Complete Pentaho Installation on Ubuntu, Part 11: C*Tools Dashboards

[Note: Install instructions posted on 2011 are no longer maintained by the developers. Please use the option ‘The Marketplace’ on the Pentaho User Console. The Dashboard building guide and reference links still works].

Install the Dashboard Editor

Webdetails is the contributor of C*Tools to the Pentaho Suite and is made of:

  • CDF: Community Dashboard Framework
    This HTML/javascript framework is part of the BI Server distribution. It let’s you create pages with reports, charts and tables.
  • CDA: Community Dashboard Access
    These are several components that give access to diferent types of datasources.
    However there is a security warning about the posibility of sql injection, so if you are not on a secure environment think twice about instaling this.
  • CDE: Community Dashboard Editor
    This is the web interface that lets you build a HTML/CSS layout and connect it to page elements, datasources and events so you can build your interactive Dashboards.

Manuals and training are commercial offerings of Pedro Alves Company.

Upgrade CDF, Install CDA y CDE.

We’ll need to update a couple of folders, and create a few more to install the editor, restart the server and learn to use the components of the web editor, so:

1. What You Need

Go to http://ci.analytical-labs.com/jenkins/view/Webdetails/ in the tab ‘webdetails’ and download the most recent versions of:

2. Upgrading and Installing

  1. Stop server
  2. Make a backup of your Pentaho folder
    at least a copy of Pentaho/biserver-ce/pentaho-solutions/
  3. Delete the following folders (some of them will not exist on first install):
    /biserver-ce/pentaho-solutions/system/pentaho-cdf
    /biserver-ce/pentaho-solutions/system/pentaho-cdf-dd
    /biserver-ce/pentaho-solutions/system/cda
    /biserver-ce/pentaho-solutions/cdf
    /biserver-ce/pentaho-solutions/cde_sample
    /biserver-ce/pentaho-solutions/bi-developers/cda
  4. Unzip CDF
    pentaho-cdf-TRUNK-SNAPSHOT.zip into
    /biserver-ce/pentaho-solutions/system/
    Unzip CDF samples
    pentaho-cdf-solution-TRUNK-SNAPSHOT.zip into
    /biserver-ce/pentaho-solutions/
  5. Unzip CDA
    cda-TRUNK-SNAPSHOT.zip into
    /biserver-ce/pentaho-solutions/system/
    Unzip CDA samples
    cda-samples-TRUNK-SNAPSHOT.zip into
    /biserver-ce/pentaho-solutions/
    (examples will end up in bi-developers folder)
  6. Unzip CDE
    pentaho-cdf-dd-TRUNK-SNAPSHOT.zip into
    /biserver-ce/pentaho-solutions/system/
    Unzip CDA samples
    pentaho-cdf-dd-solution-TRUNK-SNAPSHOT.zip into
    /biserver-ce/pentaho-solutions/
  7. Start your server

3. Alternate Road

If you like things the easy way, you can download a small shell script and run it from a terminal. It will check for the latest release, do all the upgrades and even install Saiku.

These are notes from Pedro Alves page on github, his blog post or get the shell script here.

Using the CDE

To start the CDE you can click on the toolbar or use Edit->New

CDE New Dashboard

CDE New Dashboard

You have three areas:

  1. Layout:
    You click on the row (=) icon to create a row, and click on the parallel lines (||) to insert a column, and then you can click on the (<>) icon to insert HTML text. To do that you have the properties and events on the right column. Note: If you give elements a name you can use it as an ID on your CSS/javascript code.
  2. Components:
    You can define parameters as your variables.
    You can specify in components (selects, charts, html tables, etc.) the parameter to hold values, or associate them with datasources to get data at startup, or tell them to which elements they need to listen for changes, which component ID will they get displayed on or what code to use on some events.
  3. Datasource:
    You can define all kind of queries to your data, depending on your datasource.
CDE Areas

CDE Areas

Additional tips:

  • There is no global error checking and with so many setting options it is better to ‘preview’ your changes often.
  • To test the datasource (CDA) part of your dashboard you can select the .cda file on the left bottom panel and right click to open it. Your parameters will be used to run a test to your data.
  • Save often also. If you don’t like your changes not all optios have undo capabilities.
  • To edit a dashboard use: Edit (you need to have the sources)

