Saturday, October 18, 2014

Performing administrative tasks on Pentaho 5.x Business Analytics Server using RESTful webservices and PHP/cURL

Yesterday, I noticed a discussion in the Pentaho Business Analytics group on linkedin: Using RESTful services to add users, add roles, add solutions, add datasources. In this discussion, Capital Markets Analyst/Consultant Rob Tholemeier writes:
We built some code in PHP that performs most if the 3.x admin console functions. Now with 5.x there appears to be RESTful services to do the same. Does anyone have code examples they are willing to share that uses RESTful services to add users, add roles, add solutions, add datasources? Change the same, assign roles, deletes the same?
I think it is an interesting question. I haven't seen many people integrating Pentaho in their PHP web applications so I decided to do a quick write up to demonstrate that this is not only possible but actually quite easy.

For this write up, I used the following software: Because everything is more fun with pictures, here's a high level overview of this setup:

Pentaho 5.x RESTful Webservices

Pentaho 5.x featured major refactoring to modernize its webservices to be more RESTful. Here's an overview of all the services.

All these webservices reside under the /api path beneath the path of the Pentaho web application, which is by default in the /pentaho path at the root of the server. Each service has a distinct path beneath the /api path. So assuming the pentaho server is running on the localhost (at the default port of 8080), you can access all calls offered by a particular service beneath http://localhost:8080/pentaho/api/service-specific-path.

The Pentaho 5.x webservices are, to some extent, self-documenting. You can get an overview of the available call for a specific service by doing a HTTP OPTIONS request to the root path of the service. For example, an OPTIONS request to http://localhost:8080/pentaho/api/session might return a document like this to describe the service:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<application xmlns="">
  <doc xmlns:jersey="" jersey:generatedBy="Jersey: 1.16 11/28/2012 03:18 PM"/>
    <include href="http://localhost:8080/pentaho/api/application.wadl/xsd0.xsd">
      <doc title="Generated" xml:lang="en"/>
  <resources base="http://localhost:8080/pentaho/api/">
    <resource path="session">
      <resource path="/setredirect">
        <method id="setredirect" name="GET">
            <representation mediaType="text/plain"/>
      <resource path="/userWorkspaceDir">
        <method id="doGetCurrentUserDir" name="GET">
            <representation mediaType="text/plain"/>
      <resource path="/workspaceDirForUser/{user}">
        <param xmlns:xs="" name="user" style="template" type="xs:string"/>
        <method id="doGetUserDir" name="GET">
            <representation mediaType="text/plain"/>

The documentation provides a categorized overview of the service calls, as well as the necessary technical information, such as:
The HTTP method
In general, with very few exceptions, Pentho's web services use either GET (to retrieve information) or PUT (to modify or change data). There are a few calls that use POST (for example, the publish service). As far as I know, DELETE is not used.
If a service accepts parameters, they are either passed through the query string or as a document in the request message body. This is colloquially known as the POST data, regardless of whether the POST method is actually used.

As per the design of the HTTP protocol, GET calls only accept parameters via the query string. The PUT calls to the Pentaho webservices sometimes accept parameters via the query string. This happens only if the information passed in the parameter has a relatively simple structure - think of a single key/value pair, or maybe a list of values. More complicated data is typically conveyed via the message body.
Data type information
In general Pentaho's web services support both XML and JSON. You can control the data format of the response by specifying the Accept request header. To specify the format of the request message body, you should use the Content-Type header in the request.
Unfortunately the documentation does not have any human readable descriptive information, so sometimes a little inspection and experimentation is required to figure out exactly how things work.

For this write-up, I decided to focus on the administrative interface around users, roles and privileges.

NOTE: The link above only lists the web services that are built into the Pentaho Business Analytics Platform. The platform can, and ususally does, have multiple plugins that offer extra functionality and some of these plugins ship by default with the server so that one might consider those also as builtins. Each plugin can, and often does, offer its own service calls, but these are not listed in the documentation referred to above. A discussion of these is also out of scope for this write-up but I will try and get back on this topic in a future blog post. If you don't feel like waiting that long, you can try and figure out the webservice calls offered by a particular plugin by doing an OPTIONS request to the root path corresponding to a particular plugin. The root path of a particular plugin is http://localhost:8080/pentaho/plugin/plugin-id/api. You can obtain a list of all installed plugins by doing a GET request the ids service of the PluginManagerResource services.

