The Pentaho Test Drive

September 2, 2014


Before making an investment in a new car, you may first narrow down what features you want such as fast, easy to use and cost effective. Next, once you have a strategy you probably head to the dealer to test drive a few of the targeted options before making a big investment in a car that you know will improve your commute.

With the rapidly changing data landscape, there are newer, faster, and easier to use options to access, analyze and predict your data that are now in the marketplace. Similar to the flashy car advertisements, its hard to separate hype from reality of which tools will give your organization the performance and flexibility needed to achieve a return on your investment.

Similar to the process you would take to buy a new car, at PentahoWorld, we are giving you a unique opportunity to test drive three different innovative use cases that we see making a huge impact on our customers. Test drive options include: Pentaho Data Integration (PDI) with Hadoop, PDI with MongoDB, and PDI with Weka (Predictive) – see below for descriptions.

At the PentahoWorld Hands-On Product Training, we hand over the keys or in reality – we provide the experts, computers and lunch. This really is a great opportunity to take your knowledge to the next level with in-depth instructions with these innovative technologies. I recommend signing up for the test drive sessions ASAP as space is limited, and the early bird pricing ends September 5th.

John Durkin
Senior Training Manager

Test Drive Pentaho with Hadoop

This Test Drive covers the steps to use Hadoop in the process of optimizing your data warehouse. You’ll gain hands-on experience with creating folders in HDFS, loading data, working with PDI transformations, configuring Pentaho Map Reduce and reviewing your results in HDFS. You’ll orchestrate it all by using a Hadoop job in PDI.

Test Drive Pentaho with MongoDB

This Test Drive outlines a real world scenario based on creating a 360° view of your customers. You’ll gain hands-on experience with connecting MongoDB to PDI, loading data into a MongoDB document, creating arrays, creating an aggregate pipeline query, and visualizing the results. You’ll orchestrate all of these tasks using a MongoDB job in PDI.

Test Drive Pentaho with Weka

This Test Drive introduces basic data mining concepts and terminology, along with the parts of the Pentaho suite that facilitate the development and application of predictive modelling. If you are new to data mining or you are considering a predictive solution for your business challenge, this is the test drive for you. You’ll gain hands-on experience with the Pentaho tools using real world direct-marketing use case. In particular, you will be introduced to some common types of data mining models and guided through the process of creating, evaluating, exporting and deploying a predictive model.

Sign-up for the Pentaho test drive today!

Photo credit:

Pentaho Training Courses for April and May

April 12, 2012

Pentaho is offering a variety of training courses this spring to help you take your Pentaho skills to the next level. Attend one of our training classes to enhance your Pentaho skills, increase the efficiency of your projects and network with your peers.

What’s New in Pentaho Business Analytics 4.0: $100 – April 25, Online
Ready to move to Pentaho Business Analytics 4.0? Take this online course to learn about all of the new features in 4.0.

Architect’s Bootcamp: $3,995 – April 24 to 27, Orlando, FL
This course is designed for developers looking to learn how to extend Pentaho with “out of the box” capabilities.

Business Analytics Bootcamp: $2,500 – April 10 to 13, San Jose, CA, May 1 to 4, Orlando, FL or Washington, D.C. May 14 to 17
Quickly get up and running by attending this Pentaho Business Analytics suite overview course.

Agile BI for Business Analysts: $495 – May 21 to 23 (9 hours), Online
This course uses Pentaho Data Integration and our on-demand environment to jump start the Agile BI learning process before making a long-term investment.

We hope to see you online or in one of our classrooms soon. For questions about Pentaho training, please contact

We’re All Over the World this November

November 1, 2011

This month, Pentaho is offering a host of training classes all over the world – from Mumbai to Paris to Chicago. Take one of our Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp classes (offered in more than 15 cities this month!) to get started with Pentaho or hone your skills by taking an advanced class. To learn more about Pentaho’s new extreme in-memory analytics capabilities, register for our webinar on November 10.