    CDE Edit

    CDE Edit

  • The componets have a link for advanced settings
    CDE JS Functions

    CDE JS Functions

    You can use javascript on clicks, pre or postprocessing, just name the functions:
    function f(){ param2=param1-1; }

Reading Material

  • Detail documentation: CTools-intro-v1.pdf.
  • A step by step CDE Dashboard creation post.
  • An excelent article on Dashboard creation and modification of the CCC-protovis components: creating-dashboards-with-cde.
  • Demos:
    – Five webdetails dashboards at pedroalves-bi.blogspot.com that can inspire you.
    – Stratebi has a demo also at sample.stratebi.es, register for free access.
    – Ambient shows its tips and work on a CDE implementation of a Steven Few sample of a CIO Dashboard.
  • [In Spanish] Dashboard creation: http://churriwifi.wordpress.com.
    And another post on how to use xaction, CDE, MDX and charts working in a dashboard, with code and videos, from startebi in dataprix.
    I suggest you use google translation as they are good articles and you can skip to the code.

Acknowledgement

Thanks to Catarina Félix this post was written, her email with the documentation draft and installer script made me curious and started me in the right direction to overcome the initial fear of the neon-nightclub-CDE interface. 🙂

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18 thoughts on “Complete Pentaho Installation on Ubuntu, Part 11: C*Tools Dashboards

  1. Pingback: Bullet Graph Dashboard: PDI-MDX-SQL DataSource + BI Server + CDE | Interesting IT Tip's

  2. Pingback: Complete Pentaho Installation on Ubuntu, Part 3: Saiku | Interesting IT Tip's

  3. Hello,

    Thank you so much for your awesome tutorial !
    I just have a little trouble. I followed you tutorial to install pentaho and migrate to mysql. I’m using CDE to create my dashboard. When I want to create a sql query with sql over sqlJndi, I can only use SampleData (which just works fine). I can’t use my datamart. Do you have an idea to add my datamart as a Jndi datasource ?
    Thank you so much for you help !

    Edward from Paris

  4. After installing ctools and starting the server i get this errors and warnings in catalina.out:

    15:08:09,120 ERROR [GenericServlet] GenericServlet.ERROR_0004 – Resource /saiku-adhoc/web/saiku-adhoc_supported_languages.properties not found in plugin Saiku-Adhoc
    15:08:09,121 WARN [CdvContentGenerator] couldn’t locate method: lang
    15:08:09,216 WARN [CdvContentGenerator] couldn’t locate method: lang
    15:08:09,217 ERROR [GenericServlet] GenericServlet.ERROR_0004 – Resource /saiku-adhoc/web/saiku-adhoc.properties not found in plugin Saiku-Adhoc
    15:10:23,241 WARN [RepositoryAccess] hasAccess: wcdf extension not in acl-files.
    15:10:23,241 WARN [RepositoryAccess] hasAccess: Unable to check access control for /system/cdv/presentation/validations.wcdf using default access settings.

    When i click on CDE:

    15:22:27,170 WARN [CdeSettings] Components directory ‘/home/pentaho/biserver-ce/pentaho-solutions/cde/components’ was not found.

    When i click on CDV:

    15:23:04,063 WARN [RepositoryAccess] hasAccess: wcdf extension not in acl-files.
    15:23:04,064 WARN [RepositoryAccess] hasAccess: Unable to check access control for /system/cdv/presentation/validations.wcdf using default access settings.

    I addedd the wcdf to the acl-files but still get this message 😦

    Anyone know what could be the problem?

  5. Pingback: CDE Dashboard (Datasources Kettle -MDX OLAP Components Dashboard) | Anonymous Business Intelligence

  6. Pingback: Pentaho CE 4.8 – BI Server Update | Interesting IT Tip's

  7. Hi!
    I follow your guide, I still face this problem: when I launch or preview a CDE dashboard:
    HTTP Status 500 – Could not initialize class com.orientechnologies.orient.core.version.OVersionFactory
    type Status report

    message Could not initialize class com.orientechnologies.orient.core.version.OVersionFactory

    description The server encountered an internal error (Could not initialize class com.orientechnologies.orient.core.version.OVersionFactory) that prevented it from fulfilling this request.
    Apache Tomcat/6.0.29

    thank you

  8. Pingback: CDE Dashboard (Datasources Kettle -MDX OLAP Components Dashboard) « Ideasboxs's Blog

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