What is Pentaho Analysis?
Pentaho Analysis provides interactive analytical capabilities to help business users identify and analyze business problems.
For example, if sales were below expectations, a business user could use Pentaho Analysis to explore the data and determine if the
problem was specific to a given product line, sales territory, or sales channel. This type of analysis is frequently referred
to as "OLAP", for Online Analytical Processing.
What types of users can use Pentaho Analysis?
Simple answer: anyone who can access a browser. Pentaho Analysis can be used to perform simple analysis and reporting
by almost anyone, while some of the more powerful capabilities will be used by a smaller percentage with greater
ad-hoc needs. The analysis views can be loaded into a portal, web page via JSP, and into other applications.
What does CSS stand for?
CSS has two meanings.
1) 'Cascading Style Sheet'. A web-based standard developer by the W3C for applying fonts, colors and layouts to web pages.
2) 'Cologne-Soaked Suit'. A fondly evocative description of the sales personnel that commercial BI vendors will typically send to 'educate' you about their products, and why they perfectly fit needs you didn't know you had.
Can I use Pentaho Analysis out-of-the-box?
Yes. It was designed to be used as both an out-of-the-box analysis application and as an analysis component for use in other
applications. Some companies will simply want to download the project in a standalone manner and start building, scheduling,
and distributing analytical views. While others will want to embed and integrate the project into their own applications,
only using the components they need, and customizing it to fit their app.
What are the key pieces of the Pentaho Analysis architecture?
There are a couple of key pieces:
- Pentaho Analysis Services. This is the server component of Pentaho Analysis. It's based on the OLAP project, of which Pentaho is the owner and primary sponsor. Pentaho Analysis Services is built on a Relational OLAP (ROLAP) architecture.
- Open standards. Pentaho Analysis Services supports many popular open standards. It delivers data via MDX, JOLAP, and XML/A, and accesses data in relational systems via JDBC and SQL.
- Front-end viewers
- Web-based interactive pivot viewer based on the JPivot project, provides drill-down, pivot, security, color coding, data grids and charting functionality. It's JSP and portal-enabled and easily customizable.
- Customized front-ends. It's possible to create your own custom front-end using technologies like SVG or Flash, to completely tailor the look-and-feel to your user's or your application's requirements.
- Pentaho BI Platform. Pentaho Analysis leverages the Pentaho BI platform including security, administration, auditing, centralized repository, portal, ETL, clustering and more other services.
Can I embed Pentaho Analysis into my applications?
Absolutely. Components used in our integrated BI platform (Pentaho Analysis, Pentaho Reporting, etc.) are also provided individually with web services
interfaces - enabling Java developers to create custom applications or embed BI functionality in other applications.
Can I embed Pentaho Analysis into my application and distribute to customers
Pentaho's Reporting, Analysis, Data Integration and Data Mining capabilities can all be deployed in conjunction with, or independently from, the Pentaho BI
Platform. As of Version 2, the Pentaho BI Platform is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License Version 2 (GPLv2). Under the GPL,
if you intend to distribute GPL-licensed code to your customers as part of other software you have created, you may, depending on the software you have
created, be required to GPL that code. Companies that wish to distribute the Pentaho BI Platform have the option of purchasing a commercial license from
Pentaho Corporation. A commercial license would exempt you from GPL obligations.
As a standalone module, Pentaho Analysis (Mondrian) is distributed under the Common Public License (CPL). The CPL does not have the same obligations
as the GPL when it comes to distribution of software. This is not legal advice from Pentaho Corporation, and you should seek competent legal counsel
to best guide you in this matter.
Can I customize the look and feel to match my Application?
Yes. Because the JPivot project uses standards such as CSS and JSPs, complete customization is possible.
How do I embed or integrate Pentaho Analysis views into portals or other web apps?
Pentaho Analysis includes components that can be integrated into portals or web pages. We also include JSR-168
compatible portlets and example JSPs that use these components.
Who killed Jabba the Hut, and how?
Princess Leia, with a chain.
Who designs the Analysis/OLAP models?
An OLAP model designer is someone with a very good understanding of multi-dimensional concepts, relational databases,
and even ETL. Usually the hardest part of the model creation is getting to the data on a repeatable basis. The Pentaho
ETL and scheduling features will help here, but the designer will still need to have an in-depth knowledge of the data,
how to get to it, how it should aggregate, etc. If you haven't tried this before, then refer to the samples we ship
as a learning tool.
