is no Emerald Theme yet from the marketplace.
    But I got most of it when I copied it from the backup 5.2 directory:


    Haven’t checked those .css. They need minor tune up.

  • I didn’t use my edited localization created in previous posts as the translation in the marketplace are good enough.

That’s it. You have now a Pentaho BI CE 5.3/5.4 system.

Part VI: Install your Desktop Development Tools

To update your Desktop Tools rename their current folders to somethining-old, download the new files, that are really slow form the legendary and unzip them on your Pentaho5 folder so you’ll have them all in one place:

  • For Pentaho Report Designer:
    1. Dowload the 5.3 file. or 5.4 file.
    2. Copy your ‘development folder’ from the backup.
    3. Copy your DB drivers, in my case: mysql-connector-java-5.1.17.jar, ojdbc14.jar, orai18n.jar, that works with Oracle 8 & 9, from your backup to report-designer/lib/jdbc
  • For the new look in PDI/Kettle:
    1. Download the 5.3 file or 5.4 file.
    2. Copy your ‘development folder’ from the backup.
    3. Copy your DB drivers from your backup to data-integration/bin.
  • For Metadata 5.3:
    1. Download the 5.3 file or 5.4 file.
    2. Copy your model files (mdr.btd and mdr.btx) in your old metedata-editor forder to your new one.
    3. Copy your DB drivers from your backup to metadata/bin.
    4. Start your editor and Define your connection.
  • There are two other projects that you would like to install if you work with OLAP models (check some older documentation here):
    1. Mondrian schema workbench here.
    2. Mondrian agregated designer here.

Pentaho Migration 5.1 to 5.2 [Almost Working]

This are not the final instructions, but they will allow you to test the new server with your content and data as you have them now.


This are the steps I took for my Pentaho 5.0 to 5.1 and 5.1 to 5.2 upgrades. My installation uses MySql for hibernate, quartz and business databases and I keep the Jackrabbit repository on filesystem. The steps are the same on Linux and Windows.

First Part: Install New Software

  1. Make an inventory: Marketplace, Config (datasources), Reports [That’s optional].
  2. Stop the Pentaho service.
  3. Rename your folder with the current version to something like ‘Pentaho5-old’.
  4. Create a new Pentaho5 directory an unzip your BI Apps into that folder, then:
    • For Pentaho Report Designer:
      1. Rename the folder to report-designer as it used to be named.
      2. Copy your development folder from the ‘backup’.
      3. Also copy your DB drivers: mysql-connector-java-5.1.17.jar, ojdbc14.jar, orai18n.jar, -IT is using Oracle 9, and still works- from your backup to report-designer/lib/jdbc
    • For PDI/Kettle
      1. Copy your development folder from the backup.
      2. Copy your DB drivers (mysql-connector-java-5.1.17.jar, ojdbc14.jar, orai18n.jar) from your backup to data-integration/bin.
    • For the BI Server itself:
      1. Copy your DB drivers -other than MySql- (ojdbc14.jar, orai18n.jar) from your backup folder to biserver-ce/tomcat\lib
  5. Start your demo:
    Check out what’s new at http://localhost:8080/pentaho
    The Marketplace throwed several connection errors, until it was succesfull.
  6. Stop the server:

Second Part: Modify Configuration Files

Compare your config files before copying them, and verify they are in utf-8 format. Remember that you have the backup folder and you only need to rename it to recover to a working system.

