Vanilla 4.4 – BiWorkflow Update

Dear Readers,

As told in introduction of this serie of posts for Vanilla 4.4, we have removed the Bonita engine from our Platform, and use instead our own integrated workflow engine. This is to have a lighter Platform, with less external componants, as we noticed there were only few interest to embed a full Bpm Platform just to provide orchestration services.

Anyway, it was a difficult decision to remove Bonita,  because  the product is nice and easy to deploy, but because our  integration with Bonita was clean, through a single Api, it was also very easy to switch to another workflow engine. Immediate result during installation is we don’t need anymore to deploy the 2 bonita catalogs …

The BiWorkflow interface is almost the same :

  • we  have simplified the publication process (now, when you exported the workflow on the repository, it’s immediatly available)
  • we added some new box to provide more features (such as the encrypt/decrypt box on file)
  • We have also improved some box (like the flush cache for our olap engine, the Gateway/sub workflow integration or the kpi alert interface),

… but the product is globally the same … because it perfectly meet its objectives, and is so easy to use …

Just review how you suffer when it comes to deploy a workflow with your current Bi Platform … ok, it’s not an existing component ? … just switch to Vanilla !

Have Fun !

Patrick

Vanilla 4.4 – Hypervision

Dear Readers,

There is a lot to write about Vanilla Hypervision, our module to manage farm of Vanilla servers. I hope soon we will finish a complete documentation about this software, as its importance Inside the Vanilla Platform is growing every day.

Hypervision deployment started almost 2 years ago, and even the product is still confidential, users (generally administrator for Vanilla servers) are happy with the features Hypervision provides : management of cluster of Vanilla servers, tuning of Vanilla services (basically thread management & java setting), deployment of cache between servers (for Olap cubes), performance analysis & stress tests of servers are some of the available features.

We just got an upgrade for Hypervision 4.4 that focus on user interface, to make it less technical and easier to play with. The strength of the products are already there since its first version, so our objective is to speed up the deployment of Hypervision, along with the growth of the number of large Customers (Customers with hundred of concurrent end users, usually with more than 2 Vanilla servers).

Except for Olap performance management and services stress tests, it’s true your need for hypervision are limited if you have only 1 Vanilla server … but review your approach of your Bi Platform architecture and usage, and think about your number of users, and how you manage your servers … this should lead you to considere Hypervision as a reliable option for your next Bi project

Have Fun !

Patrick

Vanilla 4.4 – BiGateway ETL New Features

Dear Readers,

Let’s talk about BiGateway, our Etl master piece, and its new features with Vanilla 4.4. First of all, BiGateway deployment inside companies is moving forward very fast, leading to more and more request from customers. It looks like our product position (in terms of designer interface and in terms of features) is well accepted by etl developers and Bi architects, leading to new demand for extended features (especially from system integrators)

We added some new features (boxes) available from the palet such as :

  • encryption / decryption method at column level (this comes along with existing encryption at file level, available in our workflow), using an custom encryption key
  • Web Service support for data input (and clean WebServices integration : no limitation in terms of xml document structure !!!),
  • New Vanilla-MDM file input, with version control on files. Again a clean integration between 2 modules, at data level

We have extended our support for NoSql database, and fix some minor bugs, to have better integration and better performance with MongoDb and Cassandra database. Funny to notice the number of announcement for support from various editors, in parallel with the number of deployment. On our side, we have now interesting deployment for Vanilla/MongoDB in banks, and Vanilla/Cassandra in retail industry, through partners.

Also, we have now a Weka output, providing a direct extraction from Etl to load ay Weka file format, making easier and smoother the process “extract -> analyse”. It’s a first try, based on a customer request, and no doubt we will extend this “dataming support” to other proprietary file format, in addition with csv support (the most used file format for data mining extraction).

We hope you will enjoy those new features,

Best Regards,

Patrick

Vanilla Mobile – Report Designer

Dear Readers,

Vanilla 4.4 comes with an update on our apps, together with new apps to meet customer new expectation on tablet. It’s no secret our Apps development line of products are now only focusing on Android, so our new Apps – Vanilla Report Designer – are only available for Android (for IPhone, we just provided an upgrade and support with the new Vanilla platform, but no new Apps) Because of Android framework evolution, we have now a better management of interface in a single package, that takes into consideration the Smartphone and the Tablet interfaces.

