Tuesday, May 26, 2009

OpenCommunityCamp 2009

OpenCommunityCamp 2009 is near! OpenCommunityCamp is a true Camp: there's no registration, its completely free, and geeks and geekettes will be spending the evenings around the campfire, and sleep in tents beneath the starry skies of Oegstgeest, the Netherlands.

If you can find the time, I'd be glad to meet you there, 26th July through 2nd August 2009.

I'll be speaking on Open Source Business Intelligence, but there's a lot more going on.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Completed Draft for the "Pentaho Solutions" Book


Last night, I completed the draft of "Pentaho Solutions", which is a book I'm writing together with my friend and colleague Jos van Dongen for Wiley.

(Actually, the full title is: "Pentaho Solutions: Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing with Pentaho and MySQL")

Here's an overview of the contents, just to give you an idea what we have been doing:

  • Part I: Getting Started, Prerequisites, Installation and Configuration and Overview

    • Chapter 1: Quick Start: Pentaho PCI Examples

    • Chapter 2: Prerequisites

    • Chapter 3: Server Installation and Configuration

    • Chapter 4: The Pentaho BI Stack

  • Part II: Business Case, Dimensional Modeling, Data Warehouse and Data Mart Design

    • Chapter 5: Example Business Case: World Class Movies

    • Chapter 6: Data warehouse primer

    • Chapter 7: Modeling the Business: Logical Design using Star Schemas

    • Chapter 8: The Data Mart Design Process

  • Part III: ETL and Data Integration

    • Chapter 9: Pentaho Data Integration

    • 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: Reporting using Jfree

    • Chapter 14: Scheduling, Subscription and Bursting

    • Chapter 15: OLAP Solutions using Pentaho Analysis Services

    • Chapter 16: Data Mining with Weka

    • Chapter 17: Building Dashboards

So - Jos and I will be processing comments from the copy and tech editors for the remainder of this month, and then, if all goes well this is going to result in a book with about 550 pages which should be available in the first week of September (2009). You can actually pre-order a copy already on Amazon and benefit from the special 37%(!) pre-order discount:

I admit that it has been way more work than I thought, and I'm very glad we have reached this milestone. That said, I really am quite happy with what we've written so far, and I am convinced we will be delivering a valuable book for everybody that is interested in getting started with Business Intelligence, or just Pentaho, or both. Although Jos and I did the writing, we got great support from Pentaho developers as well as various community members, and this really was a huge help to us. (I don't want to name names now because I would risk leaving someone out accidentally - We'll make sure to get a full list of acknowledgements)

As a project I think things have developed pretty good too. We experienced some delay with respect to our original schedule, but to be frank I expected that would happen when we started this. All in all, we are two weeks behind, but on a +6 months period of time, I don't think that's too bad. I really should mention that so far, we received excellent coaching and advice from our contacts at Wiley, Bob Elliot and Sara Shlaer. Thanks! and on to the last few bits of work...

Update: I forgot to mention - we are covering the new and upcoming version of the Pentaho platform, Pentaho 3. However, tools within the platform follow their own version scheme so a single version number doesn't say that much (for example, the data integration chapters focus on Pentaho Data Integration 3.2)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Wanna discuss Microsoft Sharepoint?

Currently, I'm developing something that requires integration with Microsoft Sharepoint.

If you're considering to do the same, and are used to standard HTML, CSS and javascript technologies like object-detection and namespacing, I seriously advise you to have some painkillers in reach, as well as some hard liquor to flush them down.

If you'd like to discuss my point of view, please use this function from core.js, kindly provided by the open minded crew that is responsible for the web development disaster better known as Microsoft Sharepoint:

function Discuss(strUrl)
var L_IE5upRequired_Text="'Discuss' requires a Windows SharePoint Services-compatible application and Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or greater.";
if (browseris.ie5up && browseris.win32)

Thank you.

DuckDB bag of tricks: Processing PGN chess games with DuckDB - Rolling up each game's lines into a single game row (6/6)

DuckDB bag of tricks is the banner I use on this blog to post my tips and tricks about DuckDB . This post is the sixth installment of a s...