Nov 10 – Delivering Extreme-Scale In-Memory Analytics – Online

Live Events
Nov 3 – Seminar in French: Accélérez votre processus d’information décisionnelle grâce à Pentaho – Paris, France
Nov 8 – Financial Information Management Conference and Exhibition – London, UK
Nov 16 – Seminar in Portuguese: Maior Autonomia e Poder Para o Utilizador – Libson, Portugal
Nov 24 – Conference: A Demonstration of Pentaho’s Support for Big Data – Netherlands
Nov 29 – Big Data and Analytic Databases Forum – Neuss, Germany

Nov 1 – Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp – San Francisco, CA
Nov 7 – Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp – Guadalajara, Mexico
Nov 7 – Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp – Lyon, France
Nov 7 – Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp – Santiago, Chile
Nov 7 – Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp – Warsaw, Poland
Nov 8 – Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp – Wien, Austria
Nov 8 – Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp – Nieuwegein, Netherlands
Nov 8 – Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp – Manila, Philippines
Nov 8 – Pentaho Data Integration for Database Developers – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Nov 14 – Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp – Mumbai, India
Nov 15 – Agile BI for Business Analysts – Online (Italian)
Nov 15 – Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp – Chicago, IL
Nov 15 – Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp – Frankfurt, Germany
Nov 15 – Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp – Orlando, FL
Nov 15 – Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Nov 15 – Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp – Fulda, Germany
Nov 15 – Pentaho Data Integration for Database Developers – Frankurt, Germany
Nov 21 – Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp – Roma, Italy
Nov 21 – Agile BI for Business Analysts – Online
Nov 21 – Penatho BI Suite Bootcamp – Paris, France
Nov 21 – Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp – Bucharest, Romania
Nov 21 – Pentaho Report Design Techniques – Online (German)
Nov 21 – Pentaho Report Design Techniques – Online
Nov 22 – Pentaho Report Design Techniques – Online (Spanish)
Nov 22 – Pentaho Data Integration for Database Developers – Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Nov 29 – Pentaho Architect’s Bootcamp – San Francisco, CA
Nov 29 – Pentaho Report Design Techniques – Online (Italian)
Nov 29 – Pentaho Report Design Techniques – Online

Where is Pentaho this July?

July 7, 2011

beach chairs

We’re taking a break from the summer sun to offer some great events this month, including our Business Intelligence for Retail webcast on July 14. There’s also a great selection of Pentaho training classes that are being offered all over the world. Our Fast Track BI Seminar series has two stops this month: Paris, France and Chicago, Illinois. We hope to see you at one of our events!

July 14 – Business Intelligence for Retail – Convenient Self-Service BI – Online (English)

Live Events
July 7 – Fast Track BI Seminar and Pentaho BI 4 Launch  – Paris
July 21 – Fast Track BI Seminar – Chicago
Bookmark the Pentaho Events & Webcast webpage

Training Classes (Listed by start date; class length varies.)
July 11 – Pentaho Report Design Techniques – Online (Italian)
July 11 – Pentaho Database Integration for Database Developers – Zurich
July 12 – Pentaho Report Design Techniques – Online (Spanish)
July 18 – Pentaho Architect’s Bootcamp – Chicago
July 18 – Pentaho Database Integration for Database Developers – Massa, MS, Italy
July 19 – Pentaho Database Integration for Database Developers – Orlando
July 19 – Pentaho Report Design Techniques – Online (English)
July 25 – Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp – Dublin, Ireland
July 26 – Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp – San Francisco
July 26 – Pentaho Database Integration for Database Developers – Mainz, Germany
July 26 – Pentaho Database Integration for Database Developers – Sydney, Australia
Visit the Pentaho training web page

(Photo Credit: Graur Codrin) 

Q&A with Pentaho Trainer Lynn Yarbrough

March 14, 2011

Q&A is a series on the Business Intelligence from the Swamp Blog that interviews key members of the Pentaho team to learn more about their focus at Pentaho and outlook on the Business Intelligence industry.

If you have attended a Pentaho training class, most likely you have had a chance to meet the knowledgeable and entertaining Lynn Yarbrough. To get to know Lynn and our training classes better we asked Lynn 5 questions.

