Vanilla 4.2 – Video Update

Dear Readers,

As discuss before, we provided with Vanilla 4.2 an update of all the existing documentations along with new documentation that cover new fonctional subject (like MDM module or NoSql support). Thanks to Charles, we have also updated most of the video, and created a channel on YouTube to publish it. You can now access and watch Vanilla 4.2 videos : Vanilla 4.2 Videos on YouTube (note : those videos are available from Bpm-Conseil WebSite, ‘VanillaTour’ pages)

Each video is 3 to 5 minutes and cover a specific subject : Portal overview, olap designer, etl designer, dashboard designer and metadata designer. Soon another batch of videos to introduce Web Reporting, Workflow designer, WebOlap interface, ProcessManager and Platform Management,

Those videos will provide new audience with valuable information about Vanilla interface : consistency between interfaces and ease of use. Vanilla relies on powerfull engine to process document (like UnitedOlap, Bonita, Birt or Lucene), but we gave high importance to quality and stability for designer and admin interface, because Bi consultants are working all day with those designers … and working with user-friendly interfaces is always easier when it comes to develop Bi documents,

Have Fun !


Vanilla 4.2 – 1 Week after

Dear Readers,

It’s been 1 week since we launched Vanilla 4.2, and result is going beyond our expectation. Using our Vanilla4GoogleAnalytics package, I can monitore the evolution of people coming on our WebSite (+420% of unique IP address compare to january 2012 as date of this writting) and number of download is also more than correct (more than 200 downloads for Vanilla platform in 1 Week … it’s quite reasonable).

What is amazing also, when I look at statistics, is the geographical origin of persons connecting and downloading Vanilla. It’s true France and European countries (Germany, England and South European Countries) are those who are making the trafic, but Asian Region and USA are just behind. Funny to notice we got now a growing number of persons downloading from China, which was not the case with previous version.

With Vanilla 4.2, we are providing more than Bi : Etl, Worklflow and Document Management are there, NoSql and Hadoop support are also important subjects with 4.2 … no mater what .G is thinking about our strategy and market position … what is important for us is customer recognition … and 1 week after the 4.2 launch, the sun shines bright … change the way you are thinking how you will manage your data … just turn to Vanilla now !

Have Fun !


Vanilla 4.2

Dear Reader,

Vanilla 4.2 is now available for download. Just go to Bpm-Conseil WebSite to download the Vanilla platform.

List of New features below (detail in the previous posts), and the Vanilla 4.2 New Features document for those who want more details

  • Vanilla Portal (Interface, dynamic filder, personal workspace, widget support, 15 languages)
  • Vanilla Viewer (multi format, dynamique filter, save process)
  • Mdm update (Supplier Management, document Management, Etl integration)
  • Java7/Tomcat7/Birt4.2 update – Xstream for communication – continuous support for JBoss & Weblogic Application Server
  • Solr/Lucene 4.0 integration (embeded or stand alone  /farm of servers)
  • Update & new packages for Vanilla Apps (to be listed later)
  • New functions for User  & Admin : Document Management (Version control, Workflow, Approval, Indexation)
    Nosql Support (3 databases – Hbase, Cassandra & MongoDb, for Etl & Reporting, along with new oda driver to build report/dashboard/cube on nosql database)
  • FreeDashboard v4 : complete rewrite of designer, Html5 support, filter multi folder
  • Web Designer update : FreeAnalysisWeb (Forecast & Simulation, Drill between cubes), FreeWebReport (review interface, new PlugIn, Hyperlink), WebKpi & FreeDashboardWeb (Update),
  • Continuous Wms support & Kpi/Dashboard/Maps integration
  • Improved Server Side & Cloud feature : mass reporting, clustering of process, farm of secured servers (https)
  • Numerous Update of Dev & Admin package (ProcessManager, BiGateWay, Hypervision, ES, Workflow, Norparena …)
  • Packages Integration improvement (Fmdt resources in FreeDashboard, or Mdm resource in BiGateWay for example)
  • New Mobile Apps for Android : Report Designer & Update Apps Viewer (Ios & Android)
  • Update of documentation & video

Vanilla 4.2 is a 1 year development project, with numerous new features. Just review what is the ROI of your current Bi platform …

Have Fun !


