Monthly Archives: April 2006

Oracle: We'll always have Paris

Nothing like running down a good movie quote with techno-babble.

Some people have inquired if I’m heading to Pentaho because I dislike the Oracle tools; specifically if the significant delays (2+ yrs) on Paris have worn on me. I can emphatically state this is NOT the case! I’m moving to Pentaho because Open Source BI is REALLY REALLY cool not because I was unhappy with Oracle Business Intelligence technologies.

I think Paris is a significant improvement for Oracle customers and still believe it provides significant VALUE for customers. That’s one of the reasons I like Pentaho Data Integration (aka Kettle); it provides VALUE in different but very compelling ways.

So, Oracle Warehouse Builder remains a good value/choice in my book. I just think that Open Source BI/ETL/OLAP/DB shines in the “value” equation and I’m thrilled to help make that happen for real customers needing real solutions.


I’ve been watching some of the news lately from Ingres. While their GPL strategy will inhibit their ISV/OEM adoption (amoung other reasons) they seem to be doing two things very very well:

  1. Raising capital (through the divesture fund) for a major expansion/run
  2. Assembling top talent

There has also been murmurs of some new products/strategies, such as a tightly coupled Ingres/Linux that will run on steel or in a VM.

So I ask to those that know… Am I wrong on the future of Ingres?

Open Source OLAP : Standards DO WORK!

A while back I had an impromptu collaboration with Chris Harrington to see if any of his XML/A clients could interoperate with Mondrian. Our initial results were encouraging and Chris has taken some time to put Mondrian to task on his XML/A compatibility tests.

His results, well, I’ll let them speak for themselve:

I have a cmd file full of xmla.wsf invocations to test many kinds of Discover calls and a few Execute calls. So I had this as a ready-made compatability test. I just changed the XML/A URL and the catalog name (“FoodMart” instead of “FoodMart 2000”) and ran the script.
All of my XML/A invocations except one worked against Mondrian.

Apparently MSAS is slight more forgiving on some syntax issues (brackets, curly braces and such) but overall Mondrian can actually BE an XMLA provider to clients.

Very encouraging… Considering the economics of inexpensive Lintel servers, bitmap indices and partitioning, and the aggregate table feature in Mondrian: building a reasonable ( Chris provides BI consulting services but also has a couple of cool XMLA clients.

PS – All of this because of investing in the XMLA standard.

Pentaho Data Integration (aka Kettle)

Pentaho added a key ingredient (no pun intended) of BI into their platform with the acquisition of Kettle. Unveiled at Linuxworld, Pentaho now has an exceptionally productive, effective, open source ETL (and EII) tool.

Watch this space over the next few weeks as I will be blogging about Kettle (in conjunction with other Pentaho technologies) and how it can be used to build full BI solutions.

What’s the net net?

Kettle is more like an ETL product than an open source project. It’s effective, feature rich (including support for facts and dimension tables), productive, and built by a talented consultant who builds DW/BI solutions on a daily basis.

It’s graphical, user friendly, and is 100% pure Java which makes it exceptionally flexible.

My first time with Kettle I had an “Oracle Table” to “Oracle Table” mapping with a filter in between up and running in LESS THAN 10 MINUTES. Matt Casters has done an excellent job and I’m thrilled he’s joining the Pentaho team!

There’s ZERO installation required, just download, unzip and begin. Download it today and email me: let me know what you think!