Suggested Tools

I found the following tools to be very useful in inspecting and experimenting with the Pentaho webservices api.
  • Administration perspective in the Pentaho user console. This web application ships with Pentaho and is normally used by Pentaho administrators to manage users, roles and privileges. Basically, we want to offer the functionality provided by this web application, but then with PHP.
  • The network tab in google chrome's developer tools. I used the network tab to monitor calls from Pentaho's administration perspective to the services provided by the Pentaho server.
  • Postman REST client. This is a handy extension from the chrome webstore. It allows you to do all kinds of REST calls directly from within your chrome browser. This was useful to test any assumptions on the details of how to exactly construct requests to the Pentaho web services.

The UserRoleDaoResource services

All functionality to work with users, roles and privileges is bundled in the UserRoleDaoResource service. The services specific path of this service is /userroledao. So, all calls that belong to the UserRoleDaoResource service can be accessed through the path http://localhost:8080/pentaho/api/userroledao.

The following categorized overview illustrates the different kinds of calls that belong to the UserRoleDaoResource service:
Named accounts. An account is typically associated with a particular person that needs to work with the Pentaho server. The following calls are specific to working with users:
GET users
Retrieve the list of existing Pentaho user accounts.
PUT createUser
Create a new Pentaho user account.
PUT updatePassword
Modify the password of the specified user.
PUT deleteUsers
Remove one or more Pentaho user accounts.
Roles are basically a package of privileges (system roles), which can be assigned to one or more users. Any given user can be assigned multiple roles.
GET roles
Retrieve the list of existing roles.
PUT createRole
Create a new role. After the role is created, privileges can be assigned to it, and the role can then be assigned to one or more users, effectively granting the associated privileges to those users.
PUT deleteRoles
Remove one or more roles.
Users can get assigned multiple roles and many users can be assigned a particular role. The following calls can be used to create or remove these assocations:
PUT assignAllRolesToUser
Assign all available roles to the specified user.
PUT assignAllUsersToRole
Assign the specified role to all available users.
PUT assignRoleToUser
Assign a specific role to a particular user.
PUT assignUserToRole
Assign a specific role to a particular user.
PUT removeAllRolesFromUser
Unassign whatever roles were assigned to a specific user.
PUT removeAllUsersFromRole
Take the specified role away from all users that were assigned the role.
PUT removeRoleFromUser
Unassign a specific role from a particular user.
PUT removeUserFromRole
Unassign a specific role from a particular user.
System Roles (also called Logical Roles)
These are essentially privileges: the ability to perform a particular action. Examples of such actions are Read BI content, Publish BI content, Schedule a job etc. In Pentaho, system roles cannot be assigned directly to users; instead, they have to be assigned to a role. Roles can then be associated to users to effectively grant them the privileges associated with the role.
GET logicalRoleMap
This returns a document containing two separate bits of information: the list of available system roles, as well as the association between regular roles and system roles.
PUT roleAssignments
Specify which system roles are associated with a particular regular role. Note that there is no separate call to add or remove individual associations between a role and a system role: rather, an entire set of system roles is assigned to a role at once, removing whatever set was assigned prior to that role.
Remember, you can always obtain the entire set of calls available for the UserRoleDaoResource service for your server by doing a OPTIONS request at the root of the /pentaho/api/userroledao path.

Webservice calls in PHP with cURL

Typically, calling out to HTTP (or FTP) servers from within PHP is done using the cURL library. A full discussion of cURL in PHP is well out of scope; you can refer to the - excellent - official PHP documentation instead. I will only discuss the basic pattern and only in as far as it applies to calling the Pentaho webservices.

Basic cURL calling sequence

The basic cURL calling sequence may be summarized as follows:
  1. Obtain a cURL handle by calling curl_init(). You should save the handle to a variable so you can use it in subsequent calls to the cURL library.
  2. Configure the cURL request by doing various calls to curl_setopt($handle, $option, $value). Each curl_setopt call basically sets a property ("option") on the cURL handle that is passed as first argument to curl_setopt(). The library defines a large number of property keys to control the various aspects of the HTTP request, such as the HTTP method, the request headers, message body etcetera.
  3. Call curl_exec() to send the request. This function will also return the response if a prior call to curl_setopt($handle, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, TRUE) was made.
  4. Optionally, information about the response can be obtained by calling curl_getinfo()
  5. Finally, curl_close($handle) should be called to clean up the cURL handle and free any underlying resources used by the library.

