Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pentaho and the Google Visualization API

There a number of times on a sales call when I am asked, "How does Pentaho integrate with other 'packages'?". Now 'integrate' and 'packages' can mean a number of different things. It can cover anything in the realm of application frameworks, extension points, plug-in architectures, data access, data integration, content delivery, distribution, ETL, SOAs, APIs, portals, etc. However, upon narrowing it down, a common request is one where a developer wants to know how Pentaho can use other 3rd party visualizations. Those visualizations that are provided by a number of vendors, both open source and proprietary.

In short, the Pentaho BI Platform is built on open standards. Java and XML to name a few of them. Its architecture can utilize the Pentaho Action Sequence technology (.xaction) to orchestrate and perform such a request. Many 3rd party visualizations, whether it is a Flash / Flex based charting engine or a JavaScript API based widget, have some means of accepting and processing data input. For example, those components may process data that is in the format of XML, JSON or even a JavaScript API. With a Pentaho Action Sequence, you are able to query and access almost any data source, traverse/iterate and dynamically format the result set into one of those means. Parameterization in the Action Sequence only enhances this capability and provides non-technical users an easy way to provide input as well as customize the visualization the way they want to.

Watch this video below, to see how I use Pentaho and and the Google Visualization API to create enhanced interactive visuals that can be easily added to a Pentaho Dashboard using the Pentaho Dashboard Designer.

Just another example of the power and flexibility of the Pentaho BI Platform. With Pentaho you are not only able to provide point solutions for the here and now problems..., you are able to evolve with it to also meet your future needs.