From Business Intelligence to Information Management (part 5)

Dear Readers,

In a previous Post (April 3, 2011), I already wrote about BiWorkflow as a development studio to manage agregate of files (Pdf, Excel), which takes part of a set of specific features that help developer to create global documents and manage it (just imagine you have a bundle of Pdf documents to release, BiWorkflow provides an out-of-box feature to aggregate all those Pdf !)

BiWorkflow is easy to understand, easy to use, and workflow documents are easy to deploy. BiWorkflow studio is not tied to Bigateway (Etl), it stands as a single piece of software for all the Vanilla components (such as Burst Report). There are many situation where developers have to manage exceptions such as “is a specific file available”,  “is server available” or subjects such as getting files from any server,  sending documents using a mail gateway, publishing any document on Vanilla portal or on any external portal (Vanilla compliant) or uploading document on any ftp/http server … BiWorkflow provides all you need to design your workflow document

BiWorkFlow Interface

How can you imagine a Bi platform without a powerfull workflow engine & workflow designer ? BiWorkflow document can be scheduled and manage by our ProcessManager or any external scheduler, making it easy to deploy complex workflow that manage documents … just rethink your way to approach any Business intelligence or Document Management application, and turn to Vanilla, it’s time to go !

Have Fun !

Patrick

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From Business Intelligence to Information Management (part 4)

Dear Readers,

The Vanilla platform provides tools to manage various kind of document : any “standard documents” (office, pdf, xml) , media-oriented documents such as image or video and geo documents (such as geo data and various map formats : Flash maps, kml info, wms geo server …).

To manage those different documents, we provide different studio, which can make complex the first approach of Vanilla when dealing with “more than Bi” :

  • BiGateWay (just refer to previous post of this serie), is able to manage kml document to load maps info into our maps repository (tables)
  • BiWorkflow, provide feature to manage external documents in bulk such as loading/uploading all the documents from a network folder, a (s)ftp or any http(s) server … very convenient to build complex operation … an embeded workflow inside a bi platform !!!
  • Norparena package that take care of any other subjects, such as maps definition, address & building design, but also features to manage document indexation (remember : Vanilla embed Lucene as indeaxtion/search engine)
  • FreeMetrics package, that provides interface to geolocalise Kpi … finally any Bi developer can enjoy a studio to push kpi value on any kind of map, using a visual interface !
  • Eclipse PlugIns are available to make Maps & Kpi available in any Birt reports (flash or html maps) … no need to turn to any commercial package to enjoy maps integration inside your reports !

Maps Visualisation of a set of member measure, from an Olap View

Valuable Information not only stands in reports or database anymore. Blog, Mail, Video, external docs and maps contain rich information that are not yet leverage enough. But managing Information is not only pushing a search engine, intelligent maps, ocr recognition or any data mining process, it’s a global approach that should complies with company objectives. As a platform editor, we have to offer the largest set of integrated tools to help developer to achieve their project.

All those subjects – maps, video, indexation, geo-kpi – go beyond the simple “bi” features. In the next post of the serie, I will explain all thoses features, and how we use it to build complex data visualisation interface, using Vanilla portal, FreeDashboard, Birt, FreeWebReport & FreeAnalysis to display the documents and the data,

Have Fun !

Patrick

Another note about BiGateWay

Dear Readers,

I received questions about how to use an Olap Structure as a Data Source in a BiGateWay transformation. So this Video, to provide more than simple screenshot this time. In this video, you can see how to define the Data Source (Olap), how to create a simple transformation that take some Olap member item and load them into a new Sql table (its so easy to do !) … and best of bread, how to deploy the transformation and run it from Vanilla portal.

You can access the video from here : BiGateWay Transformation using an Olap Data Source

Don’t confuse : it’s easy to do, but it requieres knowledge or assistance (about Olap & Etl in general, with a focus on Vanilla technologies & modules). Too many times over the past few weeks, I received mail from potential users asking for ponctual assistance … on the final step. Before running 100m in 10 to 12 seconds, people have to learn how to walk, no ?

Have Fun !

Patrick

From Business Intelligence to Information Management (part 3)

Dear Readers,

Like a mirror with the part 2 of this serie of posts about Vanilla Information Management features, I just post now some screenshots to show how developers can use our BiGateWay module to push data back in Vanilla structures, such as cubes (fact table) or Kpi database, or to create a FreeMetadata document that map a sql database insert into a table.

