Archive for the 'olap' Category

More than just Analyzer

There has been a lot of buzz recently about Pentaho’s acquisition of LucidEra’s ClearView technology, now known as Pentaho Analyzer Enterprise Edition, including this detailed writeup by Julian Hyde. But one
important aspect of this acquisition that has gone unmentioned, which I am most excited about, is the addition of Benny Chow to the Pentaho engineering team.

At LucidEra, Benny was the Director of Engineering and was responsible for the development of ClearView. In his short time here at Pentaho, he’s already had a great impact on our engineering efforts especially with the integration work necessary to make Analyzer an integral part of Pentaho’s User Console. Let me be the first to publicly welcome Benny to the Pentaho team!

MySQL Conference Highlights

I just got back from spending the week in Santa Clara, California at the MySQL Conference. I really enjoyed spreading the word about Open Source Business Intelligence. Many folks attending the conference were new to Business Intelligence and Pentaho, so I enjoyed demoing our products, showing off Adhoc Querying with Metadata and building Transformations with Kettle.

I was very impressed with Marten Mickos and Jonathan Schwartz’s keynotes. Both focused on the value and benefits of Open Source technology. Marten celebrated the MySQL community by recognizing some of the top community contributors of MySQL, and Jonathan discussed the big picture of how Sun powered by Open Source can change the world.

Other great highlights included Lance Walter giving a talk on Operational Business Intelligence, and Julian Hyde discussing Interactive OLAP, which included a demo of Halogen. To cap off the week, I visited my good friend Dan Morrill at the Googleplex and got a tour of their wonderfully creative environment, including pin ball machines and space ships!

Mondrian 3.0 Milestone 1

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been working hard to get Mondrian 3.0 feature complete and relatively bug free. This is a major release, with large architectural and functional changes. I spent the last part of 2007 implementing the new shared dimensions architecture for Mondrian. This change cleaned up a lot of code in Mondrian, along with enabling new features like sharing the same dimension multiple times in a single cube, and also better management of shared dimensions within Virtual Cubes.

In January, I worked with Julian on squashing bugs. Earlier in the month we triaged all the bugs that have been logged since 2006. Now that we’ve assigned and prioritized them, tracking down bugs has been a great way for me to become more familiar with the Mondrian code base.

Some of the other major features that Julian has been working on this round include better role support, olap4j API support, and a much richer set of VBA and Excel function support.

Read about all the changes in the change log, and of course download this milestone release, kick the tires, and let us know what you think!


Bill Seyler has been working on an open source web 2.0 GWT pivot viewer based on the new olap4j API.  He recently posted the first cut over on this google code project.  Julian Hyde has a few words to say about the release over on his blog.  I’ve been working with Bill and Julian on the olap4j query implementation behind Halogen.  By separating the UI from concepts like pivoting, etc, it makes it much easier for other UI developers to incorporate multi-dimensional queries into their own applications.  Hopefully olap4j will encourage new OLAP UI development in the open source community!

Orlando Dev Summit Thoughts…

Last week, the architects of Pentaho’s products convened in Orlando to sync up and discuss plans for 2008.  Matt Casters of Kettle, Julian Hyde of Mondrian, Thomas Morgner of JFreeReport, and Mark Hall of Weka attended the festivities.  Some of the highlights included roadmap discussions on Pentaho Metadata, a great Weka brown bag, and lots of discussion on improving communication and process as Pentaho scales its engineering department.

One aspect of the discussion included having Mondrian, our OLAP server, work more closely with Pentaho Metadata.  Over a year ago, Matt Casters wrote a prototype of a Mondrian Schema Generator based on Pentaho Metadata.  This functionality currently exists as an easter egg within Pentaho Metadata Editor, by clicking “CTRL-ALT-o”.  While brain storming, we’ve thought of many different ways that Metadata, Mondrian, and the Pentaho Platform can work together to make a better user experience.