So, what is the content of our Apps ? First, we provide an update of our Reader Apps. This Apps is used to connect to a Vanilla server run reports, dashboard or cubes, or browse alerts & kpi. Vanilla Reader get also a fresh new cutting edge feature : disconnected mode, which allow users to synchronize their packages with a Vanilla server to browse the package content (reports, cubes views) while disconnected later. This Apps comes also with a refresh of its interface to meet the latests Android design rules for user interface, and we provide support for both : Smartphone and Tablet

Then comes the new Apps : Vanilla Report Writer for Tablet. This Apps leverage our architecture by providing users with the possibility to design their own report on Tablet, using Metadata documents (so, no sql manipulation). Interface is very close from our WebReport Designer, and as usual, those reports can be run from portal and modified later using either our Web Designer our Birt/Vanilla plugIn (making transparent the origin of the report … just review how it works with your current bi platform)

Last subject, because we got many questions like this : our Mobile Bi Apps are only available for Vanilla platform. They are not Apps to connect to others Bi platforms, sorry …

Just take a few minutes to watch our Android Apps

Have Fun !

Patrick

Vanilla 4.4 – Support for Birt 4.3

Dear Readers,

This is a crazy month, with a new large project to start in France, some interesting opportunities in South East Asia and Vanilla 4.4 about to be released. Interesting to notice we can see in parallel the whole team moving together in the same direction, focusing on delivering software on time and with expected quality …

One of the last features our development team provided us is the support for Birt 4.3, at both level : server side (to run Birt 4.3 report format) and at Designer side (Upgrade of Birt PlugIn for Birt 4.3 Report Designer).

There are interesting subjects in Birt 4.3 (like the connectivity with MongoDb, new Microsoft Office Emitters), and compare to our support for Birt 4.2 (we had a delay, because the Vanilla release agenda didn’t match the Birt 4.2 release date), we are just on time with our new 4.4 Vanilla release.

2 weeks before Vanilla 4.4 official availability … stay connected !

Best Regards,

Patrick

Vanilla 4.4 – Release Candidate On Time

Dear Readers,

Vanilla 4.4rc6 was delivered yesterday by our development team, on time, with almost 100% of the identified bug from rc5 already fixed. There was a debate about making rc6 available publicly for download, but we finally decided to open it to our partners only, for various reasons.

This rc6 will have a new complete set of tests by our test team, that will lead us to rc7, in about 2 weeks (which should be the pre-ga version). In parallel, we are updating the documentation and working on new videos.

Vanilla 4.4 is still forecast for the end of this month, and there is no reasons for any delay. Having set a Jenkins allows us to have daily bundle for the Platform, along with various complex tests scenarios, it’s more easy to validate the different corrections … and this job can be done by multiples resources in parallel

Production of software is a job in itself, infrastructure is in place internally to speed up and secure the delivery process (more resources on board, mature architecture, up-to-date infrastructure, procedure for test/validation) … it’s really a pleasure to manage this 4.4 release : without any doubt, the smooth release I had to manage in terms of features/planning/releases … I hope existing and new customers will appreciate this new version as we already enjoy using it !

Have Fun !

Patrick

Vanilla 4.4 – update of engines and libraries

Dear Readers,

As a Mirror of our previous post (remose unused engines) … this post is about the engines we have updated. This new Version of Vanilla comes with update on some interesting engines, such as :

– Report engine : update with latests versions of IReport and Birt engine

– Database Engine : update (and support) with latests version of jdbc drivers for PgSql, MySQL, Oracle, SqlServer (jdts), MariaDb (new supported database) and more …

– Olap engine : update with latest version of UnitedOlap

On libraries side, it’s more about the Osgi Framework and its set of libraries … using Osgi is a must for a development team

We have updated to Gwt 2.5.1, which provide some interesting bug fix (I remember having some problem clicking on the last item of a list … it’s gone now …), and also updated our Apps to support the latest Android version (this will be detailed in another post)

Again, Open Source means respect for standard and usage of up-to-date components … just review how your current Platform is bundled …

Have Fun !

Patrick