Pentaho BI Suite

Pentaho BI Suite
Pentaho BI Suite
Carlos Wed, 07/14/2010 - 13:35


Pentaho was created in 2004 and at this moment, it is the leader of the Open Source BI solutions. It offers a large spectrum of resources, and using its own solutions, it is able to maintain and explore a BI project.

Pentaho has built its own BI solution by integrating different existing projects of recognized solvency. For example, Data Integration formerly known as Kettle, in fact maintains its old name as a colloquial name. Mondrian is the other component of Pentaho who is still retaining its own entity.


                                                                     Pentaho BI Suite Enterprise Edition 



Pentaho Data Integration (previously Kettle) is one of the most widespread and well rated ETL solutions on the market. 

It counts with a long history, solidity and robustness that make it a highly recommended tool.

It allows the transformations to be done in a very simple and intuitive way. All the projects realized with Data Integration are very easy to maintain.
                                                                      Pentaho Data Integration (Kettle)  
Current version

  • 3.2.0-stable


  • Very easy to use.
  • Very easy to mantain.
  • Great flexibility to carry out our transformations.


  • It´s a comple Java solution so that:
    • The visual appearance is not its best virtue.
    • Despite of its very good performance, it will always loose when compared to sql scripts.

Web Application: BI Server

The B.I. Pentaho Server is an application 100% Java2EE that allows us to manage all our resources in BI.

It has a BI user interface where we find all our reports, OLAP views and the dashboards. Access itself as a management console that will allow us to manage and monitor both our application and users. It offers the possibility to know which reports each user query, when they are consulted, the application performance, etc.


.Pentaho BI Server




Current version: 3.5.2-stable

  • Java2EE application 100% extensible, adaptable and configurable.
  • The configuration management of both the initial establishment and maintenance is well settled.
  • It is integrable in most environments and able to communicate with other applications via webservices.
  • It integrates all the information resources into a single operation.
  • Provides all the freedom that the users and developers need to create new content.
  • Exploitation of their resources as SOAP webservices.

Differences between the enterprise version and version community:

  • OLAP Viewer (Community Edition JPivot Vs the Analyzer for the Enterprise).
  • Dashboards (CDF for the EC Vs Dashboard Designer for EE).

Pentaho Reporting

Pentaho provides a complete reporting solution, covering all aspects required in any environment reports. The Pentaho reporting tool is the old JfreeReport. Although from the version 3.5 has been completely rewritten, Pentaho Reporting Provides is a complete tool.

  • Provides a tool for reporting (Pentaho Reporting).
  • Provides runtime
  • It provides a Metadata tool for conducting Add-hoc reports.
  • Provides a user interface that allows ad-hoc reports (WAQR)


                                                                                                    Pentaho Report Designer



Current version: 3.6.0-stable


  • It provides an intuitive client tool that allows reports to be made easily, including a step by step guide.
  • Allows reports through a java API
  • It allows multiple types of reports.
    • Classics reports with different levels of grouping, multiple columns, sub-reports.
    • Reports with charts, with added interactive parameters.
    • Export to different document types (html, html pages, excel, pdf, plain text)


     Ejemplos de informes hechos con Pentaho



  • At the moment, the crosstabs reports (Crosstabs) exit,but only as experimental feature.
  • The interface for add-hoc reports is a bit outdated and lacks the features that others offer as a validation of queries.


Interface Add-hoc reports (WAQR)

Interface Add-hoc reports (WAQR)

Differences between the enterprise version and community version:

  • Licensed code and support.

OLAP : Mondrian

OnLine Analitical Processing is the technology that allows us to organize information in a dimensional structure that will provide the possibility of moving “through” information, moving on its dimensions.

Mondiran is the OLAP engine of Pentaho, although it can be integrated independently on any other platform. In fact, along with Data Integration, Mondrian is the component which it is used more frequently in an independent way.

Mondrian is a Hybrid OLAP engine that combines the flexibility of a ROLAP engine with a caché that provides the necessary speed.

Current versión: 3.0.4


  • It is a widely used engine, consolidated in Java environments
  • It is the de facto engine for most of the Open Source BI solutions .


  • It does not allow write-back as MOLAP engines do, for example PALO or Analysis Services Differences between the enterprise version and community version:
  • Licensed code and support.

OLAP Viewer

At the moment there are 3 (2 +1) OLAP viewers in the Pentaho suite:

  • ·JPivot: OLAP viewer with great experience, robust and reliable but outdated. It is, by default, the viewer in Community version.


Visor OLAP Jpivot


  • Pentaho Analyzer: OLAP Viewer that comes with the enterprise version. More modern and easier to use than JPivot. It provides an AJAX interface that allows great flexibility in creating the OLAP views.

Pentaho Analyzer: OLAP Viewer


  • P.A.T: Pentaho Analysis Tools. It’s current 0.6 version it is called to be the replacement of JPivot as OLAP viewer in the Community version. It is a GWT based viewer that allows great flexibility. Unfortunately, it is still in an unstable state.

Pentaho Analysis Tools



Pentaho provides the possibility of making scorecards through the web interface using the Dashboard Designer. This possibility exists only in the Enterprise version. There is no tool for Add-hoc dashboards in the Community version.

For making the dashboards in the Community version there is Community Dashboard Framework, which allows us to develop our dashboards using only HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Dashboard Designer

Current Version: included in the BI Server


  • Allows creating Add-hoc dashboards
  • Allows creating dashboards based on Metadata or on SQL Query


  • The learning curve is high.


Pentaho Dashboard Designer



Current Version: included in the BI Server


  • Allows creating dashboards in a quickly, organized way.
  • Allows greater flexibility by offering a wide range of components and options
  • There is an embryonic Dashboard Community Editor allowing to create Add-hoc dashboard but it is still an incipient phase.


  • It is a development framework. Programming it is a must!


Pentaho Summary Table

Pentaho Summary Table