1.  What brought you to Pentaho and what do you do?

I am a trainer at Pentaho. After almost 20 years in the BI and Data Integration industry working at companies like Information Builders and Hyperion, I wanted to work at a smaller Business Intelligence company and I found a job posting for a training position at Pentaho on Monster.

2.  How many classes have you taught and do you have a favorite that stands out?

I have been with Pentaho almost 4 years and probably taught 40 classes last year alone.  My favorite class is the Pentaho BI Suite BootCamp.  I especially love the morning of Day 3, because that when we complete the creation of an OLAP cube and can view the data of Pentaho Analyzer in the Pentaho User console.  It is very rewarding to see the result of all of the work and often this is when students have an ‘aha’ moment, and say ‘this is why we need Pentaho, to give our users this power.’

3.  What elements do you think are necessary to make a successful training class?

Knowledge of the product, knowledge of the industry (in my case Business Intelligence) and a sense of humor.  We in training have also made many of the classes very ‘hands on’ which help students learn and retain the product. One of the problems we face in the classroom is that we are teaching students who have a variety of skill levels to make the class beneficial to all we have added  “optional” labs for the more advanced students.

4. Can you tell us more about the Agile BI for Business Analyst class and how it contrasts to the ‘early days’ of training

We began talking about and shaping the Agile BI class over 2 years ago, but it didn’t really take-off.  The product didn’t have the “ease of use” it has today. Now, Pentaho Agile BI has matured to the level where the class is engaging and quite fun to teach since is so easy to create a data model and analyze the data.

5.  As we kick off 2011, what are you most excited about regarding training for the upcoming year?

2011 will add many new key features to the product which will not only impact customers, but will make training easier, as the product improves in “ease of use” it also get easier and more fun to teach.  We also plan to add new training classes suggested by our customers such as ‘Pentaho for the End User’ giving hands-on training for our front end tools and ‘Pentaho On-Demand’ for customers interested to gain more experience with our cloud solution. Things are never boring at Pentaho.

Do you have additional questions for Lynn? Is there someone or a certain role at Pentaho you would like us to interview? Leave your questions in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you.

13 highlights Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp

December 15, 2010

As the new product marketing manager at Pentaho, I wanted to write my first blog on my experience attending the four-day Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp. This class is key to better understand the architecture of the Pentaho BI Suite and get hands on experience with the Pentaho BI Suite, ETL/Data Integration, Analysis and Reporting.

I have to say that coming from an enterprise data integration vendor such as IBM, I was a bit skeptical of any open source solution. What I expected was the bare bones: limited data type coverage, no metadata, basic data modeling and simple BI reporting. What I discovered was to the other extreme. I was taken by surprise on both the breath and the depth of the solution.

Here is my list of lucky 13 highlights from the class:

1.     Coverage of all types of data from what you expect (DB2, Oracle, & SQL Server) to Hadoop, Netezza, Teradata, SAP ERP systems, and of course MySQL and PostgreSQL.

2.     Parallel processing of data transformations – with an ‘intuitive’ UI that eliminates the need for coding. Unlike other tools in the market from both Open Source as well as major proprietary ETL vendors that are code generators, Pentaho Data Integration eliminates the need for coding. Talk about a low TCO!

3.     A shared repository gives a great opportunity for team work and collaboration in the process.

4.     Can handle very sophisticated dimensional modeling concepts – combination, degenerate, and conformed, and slowing changing dimensions, star and snow flake schemas.

5.     Power of OLAP for dynamic aggregation, so developers don’t have to figure out the reporting requirements ahead of time with SQL. This is an extraordinary piece of the puzzle.

6.     Caching and aggregate-aware constructs, so look ups don’t need to hit the database for every row. The wait times will be a lot less and latency is reduced.

7.     Removing the SQL layer for BI developers and data analysts. This has two benefits:  1. Reduces the complexity. 2. Protects databases from novice SQL users that can harm the system. Instead, a set of “business objects” (customer, product, etc) are presented for building reports and dashboards.

8.     Covers all types of reporting needs: Production reporting (for managed and high volume pixel perfect distribution), ad hoc analysis (for interactive analysis to measure business performance against time, location, product lines), operational reporting (for detailed reporting on the current state of data supporting ERP and CRM applications), and data mining (for predictive analysis to detect fraud / next best offers).