Basic GET request to Pentaho with PHP/cURL

The following snippet shows how to do a GET request to Pentaho using PHP/cURL:
//obtain a cURL handle
$c = curl_init();

//specify the url and the HTTP method
curl_setopt($c, CURLOPT_URL, 'http://localhost:8080/pentaho/api/userroledao/users');
curl_setopt($c, CURLOPT_CUSTOMREQUEST, 'GET');

//supply credentials to authenticate against pentaho
curl_setopt($curl_handle, CURLOPT_USERPWD, 'admin:password');

//tell cURL to return the response as a string

//obtain the response
$response = curl_exec($c);

//get the HTTP status code
$status = curl_getinfo($c, CURLINFO_HTTP_CODE);

//clean up the cURL handle
As you can see the snippet follows the general cURL calling sequence. The options CURLOPT_URL and CURLOPT_CUSTOMREQUEST are used to specify the url and the HTTP method respectively, and CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER is set to TRUE to obtain the response as a string result when calling curl_exec.

The CURLOPT_USERPWD option is used to specify the credentials for basic HTTP authentication. The value is a string consisting of the username and password, separated by a colon, and the example uses the default built-in administrator's account called admin with the password password.

Note: The web service requests described in this blog post require authentication with the admin account, or at least an account that is privileged to perform administrative actions. Other webservices my work while being authenticated with less privileged accounts.

No specific request headers were set in this example. Because there is no specific Accept header to specify a format for the response, the default format will be used, which happens to be XML.

After executing this snippet, the variable $response will have a string value equivalent to the following document:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
We could have added an extra call to curl_setopt() to explicitly set the Accept header to specify that we want to receive the response in the JSON format:
//obtain a cURL handle
$c = curl_init();

...other calls to curl_setopt...

curl_setopt($c, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, array(
  'Accept: application/json'

$response = curl_exec($c);

Note that all request headers must be passed as an array of strings using a single call to curl_setopt($handle, CURLOPT_HTTP_HEADER, $array_of_header). Each element of the array of headers should be a single string, consisting of the header name followed by a colon followed by the header value.

After executing this snippet, the variable $response will contain a string equivalent to the following JSON document:
    "users": [
While the format for the response defaults to XML, it is generally a good idea to always explicitly specify it. In order to explicitly request for XML, change the value for the Accept header to application/xml.

Processing the response

PHP has support for both XML as well as JSON. In this write-up I'll only use XML but it is good to realize that it would have worked just as well if we had used JSON. As PHP offers exactly one library for working with JSON, there many options for processing XML. (I'm inclined to say, way too many.)

Fortunately, for this particular task, the XML documents are always simple and never very large, and I have had good results working with the SimpleXML library. I believe this is included and enabled by default, which makes it a safe choice. Another reason why I like SimpleXML is that it offers exceptionally convenient access to the data in the XML document using property access operators and iterators.

It would be outside the scope of this write-up to discuss SimpleXML in detail but the following snippet may illustrate how easy it is to process an XML document like the <userList> response obtained from the GET to the /userroledao/users API call described above:
  $userlist = ...response from /userroledao/users...

  //parse xml string
  $doc = simplexml_load_string($userlist);

  //iterate elements
  foreach ($doc as $user) {
    //do something with the <user> element.
    //even though $user is an object we can easily extract its value by treating it as a string
As you can see, it doesn't ever get much simpler than this: one call to simplexml_load_string to parse the xml document, and we can directly traverse the elements using foreach. Plus accessing the text content of the elements is also very easy: no need for a separate call to extract the text, just treat the element as a string. Note that if you do need more advanced ways to traverse the structure of the document and access the data, the SimpleXML library still goes a long way. You can even use XPath expressions, if you really need that.

Putting it together: a simple Pentaho Admin application in PHP

Using the techniques described above, and an argueably minimal amount of client side javascript, I put together a simple, yet fully functional administrative application for managing Pentaho roles, users and privileges in PHP. It is a single, self-contained script (php, html template, and javascript - no css) of just over 600 lines, including whitespace and comments. Here's what the application looks like:

