Pentaho 5.0

[Work in progress, please be patient]

The New Pentaho Suite

The new Pentaho 5.0.1 (Nov 19, 2013) has been released with many changes, from a new repository to new web interface created by a new administrator for the web server. So a new guide will be needed and will be posted incrementally as knowledge is aquired or published on forums and blogs.

I recommend that you keep using Pentaho 4.8 on production sites (as of february 2014) and start a new system to learn about the 5.0 version, you will find that some features are not compatible, that you might rather build your reports from scratch than trying to migrate them. That action sequences have been deprecated and probably won’t event load to the repository, javascript function code in charts in the dashboards won’t work without modification, most of your Saiku analytics programs won’t even load, not mentioning that Saiku reporting doesn’t exist anymore. If you use the new PDI (ETL), PDR (report) or Metadata editor you can’t use those programs on your old server.

If you want to see what can be done with the pentaho suite, you can use the online demo site (, you just need to register. Or you can check demo videos on youtube or client use cases on the Pentaho site or blog.

Only if you know what you want to accomplish or already do it in excel or other tool and want to upgrade to a database/big data or web server, and are willing to invest some time in learning to implement a Pentaho version of that idea, I would tell yo to go ahead and install this open source programs and learn how they work and connect between them.

One last advice, too much BI vendor effort is placed on beautifull visualization and eye candy on the BI tools. You should focus on easy report creation and data processing and how your clients consume data. My last project was for finance experts, they couldn’t care less for fancy grahics.

Section I: Development Tools, Part I

The data querying and modification is created using two tools -once you have your databases and models-. In fact you can extract, order, filter, add KPIs, put that information in Excel and send them by email with just the ETL. Or create reports from your database or your diferent datasources in your company. These are desktop or thick client tools and you can publish your work to be used on the web aplication for your users.

The usefulness of your solution will reside on your knowledge of these tools, so assign some time and patience to discover how to use them.

  1. Get to know your main extraction tool: Kettle ETL.
  2. Set up and use the Report Designer.

Section II: The Web Server

  1. Install the Pentaho BI Community Edition Demo.
  2. Update through the marketplace: Saiku and CTools (soon).
  3. Set up MySql Databases and Migrate the Demo Data.
  4. Adding Users and Setting Access.
  5. Special Notes on Server Configuration.

Section III: Development Tools, Part II

  1. Use the Dashboard Editor.
  2. Learn to use the Metadata Editor to control access and model queries.
  3. Use the Mondrian Schema Editor to create your OLAP models (?).
  4. Use the Aggregation Designer to add summaries to frequent data (?).
  5. For legacy reasons, use the xaction editor or Design Studio (?).

Section IV: Samples

  1. Bullet Report.
  2. Bullet Graph Dashboard.

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