Home » Book Review » Pentaho Solutions: A Needed Resource With Potential for More To Come

Pentaho Solutions: A Needed Resource With Potential for More To Come

I recently received my pre-ordered copy of Pentaho Solutions:  Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing with Pentaho and MySQL (linky (amazon.com)) and felt it needed to be the first official BlueFireDS Book Review.  It is the first resource available from a third-party about the excellent BI suite Pentaho (pentaho.com).  If you have not worked with Pentaho before and are interested in BI or wanting to find a way to set up a BI system give it a look see.  I have worked with the Pentaho suite since version 1.6 and the project has evolved leaps and bounds through to the most recent version 3.5.

By far my largest quips with Pentaho was the lack of good third-party documentation, which I feel Pentaho Solutions fills in nicely.  Not only does the book give a thorough overview of Pentaho (from installation/setup to how to use the various components of the suite), it also is a great introduction into the BI field, with an overview on building and maintaining data warehouses.

Though I consider this a must-buy for anyone who works with Pentaho or any of the various tools that make up the full BI suite (including some very nice data tools outside of the suite  like DataCleaner and Power*Architect), there are a few quips that I must point out.  First, the code that is provided on the book’s page over at Wiley (see below for link) does not match sometimes with the descriptions in the book, or does not run outright when trying to setup the provided source system and data warehouse databases.  Reading through the code, I discovered that the databases and the correct permissions just needed to be created/setup for the databases to be setup.  Also, with some of the transformations used with the Pentaho Data Integrator (formerly known as Kettle) either had extra steps or fields that caused a small bit of confusion.

To be honest, these quips are typical with technical books mainly because of the way publishing cycles work.  They are easy to overlook considering the vast area covered by the text as well as how much the reader is able to get out of it.  Pentaho Solutions is definitely one of those resources I’ll be keeping close at hand for months to come.

By the way Roland and Jos, if either of you happen to read this, I’m looking forward to seeing if this will turn into a nice series of references.  It definitely has potential!

For completeness’ sake, here’s the table of contents, from the publisher’s site:


Part I Getting Started with Pentaho.

Chapter 1 Quick Start: Pentaho Examples.

Chapter 2 Prerequisites.

Chapter 3 Server Installation and Configuration.

Chapter 4 The Pentaho BI Stack.

Part II Dimensional Modeling and Data Warehouse Design.

Chapter 5 Example Business Case: World Class Movies.

Chapter 6 Data Warehouse Primer.

Chapter 7 Modeling the Business Using Star Schemas.

Chapter 8 The Data Mart Design Process.

Part III ETL and Data Integration.

Chapter 9 Pentaho Data Integration Primer.

Chapter 10 Designing Pentaho Data Integration Solutions.

Chapter 11 Deploying Pentaho Data Integration Solutions.

Part IV Business Intelligence Applications.

Chapter 12 The Metadata Layer.

Chapter 13 Using The Pentaho Reporting Tools.

Chapter 14 Scheduling, Subscription, and Bursting.

Chapter 15 OLAP Solutions Using Pentaho Analysis Services.

Chapter 16 Data Mining with Weka.

Chapter 17 Building Dashboards.


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  1. Comment by Roland Bouman:


    Thanks you for the review, we appreciate it a lot!

    I’d be happy to add some readmes to the site to point out any differences between the sample code and the book. Don’t hesitate to send me private email to point out any whoopsies.

    Indeed, we feel too that there is potential for more Pentaho books. Let’s just say we are considering it as a serious option :)

    thanks again, and kind regards,

    Roland Bouman
    Author of \Pentaho Solutions\


  2. Comment by Jos van Dongen:

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks for the review and the feedback, much appreciated!

    re. the ‘whoopsies': same here; just CC me for any errors or inconsistencies you run into and we’ll add it to the readmes. I especially like our ‘Spanish Inquisition’ version in the introduction where we state that there are 3 ways to get the software, followed by a list with 4 items ;-)

    Best regards, Jos van Dongen


  3. Ping from Writing another book: Pentaho Kettle Solutions « JZ Talk Blogger:

    […] of the publisher. We’ve had mostly positive reviews on places like Amazon, and elsewhere on the web. I’d like to use this opportunity to thank everybody that took the time to review the […]

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