Vanilla v6 – FlexBoard

Dear Readers,

As part of Vanilla v6, you can find FlexBoard, our new Analytics Dashboard module powered by R, Markdown and FlexDashboard (and other components such as plotly, ggplot2, hughcharter, etc … virtually any chart engines)

FlexBoard is open by nature : you can add the chart engine you need if you find a display that match your Dashboard’s expectation.

FlexBoard is – by its origin – part of Vanilla Air to take advantage of Vanilla Air server side infrastructure, datasets management, R development interface and integrated workflow.

FlexBoard Dashboards can be deployed on Vanilla Portal, to take advantage of a collaborative portal that enable user to save and index their dashboard inside a document repository and take advantage of advances features such as search engine on Dashboard content and Cmis support to share the document

Some FlexBoard Dashboard samples

With FlexBoard, we are in another league for Dashboard, beeing in position to compete with leading commercial “pure player” Dashboard editors. Good news : we have already our first “migration use case” from customers turning to Vanilla version 6, mainly for cost reasons, because – user side – the result is the same for a fraction of the cost

Have Fun !



Vanilla 6 – RStudio AddIns for Vanilla Air

Dear Readers,

As part of Vanilla v6, you can find an update of Vanilla Air, our Analytics & Predictive module powered by R Engine.

Vanilla Air allows anybody writing R code to develop Data Mining programs taking advantage of a server-side infrastructure, and to deploy visualizations – powered by Markdown – using Vanilla portal.

To speed up Vanilla Air adoption as a service to deploy R Code, we provide now an AddIns for RStudio to allow RStudio developers to create their code from this IDE and deploy it on Vanilla Air (as a comparison, we took years ago the same approach with BIRT, when we released a Birt plugin in to deploy on Vanilla Bi server)

Vanilla Air Addins comes with 2 AddIns :

  • Vanilla Air share : AddIns to export R code on Vanilla Air repository
  • Vanilla Air import : AddIns to import R code from Vanilla Air repository

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Vanilla Air Addins allows R developers to keep using RStudio as their favorite R development studio, while taking advantage of Vanilla Air to share code at enterprise level, enjoy some convenient wizards to create Markdown document and deploy it on Vanilla Bi Portal

Have Fun !


Vanilla 6 – CMIS support

Dear Readers,

VANILLA VERSION 6 is both a CMIS server and a CMIS client. This has direct impact when Vanilla is deployed inside an infrastructure based on CMIS for Content Management and/or document sharing strategy.

Example of usage : you can use any CMIS compliant Content Management Platform or any CMIS compliant Document Management Platform to connect to Vanilla Repository and download a static report, either manually or using a batch program.

From Vanilla portal, you can also export anytime a report result to a CMIS compliant server, such as Open Source document management platform AklaBox, Nuxeo or Alfresco

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Now, Business Intelligence Report can be part of the document process … this changes the game !

Have Fun !


Vanilla version 6

Dear Readers,

Vanilla version 6 is there, almost available for download πŸ™‚

We just entered the last phase : packaging and last minutes minor bug fix.

Version 6 is already deployed on some of our “happy customers” servers for some weeks now, with nice feedback from the early adopters.

Some new Web interfaces : WebDashboard, WebArchitect, WebMetadata and more πŸ™‚ Version 6 has it all : Full Web interface from database connection to data visualization πŸ™‚

In addition to the web interfaces available since the origin (Portal, Reporting, KPI, Metadata Explorer), version 6 proposes :

  • @WebArchitect : new Web interface to manage external file (csv, Excel) … there is no other simple way to integrate external data into your datawarehouse, secured file, with management of version of document, and Etl support
  • @WebMetadata : new Web Metadata interface to connect to Big data database and legacy SQL database and design your own business views, join strategy and custom prompt & filter to be used in other Web interfaces as business datasource
  • @WedDashboard : new Dashboard interface to design custom dashboard, with support for Maps, Kpi database, drill down features, multi folders Dashboard, etc …

With version 6, users have it all to design their own documents through Web interfaces : Report, Dashboard, Metadata Designer and Metadata Explorer, Cube designer, Kpi Designer …

With version 6, BI Consultants wont have the burden to install any development studio to run an initial test of Vanilla … just install the server, connect to your database and start designing your documents πŸ™‚

Stay connected, its going to be more fun soon πŸ™‚

Have Fun !


Vanilla Air – Tutorial Part 11 – Push to Vanilla

Dear Readers,

This part is not totally about Vanilla Air, but rather how to push Vanilla Air program to Vanilla Bi portal, to make those programs available for any BI users.

Vanilla Air – Tutorial Part 11 – Push to Vanilla

Here are the guidelines to maximize the features usage :

  • create your R program and test it.
  • make it dynamic (if it makes sense) using parameters
    • Declare parameters (with default value, parameter type)
    • insert parameters into your R program
  • turn your R program into a markdown one, to enjoy high professional output format
  • push your Markdown program to Vanilla

Air Push To Vanilla

  • Run your Markdown document from Vanilla portal, with support for parameters

Air Vanilla Portal Run

Now, everybody can develop its Analytic program and make it available in an instant on a portal, with dynamic content πŸ™‚

Have Fun !


