A Plug for the PLUG

May 24, 2011

On Thursday, May 19, I was a fly on the wall at the third Pentaho London User Group (PLUG) meeting hosted by Dan Keeley and Tom Barber.  Here’s Dan opening the meeting, spurred on by a little ‘flower power’:

The theme for this meeting was column-oriented databases.

Tom kicked off the proceedings with a short demo of WebDetails CDF (community dashboard framework), a Pentaho extension for making light work of building dashboards.  You can read more about this in Tom’s blog.

Next, we fastened our seatbelts for a lively presentation by special guest John Smedley of Ingres, who briefed us on VectorWise, an exciting open source community project originating from the University of Amsterdam, later acquired by Ingres, for processing data at 10X -75X faster over traditional databases. It achieves this by tapping into the power of modern commodity CPUs with a database engine that leverages vector-based processing and on-chip memory.

John’s priceless quote of the evening: “de-normalizing can make your life easier”.  (Hey, I’m no database techie, but I can get down with that sentiment)

This was about the only time John stood still long enough for me to take his picture:

The evening concluded with an Academy Awards-style recorded video demonstration hosted by Nick Goodman, CEO of Seattle-based Pentaho partner DynamoDB.  Nick walked us through LucidDB, billed as the only open source database purpose-built from day one for doing business intelligence.  Among the interesting things Nick showed us was how DynamoDB allows users to perform ‘back-in-time’ queries based on data sets from an earlier time period, reminiscent of the Wayback Machine.  LucidDB’s columnar storage means data can be compressed into a much smaller space that with traditional database structures.

The meeting was generously hosted by Skills Matter, an organisation that supports the Agile and Open Source developer community through free events, training courses, conferences and publishing.

PLUG needs your support and involvement to flourish, so if you’re in the Southeast and want to take part or recommend a theme for the next meeting, visit here or contact Dan Keeley.

The next meeting will be held in September or October  - we hope to see you there!

Sarah Lafferty
Director and co-founder
Round Earth Consulting


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