Vanilla 4.2 – Version Number

Dear Readers,

When we introduced Vanilla 4.2 new features list and during first presentation to early adopters, there is something that comes always has a remark : “Vanilla 4.2 is not a simple update, it can be considered as a new release, like a version 5.0”. That’s a point of discussion.

In fact, after we release version 4.0, when we designed version 4.2 we were thinking about a middle term update (let’s say 4 to 6 months maximum). Some subjects like Document Management and Mdm were already available before version 4.0, but we found it was not mature enough, not tested enough, to be part of version 4.0, but we wanted to delivere those module during S1/2012

So, we started the development of Vanilla 4.2 version, and because of 4.0 success, we had a lot of subjects to cover : training session, project development, project management … and some technical subjects went on board like Java7, Solr/Lucene, new Android and Ios versions, new Birt version … which lead us to delayed the release (summer is not a good period to delivere a release … we originally target october 2012 … but sometimes, it’s better to take 2 more months …).

It’s funny to notice our Vanilla 4.2 is developed using Eclipse 4.2 and using Birt 4.2 engine … it’ a kind of funny unpredictable situation (and we make our software compliant with those versions). Last 4.2 on board is Android … it really looks like many software are crossing at 4.2 release …

We are 2 days before Vanilla 4.2 … its all packed on our side, currently doing the upload on our server …

Have Fun !


Vanilla 4.2 – 1 year of project

Dear Readers,

There will be 1 year between Release 4.0 and Release 4.2 … it’s a short period for humanity, a small version number increase, but a big step for the Vanilla Project (software and people) …

It’s been a crazy year to manage version 4.2 … and thanks to Vanilla team, we were able to delivere it, nearly on time. Along with the development team, we have also the integration team, that spent a lot of times in testing the software, writing documentation and sharing about interface quality. … It’s a real human experience to manage such project, and all the team should be proud for the result.

We all learnt a lot during this year : about software, about project … about ourself, about team life. It was a nice journey and we are now expecting to get faster recognition from new customers – our current customers are our new version early adopters … showing our belief in our new version.

We are not expectiong a lot anymore from some prospects or System Integrators in different region of this world, most important is our customers are our first supporter and like the Vanilla Project, and provide us with regular integration projects. It looks like it’s not possible to work in Open Source with some customers… including in my home country, where people have attraction for Us based commercial software (I will not comment why they like to pay expensive software, it can be misunderstood !). We recommand to those persons who don’t want to open the door to Open Source to continue to pay and pay even more … when it comes to budget and money, just review where your money is going, and if it will help your kids to grow in a profitable and safe country …

Just 3 days to wait before Vanilla 4.2, no other platform is like Vanilla now

Have Fun !


Vanilla Install Day

Dear Readers,

This coming sunday is Vanilla 4.2 official launch. To follow this event, and offer an opportunity to people to start using Vanilla 4.2, we organise a full day in our office in Lyon where people can come and get information on Vanilla, like a full day of exchange and discovery. It’s our first try to organise such “Install day” event, as we like to meet our users (as opposed to basic WebMeeting, which are also usefull, but … you just talk to a computer !!!).


Let’s discuss in another post the feedback on this first Vanilla Install Day. More details on our WebSite

Have Fun !


Vanilla v4.2 – 16/16 – Documentation

Dear Readers,

Coming January 13th 2013, along with version 4.2 of Vanilla, we provide a global update of our documentation and videos, especially for the new or updated packages and interfaces. Documentation has always kept a special position with Vanilla, as we kept it available for free since the beginning, and also – which is asking a lot of energy – we are updating documentation with new vesion (no dead document !)