9.     Full drill in and out capabilities on reports. Can drill in from summary information to details. Can also drill from report to report with hyperlinks.

10.  Parametrized reports for the interactivity factor needed for analysis. Examples: What if I change the time dimension, or region? What changes I will see and how I need to adjust my operations accordingly?

11.  Dashboards, scorecards, and metrics that allow business users assemble previously built reports, queries, and analysis, needing “zero-training”.

12.  A quick installation got me up and ready in a few minutes. Quote from a customer in the class: “was able to kick this off in 10 minutes”. This customer has evaluated Pentaho’s other Open Source rivals and had found Pentaho to be superior.

13.  And now, for the cream of the crop…Something that the Big guys of ETL are light years behind: Pentaho’s integrated ETL, Visualization, and Modeling environment. It was really cool to be able to create a live connection to an transactional systems (OLTP), select some tables, and from there click right into the modeling and data visualization environments, analyze the content of those tables, do some profiling and decide the best ETL paths as well as best data structures for our new target schema. This was really exciting for me to see, as I have seen struggles around it before. Pentaho not only has all the pieces of the puzzle (ETL, Analysis, Modeling, OLAP, Predictive), which a lot of other vendors don’t even have, but it also has ‘integrated’ them into one development suite that helps the user walk through the process of building a BI solution one step at the time and on a consistent path to completion.

Seeing this set of “sophisticated” ETL, Data Modeling, OLAP, Visualization, and BI tools just left me with one puzzling question at the end. This is what I wrote in my notes at the end of the class:I can’t believe this is all so cheap! Where I was we used to charge hundreds if not millions of dollars for this!”

Farnaz Erfan
Product Marketing Manager
Pentaho Corporation

Exploring deep into the code

August 20, 2010

I often joke with my colleagues that Pentaho is the world’s largest “BI Operating System.” When you think about the number of core services that are required for any application platform – from authentication/authorization to content persistence to presentation across multiple user interfaces – it’s easy to see how architecture can become an obsession.

I’ve always felt that Pentaho has the best architectural implementation of any BI suite on the market and that the decisions and investments we made in the early years (ca. 2005-2007) would serve our customers and the community well. This has clearly been the case, and the proof is in the velocity and number of enhancements that have been delivered in the last 12 months. In particular the tremendous improvements in reporting and analysis have provided tangible benefits and made us much more competitive vis-à-vis proprietary BI products.  The platform team is now hard at work adding Java Content Repository (JCR) support (just as they did with PDI 4.0) and this will pay huge dividends in 2011 and beyond.

There’s a quiet – you might even say invisible – side to Pentaho’s business which has emerged over the last two years. Pentaho is being embedded into mission-critical web applications by name-brand enterprises and ISV’s. From the very moment they contact Pentaho Services, these companies challenge us with  interesting technical scenarios.  “Yes, we know, Pentaho was designed from the very beginning to be integrated into other applications, but how?” To answer their questions we’ve organized a team of senior Pentaho software engineers and architects who engage directly with their peers. We’ve developed best practices, created code samples and documented many of the useful software interfaces that embedders need to understand in order to deploy Pentaho within their apps. This body of work is now available to the general public in the form of a new public training course.

Developed by Pentaho’s own Gretchen Moran, the Pentaho Architect’s Bootcamp is designed to teach developers how to explore, customize and extend Pentaho solutions and the Pentaho BI Server to meet the needs of customers and community members who are looking for functionality that goes beyond Pentaho’s “out of the box” capabilities. It represents a 5-day immersion into the inner workings of Pentaho action sequences and API extension points. Do you have detailed questions about CDF, CDA and controlling user interaction with your content? Need to call or consume web services, integrate with a single sign-on server or deploy Mondrian in a multi-tenanted environment? If so, this is your class.

For more information and to register for an Architect’s Bootcamp class in Orlando, London or San Francisco, visit

Dave Henry
Vice President, Services
Pentaho Corporation

p.s. If you already understand these topics, check out our new job openings for Enterprise Architects in North America


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