  1. Delete the file
    It will be created as a copy from the one you edit in point 2
  2. Copy
    mine has MySql connection strings already
  3. Copy
    Only needed changes on line 73 and 205, to comment HSQLDB from starting
    At line 539 change your session-timeout. Its’ in seconds, I use: 180
  4. Copy
    The only change is to replace mysql: mysql5.hibernate.cfg.xml
  5. Copy jindi datasources:
  6. Copy MySql config for Hibernate:
  7. Copy
    It contains:

    datasource.validation.query=SELECT 1
  8. Copy
    I changed:

    select 1

    And turn off the default users select combo at login page (that should be disabled in your administration console) in line 20:

  9. This is where I had trouble:
    This didn’t work: I first ran the update on
    to make shure I had de correct quartz5 prefixed tables, then created upper/lower cased tables, tables, deleted conten on different folders, and so on. But ran on errors at startup about listener problems:

    1. Cannot create JDBC driver of class
    2. SystemListener.xml
    3. EmbeddedQuartzSystemListener.ERROR_0007_SQLERROR
    4. PentahoSystem.ERROR_0014 org.pentaho.platform.scheduler2.quartz.EmbeddedQuartzSystemListener
      with no luck on making it work.

    This did work

    1. Dropping the quartz database and ran the SQL script at:
      that creates qrtz5_ prefixed tables and also updates user permissions.
    2. Modified as suggested in the script:
      that’s the quartz config, to:

      org.quartz.jobStore.driverDelegateClass = org.quartz.impl.jdbcjobstore.StdJDBCDelegate
    3. [skip this one, Marcelo suggested a better option]
      Edit biserver-ce/pentaho-solutions/system/systemListeners.xml and stopped Quartz Listener from runnig. That is the problem with this instructions: your system won’t be able to schedule jobs as it is:

      <!--bean id="quartzSystemListener" class="org.pentaho.platform.scheduler2.quartz.EmbeddedQuartzSystemListener" /-->
    4. Move to a backup folder -away from Pentaho- the following file:

Part Three: Move in Your Content

  1. Copy your content from your backup folder in
    This is where I keep my .xmi, .mondrian.xml files and solution folders
  2. Delete and then replace your repository folder:
  3. Start your server. Clear your browser’s cache, reset your pentaho solutions and reload.

Part Four: Apply your Look and Feel

To finish

  1. Copy your images, .html , messages files with your modifications from your backup folder to the new one. There is a previous checklist.
    Note: Had only to modify directly the .properties files (insted of the on biserver-ce/tomcat/webapps/pentaho/mantle/ (browser & home/properties) for my localized text as the i18n calls didn’t work for the left panels.
  2. Update your plugins on the marketplace

Now you can try your new and beautifull NEW 5.2 BI system.


Notes on the 5.2 – MySql – Quartz Problem

There are some Quartz listener/socket problems reported since v3.6, but every recomendation on forums or blogs hasn’t worked so far. The error is present on windows/ubuntu, java 32/64 bits, mysql/mariadb.

This is what I found so far:

  1. The problem is not IN the database as no query appears on the MySql general log, until the Pentaho shows the problem.
  2. The 1st error in the log makes me think of a Tomcat config problem :
    Cannot create JDBC driver of class ‘com.mysql.jdbc.Driver’ for connect URL ‘jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/quartz’
  3. The diff in config files shows more classes on the new version, but the driver configurations remais the same

Pentaho Released Version 5.2 CE: This Week (october 6)!

Pentaho & Webdetails dit it again, as promised, on October, the new GA release, I can’t wait to see whats new (new theme & marketplace, improved PRD COSSTABS?) or check the release notes. Still no integrated Saiku on CE but you cant have it all🙂

These are direct links:

BI Server 5.2

Data Integration 5.2

Report Designer 5.2

Pentaho Metadada 5.2 Mondrian

Mondrian Schema Workbench 3.8

Mondrian Agregation Designer 5.2

The steps I took for the upgrade are on a new post.


Notes on 5.x Migration

BI projects in Mexico have been slow for me so I haven’t posted much information lately. But the release of 5.1 CE in par with the EE version deserves a mention and a post.

Moreover since webdetails has made Dashboards development something doable interactively, coherent and documented but at the same time a nightmare for each time you upgarade their ctools plugins an improvement on them messes up your dashboard’s looks.

Well, I have just upgrated with the CE release from 5.01 to 5.1 and kudos for making that an easy job. Thanks for thinking on us that can only use Open Source products.