All documents have been updated, but especially :

  • BiGateWay and BiWorkflow where we added many new boxes
  • EnterpriseServices, as we moved some interfaces

A special focus has been done on 5 majors subjects (in english only)

  • Vanilla New Feature presentation
  • Vanilla Portal : user manipulation and feature presentation
  • Vanilla NoSql support presentation and usage (global documentation for the 3 nosql database and 2 specific documentations for Cassandra and MongoDb)
  • Vanilla Mdm/BiGateway – presentation and integration for the supplier/document part (the entiry/rules part will come later)
  • Vanilla FreeDashboard – refreshed package … so, new global documentation

It’s always little annoying to have to pay for “geting started documentation”, right ? … what people really want in Open Source : first is to share software code, software know-how, software usage … some of our documentation are 100+ pages … its globally more than 1’000 pages, from installation-architecture to development studio and user interfaces. Video is shorter (globally, it’s 2h+), but its already usable to understand what is available with Vanilla

Have Fun !


Vanilla v4.2 – 15/16 – Wms Support – Kpi/Dashboard/Map integration

Dear Readers,

We are coming soon to last posts of this journey inside Vanilla 4.2 new features list, and we are 1 week before official launch for Vanilla 4.2 (sunday 13th january).

Coming to visualisation, we are going one step further with Vanilla 4.2, by providing visual studio to define and design all maps and kpi elements. No code for maps definition and cells definition, no code for Wms support (when map is located on a Map server), no code for Dashboard designThis post is about Maps, Kpi visualisation and Dashboard rendering.

What developer can build is Dashboard that display Kpi measures on a map, no matter if this map is coming from either a Map Server (through Wms support) or from a local document (like an image or a flash representation). The beauty of Vanilla is to provide development studio to define Kpi list and encode maps reference in Vanilla repository, which mean : no code in Dashboard … even for Maps & Kpi integration !


To reach this result, norparena provides all designer need to defin maps and maps cells, just watch the different type of maps documents we support


For each map, designer has to defined each on map (ok, you can use BiGateWay, our ETL, to loap map definition into our map repository), then those Cell reference will to be link with Kpi using a reference (in our Kpi database, each entry has a geo reference)


There can be an automatic matching using cells name on a map, for example with dimension member in a dimension …


Just refer to FreeMetrics (our Kpi database and suit of packages) to define Kpi and link those Kpi to maps, and refer to either FreeDashboard or Birt/FreeWebReport if you want to buil a map visualisation with Kpi dataset display in its cells … why should it be dificult to design … we make it even more easier with Vanilla 4.2

Have Fun !

Vanilla v4.2 – 14/16 – Improved Server Side & Cloud feature

Dear Readers,

Let’s browse some features and packages that will help Admin to manage Vanilla, from a single instance to a farm of servers :

Vanilla Hypervision

Vanilla Hypervision InterfaceVanilla42BetaPublic_Hypervision

Vanilla 4.2 is delivered with enhanced functions to manage farms of Vanilla servers or clustered configuration (private or public cloud), using Hypervision. With Hypervision, you can setup and monitore any mass reporting activity, setup cluster of process, manage the server memory consumption, use a drag & drop interface to deploy document between servers,  manage farm of secured servers (https is now fully supported), and manage any olap cache (and deploy the cached grid to another instance of server). Hypervision is “must to have” package if you have many Vanilla intances to manage.

Vanilla Hypervision Olap Cache Transfer


New Cloud Features

As new cloud features, Vanilla 4.2 is compliant with Memcached (so, you can registered Vanilla to a AWS Memcached server, for example) and also compliant with Solr/Lucene 4.0 (same situation, you can regsitere Vanilla to an Amazon instance of Solr/Lucene). Also, any Vanilla instance can be monitored by Nagios, to monitore any Vanilla activiity (network traffic, memory pic, hard disk consumption) … True Open Source Platform is the way to go, because we rely on other True Open Source components, making the global infrastructure compliant “out of the box”

Vanilla Configurator

Vanilla Configurator Interface


This is the return of our configurator, that was missing in version 4. In fact, We had a configurator in version 3 because a Vanilla server was using many different configurations files. One of our customer, Ministry of Internal Affair in France, encouraged us to merge all those configuration files into a single one, which was the situation with Vanilla 4.0  (so, a simple text editor was our new configurator with version 4). But as this configuration file contains more and more options, we found usefull to provide a simple interface to help Admin to setup a Vanilla server, from a single instance to a master/slave clustered configuration.

Have Fun !