Pentaho Visit : Day 4

Today was a bit of a whirlwind…. Had a bunch of constructive conversations with the Pentaho folks about their solution, their license, where their company is headed, etc. I’m most impressed with their company, and engineering staff. Their product is coming together, they’re getting used by real customers (big ones with tough problems). They haven’t announced names on many of these, but they’ll be recognizable brands and companies.

I just started having a look at Kettle this week… I’m quite impressed with it, actually. I won’t be able to go into detail on the matter right now so I’ll defer that to some later posts. Suffice to say, that I was able to get a simple ETL transformation squared away in about 10 minutes. For anything open source, this is impressive so Kudos to Matt Casters at Kettle! 🙂

Speaking of full posts, I had some interesting discussions with the Pentaho folks about their license (PPL 1.0). I want to post a more comprehensive post on the matter so I’ll defer on that as well.

We covered some of the portal integration today, and WOWSERs. Building portals in open souce tools right now is not very, ummmm, user friendly. This has nothing much to do with Pentaho per se, as they are providing pretty cool portlet reference implementations, etc. It doesn’t appear that there is any good open source portal development tools (visual development anyone?) at the mo’. This might be so because I don’t see it, so if I’m wrong please do let me know. btw, this is one area where I’d LOVE to actually BE wrong. Email me if you know of a good open source portal product.

We also looked at some of the UI customization provided. There’s some cool stuff in this… It can be used to generate say, lists of values on pages. This is necessary for creating these dynamic dashboards.

From the screenshot you can see some radio buttons and a select box that was built using the Pentaho provided “Action Sequences.” Pretty cool stuff all in all.

I had to leave a bit early (there are some people staying on till tommorrow for a bit more) but thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Pentaho team. James, Bill, Lance, Richard, and the rest of the tribe: many thanks for the hospitality and all the great information on your evolving product!

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