User management features

The left had side of the page is dedicated to user management. From top to bottom we have:
User form
In the left top we have a form with fields for "Username" and "Password", and a "Create User" button. Hitting the button results in a PUT request to /userroledao/createUser to create a new user using the values in the "Username" and "Password" fields.
Existing Users list
Halfway the page below the user form there's a list showing the existing users. This is populated with the data from the response of a GET request to /userroledao/users.
Delete selected users button
Hitting this button fires a javascript function that collects the selection from the existing user list. This is used to do a PUT request to the /userroledao/deleteUsers service in order to delete those user accounts.
User roles list
When a single user is selected in the existing users list a GET request is made to the /userroledao/roles service to create a list of all available roles. Another GET request is made to the /userroledao/userRoles service and the data from the response is used to set the state of the checkboxes in front of the role names, indicating which roles are assigned to the user. If such a checkbox is checked by user interaction, a PUT request is made to the /userroledao/assignRoleToUser service, which will assign the corresponding role to the currently selected user. If the checkbox gets unchecked through user interaction, a PUT request is made to the /userroledao/removeRoleFromUser service, which will unassign the corresponding role from the currently selected user.

Role management features

The right had side of the page is dedicated to role management. From top to bottom we have:
Role form
In the right top we have a form with a "Rolename" field and a "Create Role" button. Hitting the button results in a PUT request to /userroledao/createRole to create a new role with the specified role name.
Existing Roles list
Halfway the page below the role form there's a list showing the existing roles. This is populated with the data from the response of a GET request to /userroledao/roles.
Delete selected roles button
Hitting this button fires a javascript function that collects the selection from the existing roles list. This is used to do a PUT request to the /userroledao/deleteRoles service in order to delete those roles.
Role members list
When a single role is selected in the existing roles list a GET request is made to the /userroledao/users service to create a list of all available users. Another GET request is made to the /userroledao/userRoles service and the data from the response is used to check the appropriate checkboxes in front of the users names to indicate which users got the current role assigned. If such a checkbox is checked through user interaction, a PUT request is made to the /userroledao/assignUserToRole service to assign the currently selected role to the checked user. If such a checkbox gets unchecked due to user interaction, a PUT request is made to the /userroledao/removeUserFromRole service to unassign the currently selected role from the unchecked user.
Privileges (logical roles) list
If a single role is selected in the existing roles list, a GET request is done to the /userroledao/logicalRoleMap service. The data from the response is used to create a list of all available privileges. From the same response, the list of logical roles assigned to the role selected in the existing role list is used to check the checkboxes in front of the logical role names in order to indicate which logical role names are assigned to the currently selected role. When such a checkbox is checked, or unchecked, a PUT request is done to the /userroledao/roleAssignments service to associate the appropriate set of logical roles with the currently selected role

With a few (arguably non-essential) exceptions, this application covers all services of the UserRoleDaoResource.

Implementation details

For reference I will now discuss the implementation details of this application.

User form

The user form can be used to create new users. Here's its corresponding HTML code:
<form method="POST">
      <td><input type="text" name="user" /></td>
      <td><input type="password" name="password" /></td>
      <td colspan="2">
        <input type="submit" name="action" value="Create User"/>
Hitting the "Create User" button submits the form. But since the form element does not specify a specific action url, it will simply refresh the page, setting the form fields as POST data. In the top of the PHP script, this is handled with the following PHP code:
if (isset($_POST['action'])) {
  $action = strtolower($_POST['action']);
else {
  $action = NULL;
switch ($action) {
  case 'create user':
    $status = create_user($_POST['user'], $_POST['password']);
  case '...':
  ... many more case branches ...
In fact, all of the actions that the user can initiate result in a POST request that refreshes the page, setting a specific value for the action field to select the appropriate backend action. In case of the user form, this results in a call to the PHP function create_user(), passing the values of the POST data fields user and password, which originate from the HTML user form.

The PHP code of the create_user() function is shown below:
//create a user with specified name and password.
function create_user($user, $password){
  $c = curl_init();

  curl_setopt($c, CURLOPT_CUSTOMREQUEST, 'PUT');
  curl_setopt($c, CURLOPT_URL, 'http://localhost:8080/pentaho/api/userroledao/createUser');

  curl_setopt($curl_handle, CURLOPT_USERPWD, 'admin:password');

  curl_setopt($c, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, 
  curl_setopt($c, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, array(
    'Content-Type: application/xml'

  $status = curl_getinfo($c, CURLINFO_HTTP_CODE);

  return $status;
The create_user function follows the basic pattern of the cURL calling sequence. The difference with the preceding generic example is that this is a PUT request, and thus the value for the CURLOPT_CUSTOMREQUEST option is 'PUT' rather than 'GET'.