Notes on the 5.x version

For years from 2.5 up to 4.8 version the BI Server, the link between the individual Pentaho projects was guided by a Pentaho team, but somehow decided to unload the web project to a new partner for for the 5.01 release.

So some changes on its infrastructure were expected, this is what I have notice so far:

  • The repository (a fancy way to describe the pentaho-solutions folder on the CE standar edition) was migrated to a encrypted structure on the pentaho-solutions/system that you can set on folder or in a database.
    So now you have to ‘upload’ some of your files to this structure like reports, resources (images, css) so they can be found by the BI web server. Some others like the .ktr transformations can still live on normal files, it depends on how you code the paths on your programs. I like this as version control can be maintained on them.
    The users, new roles and datasources have also been moved from a database to the Jackrabit Content Repository (JCR).
    All the administration can be done from the BI web server.
  • The important configuration files retain their functionallity and location, but others are being taken to pieces or relocated so they can be consolidated on new ones.
    They are being commented so the inconvenience is minimal.
  • The console or web interface has a new paradigm, so you and your users will need a video or a presentation to get full use of it. Navigation between browsing programs, results, administration or home page is controlled by a selector on your upper left insted of the older tabbed interface.
  • Most of your development will need to be done or maintened.
    The sequencing actions (.xactions) files are deprecated and can be migrated once you know to:
    – Edit them without special characters (use unicode) speccially in the name.
    – Save them in UTF-8 or cant be uploaded.
    – Change <viewer>Pivot</viewer> to <viewer>plugin/jpivot/Pivot</viewer>
    – Change <model><![CDATA[solution:your-path/your-model.mondrian.xml]]></model>
    to <model><![CDATA[mondrian:/your-model]]></model>.
    Note: You have to upload the model to the repository. You browse to your folder on the web UI and click on upload.
    – The Design Studio is no longer maintained and a text editor can be used
  • The Report Designer has new attributes and quirks but its ok. Now you can ‘publish’ yor reports to your server.
    I used to specify which formats could the user select for output on a parameter, now is a default and you can select a default on the PRD.
  • The Metadata editor can read the models and publish them to the BI server too.
  • Once you save a .ktr file you won’t be allowed to read it in the olver PDI version.
  • What I miss is the Saiku Reporter as it has not been migrated yet.
    Those programs and the ones on Ad-hoc queries (now on WAQR plugin on the marketplace) had to be built from scratch so documentation of your site is very important on this migration.
  • The changes on CDE are many, really, many things have changed: The protovis library it uses has been deprecated, the version changed from 1.0 to 2.0 as a result interface fields have changed and a few don’t work as advertised. Check next section so you’ll be warned.

Dashboard Changes

Graphical representation is a key in information visualization, to make graph libraries present the way you desire you need documentation.

The webdetails site has good documentation on the CDE to get started but some later changes are not explained for ‘advanced topics’. you’ll need to browse the protovis site or look for tips like this one on vesion changes Main_Changes_New_Features_CCC_v2.

Some changes are minimal, as an example, you used to set an extension point as a pair: pie_innerRadius,50. Now you use: slice_innerRadiusEx,50%. You can see that you will need lots of time to make your dashboard behave like it used to.

Other point of difficulty are functions and how you pass a parameter, You used to format a tooltip:

function f(value){return ('$'+sprintf("%.1f", value)+'m')}

now you pass an object and has to specify the full path:

function f(scene){
    return ('Puesto '+scene.vars.category.value+' , con '+scene.vars.value.value+' personas');

The problem is that the object has a few variations and can be navigated on some others.

Tip: The code to trigger a change on a click change from:

function d(a,b,c){ updateParamFunc("PARAM_MARKET", b) }


function d(scene){ updateParamFunc("PARAM_MARKET", scene.vars.category.value) }

Heres an article on the pentaho forum that talks about extension points.

I noticed also than table rendering has changed from 5.01 to 5.1, now its better as has several divs to control format but you will have to use your firebug plugin to tame them with .css files (that has to be uploaded to the repository).