Vanilla Air – Tutorial Part 10 – WorkFlows

Dear Readers,

Worflow, as we see it in dataming, has key objectives, such as process automation, orchestration of operation, batch comparison of algorithms performance, etc …
As a software editor, we have interesting experience with Workflow, starting with Vanilla biWorkflow, then writting Web WorkFlow interfaces for AklaBox, Vanilla Hub and now Vanilla Air.

Vanilla Air – Tutorial Part 10 – WorkFlows
WorkFlows interface is at same level as resources. By clicking on “+”, a new workflow will be created on the workplan

WorkFlow contains box of different type and different objectives :

Taking dataset into the WorkFlow, with Data Air script and DataSet selection


Data Manipulation, with recoding features


Runing standard algorithms on data


Building visualization on data


Workflows are easy to build, full featured using box that developer drag & drop on workplan, and easy to insert in a scheduler plan, to start automatically at regular intervals.

Have Fun !

Vanilla Air – Tutorial Part 9 – Parameters

Dear Readers,

A key subject in any program is to make the program dynamic, with easy to use prompt & filter, to enable dynamic selection by user at runtime.

Vanilla Air makes it easy to add and manage parameters, global parameters and parameters inside your R programs, with support for any type of parameters (data entry, list selection, multi selection …)

Vanilla Air – Tutorial Part 9 – Parameters

Parameters Management

The parameter interface, available from the left menu (below workspace and variables)Β allows developer to create and manage parameters that will be used in Markdown scripts, to make it interactives.

Air Parameter Interface

To create a parameter, please enter its name, definition, type and default value.

Parameter type is important, as it will impact on runtime interface behavior (list box, entry box …) .Parameters have also a default value (if available)

Air Parameter Interface Type

Parameters Usage

In workspace, for Markdown scripts, follow this syntax : Command {$P_nomduparametre} in scripts. Example :

Air Parameter WorkSpace Usage

The result is awesome ! It gives opportunity to end user for a vast range of simulation, when prompt for parameter’s value πŸ™‚

Have Fun !


Vanilla Air – Tutorial Part 8 – Markdown support

Dear Readers,

Doing the right data analysis is already a subject. But beeing able to share its result is also another key subject. There comes Markdown, a fantastic package to turn any R analysis (including its charts and graphs) into a Word, PDF or Html document.

Vanilla Air makes it easy to turn any of your R programs into a Markdown document, removing the burden to install Markdown package, lateX package, etc …

Vanilla Air – Tutorial Part 8 – Markdown support

  • Markdown is a R package installed by default
  • Markdown is like R script + output formatting
  • Markdown provide an easy way to create document in office format (html, pdf, word)
  • Markdown allows developer to create dynamic document


Example : Create a Markdown script for a project, using any dataset

  • Create project β€œCars1993”, using the dataset « car93Β Β» (or any sample dataset)
  • Add a script
  • Run the script from interface
  • Switch to MARKDOWN format using the specific icon



  • Use the predefined Markdown template

Air Markdown Template

  • Save it under another name
  • Modify the script : Add the R command to get dataset summary.

Air Markdown Summary

  • Run the script using the different format

Air down Run Format

  • View the results

Air Markdown View Format

Now any data Analyst can merge his R program result with his comment & explanation, making his work more easy to understand for the mass πŸ™‚

Have Fun !


Vanilla Air – Tutorial Part 7 – WorkSpace Features

Dear Readers,

Code generation is so helpful, especially when it comes to speed up development process, using best of the bread algorithms and data cleaning functions. But Vanilla Air is first a Web development studio, with a pleasant workspace and nice to have features for developer.

Vanilla Air – Tutorial Part 7 – WorkSpace Features

On the right side of the code area, you have a series of icons which provide access to R-Tools (ee previous post about R code generation), list of variables, history of command, Markdown wizard, undo/Redo and trash can management.

Air WorkSpace Icons

Please try those icons, make you own opinion about R-Tools, Markdown Wizard (see next post), etc .. . reading is something, trying is always a different challenge.


On the right side of the panel, you have thumbnails

  • R Log interface : the first thumbnail, which cannot be closed
  • Screens to display the code – R and Markdown code
  • Screens to display markdown result : PDF, Word and HTML rendering

Air WorkSpace Thumbnail

When you click on one of this thumbnail, the thumbnail content is displayed on the main workspace : either R program or markdown visualization.

Keeping the interface pleasant, with useful development features, is a key challenge for wide adoption.

Have Fun !


Vanilla Air – Tutorial Part 6 – R Code generation

Dear Readers,

This series of post is not about R programming. There are dozen of interesting tutorial on R available on the Web, and sometimes subject is not to know about R itself, but rather to understand what is data mining, how to understand a specific algorithm result such as a correlation or a K-Means.

Vanilla Air provides Code generation interface and wizard to create complex R portion of code, in 2 different parts of the platform

Vanilla Air – Tutorial Part 6 – R Code generation

From dataset interface, when you run the dataset exploration (see tutorial 4), you can have the mouse rolling over the graph to display a Code Generation Tooltip, that will push the code generated to create the chart inside your current program. Note : you need first to create a R program from the workspace interface


From the workspace interface, to work on dataset, we provide a series of tools to recode your data, that will generate the R code for you


A Web development studio for R that generate complex R code for you … amazing :)

Have Fun !