The /userroledao/createUser is specified to take a user-element in the request message body, which is used to convey the user name and password. This element is constructed as a XML document and passed to the message body using a curl_setopt call using the CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS option.

Because we are passing a message body in the request, we also need to set the Content-Type header to application/xml to specify that the data passed in the message body is an XML document.

Finally, after the call to curl_exec, we use a call to curl_getinfo() using the CURLINFO_HTTP_CODE constant to obtain the HTTP-status of the request. This should be 200 if the PUT request succeeds. If there is some problem with the request we should receive a code in the 400 range (if the request itself has some problem) or the the 500 range (in case the server is experiencing some problem that is not related to this particular request). For example, if the user already exists, one gets a 403 (Forbidden) status instead of 200.

Note: The Pentaho REST services do not seem to have a robust way to convey the exact nature of the problem in case the request could not be met. At least, I have not noticed any useful information being conveyed in the response except for the HTTP status code. I checked the Administration perspective in the Pentaho user console to see what would happen in case an existing users is entered, and there the action just silently fails. It would be nice to get a recommendation about how to deal with error situations when using the Pentaho web service calls.

The Existing Users list

The existing users list is one of the simplest items in the interface. The HTML / php code is shown below:
<select multiple="true" id="Users" onchange="userSelectionChanged(this)">
  $users = get_users();
  foreach ($users as $user) {
   <option><?php echo($user); ?></option>
The get_users() function is a simple GET request to /userroledao/users, followed by a parse of the XML response. Since both these aspects have been discussed already I will not repeat that code here.

The <select> element has an onchange event handler which calls to the javascript function userSelectionChanged(). Whenever the selection of the user list changes, that function will be called. This function will then determine if a single user is selected, and if that is the case, it will refresh the user role list by explicitly reloading the userRolesFrame:
function userSelectionChanged(list){

  //get the list selection as an array of user names 
  var selection = [];
  for (var i = 0, options = list.options, n = options.length; i < n; i++) {
    if (options[i].checked) {

  //get the user roles frame
  var frame = document.getElementById("userRolesFrame");

  if (selection.length === 1) {
    //if there's exaclty one selected user, then load its assigned roles in the frame
    frame.src = "?view=userRoles&user=" + selection[0];
  else {
    //blank the frame
    frame.src = "about://blank";

The user roles list

We just disussed how selecting a single item in the existing user list refreshes the user role list by loading the userRolesFrame. The frame will be loading the current php script, passing values for the view and user parameters via the query string. The PHP script handles this by checking for the value of the view parameter in the query string. If now view parameter is present, the default interface will load as shown in the screenshot. But if specifying a value of userRoles for view will render only a list of roles, checking the roles that are assigned to the user specified by the user parameter, which is also passed via the query string:
  //see if a specific view was requested
  if (isset($_GET['view'])) {
    $view = $_GET['view'];
  else {
    $view = NULL;

  //select and render the requested view 
  switch ($view) {

    //render the user roles view
    case 'userRoles':

      //get the current user
      $user = $_GET['user'];

      //get the current user's assigned roles
      $roles = get_user_roles($user);

      //store the user's roles as rolenames in an array
      $assigned_roles = array();
      foreach ($roles as $role) {
        array_push($assigned_roles, ''.$role);

      //get all roles
      $roles = get_roles();
      //render all roles as a list of divs with a checkbox
      foreach ($roles as $role) {

        //if the current role appears in the array of assigned roles, check the checkbox.
        $checked = in_array(''.$role, $assigned_roles);
            name="<?php echo($role) ?>"
            <?php echo ($checked ? 'checked="true"' : '')?>
          <?php echo($role) ?>
    case '...':

      ...code to handle other views here...


      ...code for the regular interface (no specific view) goes here...
First, get_user_roles($user) is called to GET a response from the /userroledao/userRoles service, which is a list of roles for the specified user. From the php side of things, nothing new is really happening here. The only difference with regard to getting the list of users is the url, which is now /userroledao/userRoles rather than /userroledao/users and which includes a querystring parameter to specify the user:
  curl_setopt($c, CURLOPT_URL, 'http://localhost:8080/pentaho/api/userroledao/userRoles?userName='.$user);
The get_user_roles($user) function calls returns an XML document containing <role>-elements representing the roles assigned to the specified users. We use the foreach loop to iterate them and we store their string values (i.e., the actual role names) in the array $assigned_roles.