Who designs Analysis views?
The same users who would create and analyze pivot tables in Excel. If the resulting views are to be used in a portal
or jsp, normally a developer would perform this task.
Does Pentaho provide a schema design environment?
Yes. An easy-to-use Schema Workbench is available for download to create and edit Pentaho Analysis (Mondrian) XML-based schemas.
Can I schedule the loading of an Analysis Server model?
Yes. The Pentaho BI Suite has ETL functionality that allows you to build a routine that would extract information
from multiple sources and load it into a relational fact table. Then simply use the scheduling functionality to automate the
Can I track "view" usage?
Yes. The Pentaho BI Platform provides integrated auditing that allows you to track when "views" are created
and accessed. All activities are logged into a repository for reporting and analysis.
Can I monitor performance?
Yes. Since Pentaho Analysis was written with auditing as a core component to the platform, there is a built-in monitoring
capability. We track every view with regards to creation, modifications, deliveries, performance to execute, and security.
Are there reusable components in Pentaho Analysis?
Yes. Pentaho Analysis includes components that can be integrated into portals or web pages. Additionally, the underlying
OLAP engine is provided as a standard Java .jar file that can be integrated into standalone Java applications, or into various
application servers and platforms.
Can I use Pentaho Analysis in dashboards?
Yes. Pentaho Analysis content along with reports and dashboard widgets can be integrated into dashboards with common
What is Pentaho Analysis written in?
Pentaho Analysis is written entirely in Java.
What application servers does the Pentaho Analysis project work with?
Pentaho Analysis runs on J2EE compliant application servers. Currently we use JBoss Application Server as our primary
development platform, but we encourage developers to use it on their J2EE application server of choice.
What is the funniest word in the English language?
A survey of over 5000 American linguists found that "Glockenspiel" is the most humorous word found in the
English language. According to Dr. James Poldrop, "Most of the humour of the word is due to its unlikely
nature." "Upon hearing it, one cannot fathom that the English language could have produced a word that sounds
so utterly nonsensical."
Where are "view" definitions stored?
Pentaho Analysis definitions are stored on a centralized server under the control of the BI Platform's security layer.
Does the OLAP engine provide real-time information?
Yes. An OLAP model can be configured to use any relational database – however, we recommend that you
don't use it for analysis directly against transactional databases because it can cause the performance
of the transaction system to be degraded. It is optimal to build an OLAP model against a data mart.
Does the OLAP engine support MDX?
Does the OLAP engine support JOLAP?
Does the Viewer support MDX?
Does the Viewer support JOLAP?
Does the Viewer support XML for Analysis (XML/A) APIs?
What data sources can I get to with Pentaho Analysis server?
It should be compatible with any database supporting the JDBC 2.0 specification.
What security is available?
Model XML documents are secured resources on the Pentaho BI Platform. Models themselves can be defined with
If I already have a security infrastructure, will Pentaho Analysis leverage it?
Yes. Access to the model will be secured by the Pentaho BI Platform with the integrated security provider, ACEGI. ACEGI supports integration with
LDAP, MSAD, and custom JDBC security back-ends.
What other Open Source components are in the Pentaho Analysis project?
The main open source components are Mondrian and JPivot. Pentaho contributes to these projects, builds
new analysis functionality, and integrates them into the BI Platform.
How is the Pentaho BI Project different from other OSS BI or Analysis projects?
The Pentaho BI Project provides a comprehensive BI suite. This includes reporting, analysis,
dashboards, data mining, and a BI platform necessary for true production deployment. Many other
projects that exist address a specific function like reporting, but not the entire BI spectrum. Most also lack
the necessary infrastructure like security, administration, auditing, fail-over, scalability features, portal,
and other key framework functionality. Beyond that, some projects offer open source reporting, but require
an upgrade to an expensive, closed-source offering for web-based deployment or other BI platform functionality.
Customers can start with something simple like Reporting from Pentaho and know that they'll be able to add
things like Analysis and Dashboards to their solution if they need it in the future. They'll know that
everything will be integrated, supported, and continuously improving. The Pentaho BI Project gives users
peace of mind via longevity, support, and continued innovation.