Just imagine how easy it is – using BiGateWay – to manage data (extraction & load) from various database structure … in a way, you dont have to care anymore of the database structure itself, you just use the related box to read or write your data

FreeMetadata document to be create while loading data into a sql table

Data to be loaded into FreeAnalysis Cube structure (fact table)

Data to be loaded into FreeMetrics Kpi database

There is so much to tell about out Data Service module, and more to come soon (such as dimension table management inside a transformation, internationalisation management …) … just keep connect …

Have Fun !

Patrick

A note about BiGateWay

Dear Readers,

BiGateWay, our Data Service module (aka ETL) is getting strong recognition as an integrated piece of software (INTEGRATED is a KEYWORD !). Far away from pure players, both side (Etl & Bi), that try to separate Bi & Etl platforms for commercial reasons, Vanilla is providing an INTEGRATED platform that facilitate development & deployment of “data aware applications”.

Recently, I was delighted to see a complex Etl development where transformation take data coming from various database and load our Kpi database, FreeMetrics. The screenshot below are worth thousand words … BiGateWay is easy to use, easy to start with,

Rh Kpi Measure Integration

Just look at details : loopup, calculation, aggregate, exception handler, surrogate key … all that developer need to build complex data transformation with a visual studio. As part of Vanilla platform, security, database definition, workflow process, scheduler : BiGateWay can use all the Vanilla resources, so you save time in development & deployment setup … and more in production admin !

Have Fun !

Patrick

From Business Intelligence to Information Management (part 2)

Dear Readers,

Full features Business Intelligence Platforms like Vanilla (I dont focus on our Open Source initiative, I focus more on feature completion & consistency) manipulate, create & expose a lot of valuable informations, through Metadata documents (for security & business presention), through Kpi database or cube structures (I put aside the debate about Rolap or Molap architecture).

All those new data structures (either virtual or physical structure) contains informations that need to be accessed, unlocked & exposed to any other platforms (applications, database), like external messaging system, monitoring or exception system, data hub, … Vanilla provides a Data Service component – BiGateWay – (some people will call in an Etl, but our BiGateWay component brings more than simple Etl features) to access & expose those information structure.

The screenshot below – putting in front BiGateWay Data Input PlugIn – show how to use Cube, Kpi or Metadata structure as datasource in any kind of transformation. Each data structure has a custom interface to set appropriate properties

FreeMetadata document as a datasource

FreeAnalysis cube as a datasource

FreeMetrics database as a datasource

This is a very first solution – easy to setup, easy te develop, easy to deploy – to link Bi & Etl component : “Bi as datasource for Etl, inside Vanilla” … next post will go further : using Etl to load data into Bi data structures.

Have Fun !

Patrick

From Business Intelligence to Information Management (part 1)

Dear Readers,

Just starting a serie of post to explain how we moved from a full feature Business Intelligence Platform to an Enterprise Information Management Platform. In fact, Vanilla provides all the standard features you can expect to find in a Bi platform : Metadata, Reporting, Olap, Dashboard, Kpi and Maps visualisation, along with additional valuable components embeded into the platform, such as :

– Etl/Workflow/Mdm components : using BiGateWay, BiWorkFlow and Vanilla Mdm, along with Data Profiling / Data quality components, developer have a comprehensive suit of software to manage data

– Document Management / Search Engine : using Vanilla v4, you can now manage any kind of documents (image, external document, video), share those documents using Vanilla portal and start indexation process on various type of text document, to later use an embeded search interface. this comes along with Vanilla document indexation (like reports) and all the tools to manage the library of documents (for content expiration, document authorisation, versioning …) , to provide a global comprehensive document management features

It’s very fun now to compete in some tender (public market, bid, proposal … name it as you want), because we can see customers are moving to “more than only bi” (as we can read through the Big Data marketing noise those past months). In fact, some customers still don’t understand how to align their information management strategy with their internal process, but the process has started : there is a real need to take control on document processing, data flow, and inter application data & document exchange … to better understand what are the data coming from outside, data generated by internal application and data that are published outside the company (public or to partners).

Have Fun !

Patrick