Congrats to Cocktail-Office !

Dear Readers,

It’s no secret, I really like the guys from Cocktail-Office. Those guys – Jean-Marc, Aurelien and others – they really deserve their Open Source project : Cocktail, an Open Source Erp for Universities and High School.

It’s nice time now for Jean-Marc & his team : new projects, new contracts … lot’s of good feedback from users … It’s normal – project is crazy nice – … and sad news for the people who betrayed them recently ! Never forget the power of Open Source Team : it’s more a human adventure than a simple “financial association” …

Vanilla Team is proud to work with Cocktail Office … Thanks again guy for accepting our contribution … this is just the beginning !

Have Fun !


FreeAnalysis Schema Designer for UnitedOlap (part 5)

Dear Readers,

Last day of the week … last post to discovere UnitedOlap & FreeAnalysis Schema Designer features. Below, some screenshots about Maps/Cube integration, already available with Vanilla 3.4 … still available with UnitedOlap ! All is Metadata secured … beauty of the Vanilla platform !

Maps definition using Norparena

Dimension parameter in FreeAnalysis Schema Designer

Level parameter in  FreeAnalysis Schema Designer

Result in FreeAnalysis Web

Let’s be clear and direct : all the subjects covered this weeks are not available in marketing based old Olap bundle (coming from Us or Italy, just bundle) … and will never be available. I regularly read some bad comment about our French based Vanilla project … don’t forget the 2008 Us financial crash … some analysts are just marketing company (like the “.G” and its funny leasy analyst … thanks again for not endorsing our marketing … we saved valuable money and invested it in our platform …).

Have Fun !


FreeAnalysis Schema Designer for UnitedOlap (part 4)

Dear Readers,

Security is a tricky subject, especially when some leasy editors only bundle different products without merging repositories and authentification services. Did you ever tried to secure a Mondrian schema manually and deploy it under JPivot (oups : dont forget to let the hierarchy without name …) … ok, it’s possible .. but it doesn’t compare with what is available in commercial products.

Inside Vanilla platform, we had to enhance FreeAnalysis Schema Designer to provide access to authentification database and create secured views, leading to declare security signon in both : FreeMetadata and FreeAnalysis. It’s running well, but we wanted to enhance the process.

UnitedOlap is able to use Oda dataset, so we can use the FreeMetadata oda secured data source and keep all the security declaration in FreeMetadata (subject to merge FreeMetadata and FreeAnalysis Schema Designer is out of scope of this post). Just look how it works :

1) Supposed in FreeMetadata you secure your fact table on order status, for a specific group of users (Status “Resolved”)

2) Using FreeAnalysis Schema Designer, just declare a FreeMetadata Oda datasource, and select your datasets

3) Design your cube with a dimension that has a secured item (very simple design for this example) :

4) Result in FreeAnalysis Web, with 2 different groups

System (no security)

Designer (Security set with Status = Resolved)

You can see above : No filter in the “Filter” box … security is automatically set from the datasource, using user’s connexion. And for this user, a bonus : the Tomcat Log, where you can see the filter in the where clause … very clean and efficient

Have Fun !


FreeAnalysis Schema Designer for UnitedOlap (part 3)

Dear Readers,

Today, let’s explore together the “Explore” features of FreeAnalysis Schema Designer. Those features are already available in the standard “jdbc / sql” edition, and we moved everything to provide support with oda dataset. In addition, it’s a good reminder of what is available in Fasd.

Those data browsers and structure explorer are valuable : they help bi designers to understand the data content and data value split (without beeing forced to launch an external browser and setting again connection profile) and the structure results (dimension and cubes) before publication against the Vanilla portal (meaning : you can view real-time the impact of any of your modification, saving times & making the design process smoother)

Browse of dataset

Browse of column – column value split

Dimension Explorer

Cube Explorer

Tomorrow, we will explore how we have implemented the security, another interesting subject not covered by first generation of Open Source Bi package

Have Fun !


FreeAnalysis Schema Designer for UnitedOlap (part 2)

Dear Readers,

Some more features with Fasd/UOlap, that are usefull when you have stock control or cumulative data instead of daily data, and you want to manage only the “first” or the “last” value, for a date dimension/period.

