Ok - this has been stewing for some time now, and I think now is the right time to announce that I am working together with Jos van Dongen from Tholis Consulting to create a book for Wiley with the tentative title "Building Pentaho Solutions".
My personal aim is to make this book the primary point of reference for DBAs and Application Developers that are familiar with Open Source products like MySQL and PostgreSQL but have no prior BI skills, as well as BI professionals that are familiar with closed source BI products like Microsoft BI and Business Objects that want to learn how to get things done with Pentaho.
The book will cover all distinct components and sub-products that make up the Pentaho BI Suite. For each component (and where applicable), installation, usage and maintenance are discussed and illustrated.
Background theory is given as needed to provide context for those readers with no prior BI knowledge or experience. This means we will cover topics such as dimensional modeling, data warehousing, data integration and much more. At the same time, the book will have a strong "hands-on" focus, and for that purpose, Jos and I have put together a fairly realistic online DVD Rental Company, www.worldclassmovies.com.
We went as far as creating different database schemas for the operational applications (for customer orders, inventory management, and purchase orders), and generating non-trivial volumes of example data for it (tables with 100k to 10m rows), covering over 7 years of DVD rental business - and this is just the operational system. And although generated, it's not just random data - things like customer age and location distribution, per year and per week ordering behaviour etc. - it's all in our sample data.
In our schemas and sample solutions, we are making an effort to cater to MS SQL, MySQL, Oracle and PostgreSQL users. We will also explore a few highly interesting open source database products like LucidDB and MonetDB.
Anyway - I will soon post some more details about the book and it's contents as we progress. I have taken Baron Schwartz's advice on writing a book to heart, and we are working from a pretty detailed outline trying to meet a darn-tight schedule.
If all goes well, we should end up with a 450-500 page book in a store near you by August 2009.
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