The remainder of the code is very similar to how the existing user list was rendered, except that we now use a call to get_roles() rather than get_users(). This does a GET request to /userroledao/roles and returns an XML document containing all available roles. We then iterate through that list to create an input-element of type checkbox along with the actual role name. The checkbox is checked according to whether the current role name is found in the previously populated $assigned_roles array.

Each checkbox is given an onchange handler which is implemented by the changeUserRoleAssignment() javascript function. This function sets a few variables in a form to indicate whether the corresponding role is to be assigned or unassigned, and the submits the form. The code for the form and the function are shown below:
  name="userRoleAssignment" method="POST" 
  action="?view=<?php echo($view)?>&user=<?php echo(urlencode($user))?>"
  <input type="hidden" name="action"/>
  <input type="hidden" name="role"/>
  <input type="hidden" name="user" value="<?php echo($user)?>"/>

<script type="text/javascript">
  function changeUserRoleAssignment(checkbox) {
    var form = document.forms["userRoleAssignment"];
    form.elements["action"].value = checkbox.checked ? "assign role to user" : "unassign role from user";
    form.elements["role"].value =;
The changeUserRoleAssignment() function writes its associated role name (stored in its name property) in the role field of the form, and it uses its checked state to set the value of the action field to assign role to user or unassign role from user. It then submits the form.

Since this code appears all in the user role view, it has the effect of refreshing only the frame wherein the view is contained. Because the form sets the action value, it triggers a PHP backend action before rendering the view (just like we saw in the implementation of the create user action):
switch ($action) {
  case 'create user':
    $status = create_user($_POST['user'], $_POST['password']);
  case 'assign role to user':
    assign_role_to_user($_POST['role'], $_POST['user']);
  case 'unassign role from user':
    unassign_role_from_user($_POST['role'], $_POST['user']);
  ... many more case branches ...
The PHP functions assign_role_to_user() and unassign_role_from_user() both perform a straightforward PUT request to the /userroledao/assignRoleToUser and /userroledao/removeRoleFromUser services respectively. For each these requests, the values of the user and role fields are passed to the service via the query string parameters userName and roleNames respectively.

Note that these two services support multiple role names; however only one is passed at any time by our application. Should you wish to pass multiple role names, then you should separate rolenames by a tab-character (ascii character 0x09). Note that since the names are passed in the query string, they must be url-encoded.


Although I haven't covered all implementation details, the rest is simply more of the same stuff. If you want to play with the code yourself, you can download the entire PHP script here.


Unknown said...

Hi Roland

First of all, thanksfor your post, i't's helped me a lot (

I wonder if you can help me. I'm having troubles with basic authentication with pentaho. Here you can see the thread in pentaho forum:

Could you help me please, or if you can, make a post with basic auth for third-party apps??

I don't know what else to do :(

I would appreciate your help, best regards.


Unknown said...

HI Roland, excelent post.

Is there a way to get the current user logged in?

I see in the reference that one can get all users, but I need the current user and don't see it.


rpbouman said...

@Carlos Villasana,

thanks for the kind words. It's a good question.

I cannot find a really clean way to do this. But maybe this might help:

GET http://localhost:8080/pentaho/api/session/userWorkspaceDir

(Requires Accept: text/plain header - no json or xml)

This will return a string like:


The second part of this path is the user name.

It might be possible to reconfigure pentaho so as to assign a different path for a user, in which case this workaround would break. But I am not aware how to go about such a reconfiguration, and I hope that this is a viable workaround for many environments.

HTH, Roland

PS: maybe you can make a JIRA case with a feature request for this functionality? It seems like a logical and sensible request to me.

Best regards,


Anonymous said...

This is pretty understandable to calling Pentaho Api using Curl, i need to call php script using jQuery ajax call to fetch data and display the response on dashboard, but when i do this, it gives me 404 error :( someone help me please???

rpbouman said...


"i need to call php script using jQuery ajax call"

This sounds rather generic - I don't see how it relates to my blog post.

Unknown said...

Thank you @Ronald
It was really helpful in getting started with Pentaho Rest APIs. Just to confirm is there any limitation with Rest APIs based on Pentaho editions (CE vs EE)?

rpbouman said...

Hi Shoaib,

thanks for your interest in this topic!

"Just to confirm is there any limitation with Rest APIs based on Pentaho editions (CE vs EE)?"

