Pentaho Tech Tips: Call for prioritization

Open source is democratic, open, real.

While I have a good sense for which Tech Tips would be useful, I’d also like to ask the community for what tips they’d like to see written up:

  • Mondrian: Star Schema to OLAP cubes
    A very basic Star Schema with a Fact and Two Dimensions show how this is built into a Mondrian cube and how to built a “Pivot view” Pentaho report.
  • Mondrian: Advanced MDX
    Sets, top, running totals, etc
  • Kettle: Portable ETL
    Showing how to use paramater injection to make your Kettle solution (Jobs and Transforms) executable inside of Pentaho.
  • Kettle: Custom rollups using Excel
    Showing how to build a dimension, reporting table, etc using a very easy to use interface for business users.
  • Reporting: List of Values
    Show how to use the most unfortunately named Secure Filter component to do list of values (even though you are not REQUIRED to do any security).  Not very eloquent but the suggestion has been to call it a “Prompt For” component (see below).  Think “parameter page” driven by “select distinct name from my_reporting_table.”
  • Report Designer: How to build reports with Charts
    The latest release included the charting expressions so now one can build reports with lovely looking charts.
  • Report Designer: How to pass “Pentaho” parameters to reports
    This allows the building of drill thru parameters, titles, and other “context” from the server
  • Pentaho Spreadsheet Services: Your data looking sexy in Excel
    A quick how to of how to get an instant excel analytic interface into ANY database.  Example with Oracle XE.

Comments are ON… vote, have your say.  I WANT to do all of these, and will, eventually.  What do YOU want to see?

13 thoughts on “Pentaho Tech Tips: Call for prioritization

  1. Gretchen

    Nice list Nick! I have my own tip wish list that I’m sending you, but first a few comments on your list.

    1.) I REALLY REALLY REALLY would like some helpers with Charts. The charting engine in the platform (JFreeChart) is very powerful, I think we just need some pointers on how to exploit it in the current Pentaho toolset.

    2.) Secure Filter Component, while a bit confusing and not what you would intuitively call a “Prompt For” component (is that any better, really? ugh!), does actually describe the other function of this component. From the Creating Pentaho Solution Guide:

    The secure filter component has two separate but related functions. It allows you to customize the default prompting done by the runtime context and can verify that the only valid selections are returned. The action sequence will not continue execution with a value outside of the valid range.

    Thus, the reason it was named “Secure” Filter Component in the first place. Not defending the name by any means, just setting the record straight as far as the “we secure nothing” statement. Think we would come off as large hairy geeks if we had a contest for renaming the Secure Filter Component?

    Looking forward to these tech tips, and I will try to help you knock them out as well! Also any Pentaho community member that’s looking for a great way to get involved can blog or contribute any of these articles.

    kind regards,
    Gretchen
    Pentaho Community Connection

    Reply
  2. MikeS

    I’ll start with Kettle, please? Anything report tool related would be next, I think. I’m trying to think down the road from where I’m at on purchased tools. I’d like to do some of my new projects with open source tools and prove we can be effective doing so. Once that is done, I foresee some significant saving down the road.

    Reply
  3. ngoodman Post author

    good point gretchen… I’ll commit a blob faux-pas and change
    Show how to use the most unfortunately named Secure Filter component to do list of values (even though we are securing NOTHING). Think “parameter page” driven by “select distinct name from my_reporting_table.”

    to something new. Just put it down here in the comments so there’s a record of the original version. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Matt Casters

    Mike S, what features would you like to see described in Kettle?
    I’ve commited myself to doing a Kettle tip each week. Sometimes it takes two weeks (OK, OK! Sometimes it takes 3) but I’m still building those.
    Like I stated in by blog here: http://www.ibridge.be/?p=12 I’m still eager to hear about which topic the next Weekly Tip should cover.

    The one about passing parameters should be nice to do. Whish I had more Pentaho framework experience. Oh, and time 🙂

    Thanks for the feedback,

    Matt

    Reply
  5. Don Parish

    I’d like to see these two first:
    Mondrian: Star Schema to OLAP cubes
    A very basic Star Schema with a Fact and Two Dimensions show how this is built into a Mondrian cube and how to built a “Pivot view” Pentaho report.

    and # Pentaho Spreadsheet Services: Your data looking sexy in Excel
    A quick how to of how to get an instant excel analytic interface into ANY database. Example with Oracle XE. Is there a demo version available.

    Reply
  6. lotso

    I’m just found out about pentaho and I guess I’m in real need for some serious BI and Data Mining application which can/could make my life simpler.
    Data Mining is serious business and can save some serious money. I’m surprised that not many/more companies are looking into this.

    Would most certainly like to learn more.

    Reply
  7. Bill W.

    Nick,

    Great list! I think the Portable ETL would be great. Kettle is fairly straight forward if you have used OWB, Informatica or DTS, but there is always power hiding under the hood. We are using the Pentaho Platform for a very large Federal Government project. Kettle is going to be a key component since we are dealing with XML, Excel, DB, and flat files.

    Parameters for reports is also a great topic. It is discussed fairly heavily in the forums and is a pretty important topic once you get past the basics of a static report.

    Another topic (just to add to the list) is using the Pentaho workflow services. XActions provide some simple event driven workflow, and Shark provides a more robust environment. There is so little on this topic, and it really demands some attention. I am a bit selfish since these are going to be keys to our project, so any information is welcome.

    If you are ever looking for some help with tips, etc. Let me know. We are getting pretty good at Kettle and Mondrian.

    Bill

    Reply
  8. Falguni

    I would really really like to see some tips or examples as to how to ‘set’ and ‘pass’ a parameter in report designer.

    If there is already a link available to this, i would appreciate if you could guide me to it.

    Thanks so much,
    Falguni

    Reply
  9. vijay

    hi matt,
    i’m a newbie to kettle. i has done a kettle tansformation which will execute based upon a parameter. and i dont know how to pass a parameter from xAction to the PDI component could u help me out in this

    thanks in advance

    Reply
  10. Vikash Madhow

    A bit late to comment on this post I guess, but I just started to get serious with Pentaho two weeks ago.

    I would like to see the Kettle parameter injection tip first since this is the start of the process in my case (after all, getting the data into the database is a pre-requisite for everything else, isn’t it?).

    Rgds
    V.

    Reply
  11. sloan

    Matt, I started Kettle today. I am having trouble assuring distinct records are filtered into my table. The client’s data has replicated rows. Thanks for any insight you can pass along.

    Reply

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