We added a new Wizard interface where you can select the behaviour of your measure

New Wizard for measure definition

From this interface, you can easilly select your measure (either calculated or from fact table) and choose between last and first behaviour. You have to indicate which date-aware dimension will support the last/first, and it’s done. No more complex Mdx to type, we hide all the complexity for you !

Last/First Definition

Another crazy wizard and feature is the dynamic behaviour for a measure, where you can display, for example, the “sum” of the measure at the root level of a dimension, the “min” for its child level and the “average” for its grand-child level. There are thousand of business case where you need this dynamic aggregate calculation feature, with Fasd/UOlap, we make it easy to implement

Dynamic Aggregate interface

Those pictures worth a thousand words, just look around and evaluate how to provide those features with stone-age first generation Open Source Bi Platform …

Have Fun !


FreeAnalysis Schema Designer for UnitedOlap (part 1)

Dear Readers,

Some news about UnitedOlap, as we are about to make the first bundle public this summer.

Let’s focus on FreeAnalysis Schema Designer (Fasd), and how we enhanced this package to support UnitedOlap concepts and new features (simply because without a good integrated designer, you can’t developp interesting Olap schema)

– Fasd support Oda DataSource and Oda DataSet (like Birt, FreeDashboard, or even BiGateWay). It has high interest, as you can take benefit of already existing oda datasource such as Excel, GoogleDocs, FreeWebReport and FreeMetadata datasources)

Oda support in Fasd

DataSet Selection (example in Excel SpreadSheet)

– We embeded a “Date” Wizard to design a Date dimension using a single column (no more the painfull design of year/quarter/month in different columns !)

Date Wizard Interface : column selection

Date Wizard Interface : dimension definition

Some people – early testers, soon early adopters – already told me that UnitedOlap is the future of Open Source Olap, putting aside old existing driver

I like those comment, because we designed UnitedOlap using our experience of commercial products and the pain & limitation we had with some other software

Have Fun !




Vanilla in 01NetPro

Dear Readers,

Nice to read that No 1 French IT Newspaper is writting about Vanilla.

Version 3.4 gets so many interesting feedback, and we noticed that starting developping “Maps oriented” document is very easy (we already started some PoC and we were able to develop nice Maps document in less than 2 days).

Providing integrated Maps in Dashboard, Cubes and Report is a must ! I think a lot of Bi project manager have to rethink their strategy when drawing a Bi project with their customers, because a Maps is worth many reports !

Have Fun !


UnitedOlap in action

Dear Readers,

Always amazing to discuss with people about new project. Basic questions are globally the same : Why do you launch a new project ? How will you market it ? Do you have enough resources to achieve it ?

I’ve heard those sentences since the initial launch of Vanilla, and there is no debate on result : we are now in version 3.4, with new adopters every weeks, and more & more people willing to look at the project, (meaning : the vaporware & bad words of some Us based companies has gone).

Last month, we launched UnitedOlap, our new Olap project, and I’m happy to show you some of the new features in the 2 videos (Thanks to Charles for the videos).

Excel as a datasource for UnitedOlap

Google SpreadSheed as a datasource for UnitedOlap

 Those videos give direct answer to some questions, such as “Why a new Olap engine”.

Answer is basic : we didn’t want to be tied to sql-only datasource, and supporting oda driver directly provide us with Excel, csv or GSpreadSheet data support.

Second answer, if you want to run your application in  the cloud, you should be in position to support cloud datasource (not only cloud database). And today, Google data source (such as GSpreaSheet or GTable) are becoming the de facto standard to store information in the cloud

Third answer, UnitedOlap is a combination of a server (Olap), driver (UnitedOlap), Api (FreeAnalysis), Designer (Fasd) and Web interface (FaWeb). No need anymore to look for strange mix of different projects to gather a driver with a designer or an api that don’t follow the same Open Source licences

Supporting Excel datasource is important for Proof of Concept when you are starting a new project : no need anymore to load your data into a Sql database only to solve “technical limitation”. In addition, Excel provide an easy way to manage external calculation / simulation on measures, unleashing some of the current limitation with basoc Open source Olap driver.

GSpreadSheet support is great, because you can perfom online Web manipulation on data and see the result in an Olap Interface (and in the sample, we display the data on a map)

If you want to be involved in the UnitedOlap project, just drop me a mail, we will provide you with a direct access to resources (packages, source code …)

Have Fun !