Frankly, I am not aware of any limitations as such. Obviously, EE features that have REST/service counterparts are not available in CE, because those features are not in EE. But I do not believe the EE counterparts of services available in CE have more or better functionality.



Dejan said...

Excelent article Roland!

I am using this for administrating users on different servers (practically copying users/roles/permissions from one server to another) and it works great. I am trying to upload mondrian schema using curl and plugin/data-access/api/datasource/analysis/catalog/ api but it doesn't work as I always get "Method not allowed" error. Download works fine so I suppose I am using wrong parameters/headers or something. On the other hand, using the old plugin/data-access/api/mondrian/postAnalysis call works ok.

Did you maybe have a chance to try this? My idea is to have a complete "synchronization" between two servers, so users/roles/permissions, repository content, mondrian schemas and jdni connections synced in one script.


rpbouman said...

Hi Dejan,

> Did you maybe have a chance to try this?

Nope, sorry :)
But maybe you can post it as a bug that you get Method not allowed? You might get some feedback that way on why it doesn't work.

> My idea is to have a complete "synchronization" between two servers, so users/roles/permissions, repository content, mondrian schemas and jdni connections synced in one script

Cool! I think many people would be interested in such a solution. Let us know how it goes :)

Dejan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dejan said...


If someone is interested, I have partially succceded in uploading a custom JDBC datasource using plugin/data-access/api/datasource/jdbc/connection REST API but I got an error when tried to edit it through Pentaho UI. I have reported a bug and descibed all the steps here:

rpbouman said...

Hi Dejan, thanks for your update! Much appreciated :)

Dejan said...

Here are my findings about Mondrian schema uploading. Mondrian schema file can be uploaded in three possible ways:

1. Using the standard postAnalysis, so something like:

curl -v -include --user admin:password -F "catalogName=test" -F "overwrite=true" -F "xmlaEnabedFlag=true" -F "parameters=DataSource=MYDATASOURCE" -F "uploadAnalysis=@path_to_schema_file.xml"

2. Using import-export script that actally calls postAnalysis. Something like: --import --url= --username=admin --password=password --file-path=path_to_schema_file.xml --resource-type=DATASOURCE --datasource-type=ANALYSIS --analysis-datasource=MYDATASOURCE --overwrite=true

3. Using plugin/data-access/api/datasource/analysis/catalog, sosomething like:

curl -X PUT -v -include --user admin:password -F "schemaFileInfo=custom_name" -F "xmlaEnabledFlag=true" -F "parameters=DataSource=MYDATASOURCE" -F "uploadInput=@path_to_schema_file.xml" -F "overwrite=true"

Note the parameter uploadInput and not uploadAnalysis as the documentation says

Dejan said...

Unfortunatelly they say it is not a bug so I am on the beginning. I'd like to be able to upload jdbc datasource through the API and edit it regularly in UI if needed :-(

Dejan said...

Just a note for anyone playing with user creation through the API - if you manage to somehow create an empty user (I did that while testing, accidentally of course), you cannot manage them through Pentaho console any more, as the whole "Manage Users" tab just disappears.

To make things a little worse, you cannot delete this empty user through the API so you get pretty stucked (I didn't find a way to delete them since the users are saved in jackrabbit repository which is a "black hole" to me).

And to make things a little bit more worse, if you happened to create user in Pentaho console, but forgot his password (stupid me), no probllem - you can delete it and recreate it through the API (blessed roland) but you still won't be able to login (wrong password) so forget about it and create another one :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Roland, I am new to Pentaho and I would like to know whether I can use C as my programming language to create custom applications to interact with Pentaho data?

rpbouman said...

@Anonymous, thank you for your interest.

> I would like to know whether I can use C as my programming language to create custom applications to interact with Pentaho data?

Well, Pentaho itself is a BI suite - it doesn't "have" data, it works with data. In some cases, Pentaho exposes data of source systems it is connected to using its own services, and you can consume these with any webclient.

So, in theory the answer is yes. Whether it is practical for the kind of application you have in mind is something that you'll need to investigate. Perhaps the kind of application already exists, or important parts of the functionality you require may be provided by the pentaho platform. If that is the case, then you might be better of sticking to Java since that is the language used to create Pentaho.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your prompt reply. My first choice was Java but the project requirement is to expose Pentaho Job/ transformation as web service through web assembly. Can I reach you at gmail?

rpbouman said...

Hi Anonymous,

sure, you can mail me at

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