Pentaho London Usergroup – June 2013

In the evening of a relatively glum summers day the Pentaho London Usergroup returned to skillsmatter after a hiatus of a couple of years.

We had 4 talks and whilst not covering the detail of each one I wanted to give my thoughts on their content here. I do recommend watching the podcasts here if you missed the event.

First up we had Pedro Alves who is now SVP community at Pentaho. Pedro gave a brief overview of his new role at Pentaho and about his vision to remove the strange barriers that exist between community and enterprise users.  He then gave a talk about CPK which was quite impressive.  The ability to build platform plugins without any java code is really quite a powerful one.

Next was Matt Casters who surely needs no introduction.  Unfortunately due to the fact we had overscheduled talks and Pedro had gone on way too long, we had to really trim his talk down!  Im sure this caused some disappointment  – apologies about that!  Anyway he made some interesting points about the big data landscape, and how the PDI architecture is ideally placed to handle the changes going on right now.

Simon Raybould followed describing his usage of Pentaho and CTools to quickly build an impressive looking analytic application.  He had a unique yet simple solution to signon problems when embedding Pentaho in an existing LAMP web application.  The solution only took 2-3 months to build which is very impressive.

Finally we had Dave Romano-Critchley who has been building a big data solution using PDI for the last 7 months.  The requirements for their ETL product were Open Source, Widely Adopted and Pluggable – All of which meant that PDI was the perfect tool.  I was actually sat next to PDI architect Matt Casters who had not seen this solution before and there were many things which Matt was impressed by – a validation of all his hard work over the years!  They have also written a thin client to PDI to allow end users to make simple changes to transformations – very impressive stuff.

We then continued the evening down at the Slaughtered Lamb.

So, what next?  Well we have a date for the next London meetup – 16th Oct, same setup.  I’d love to hear feedback on what you want to hear.  I am happy to give an overview of the Pentaho European Community Meetup which will be a week or two before.  We also had suggestions about doing a hands on session – perhaps building a CDE dashboard as a kind of tutorial.  If anyone would like to give a talk that would be welcomed – the user stories are very interesting and always generate good feedback.

So feel free to contact me via this blog, or connect with me on linkedin with any feedback, ideas, criticism or offers of help!