Vanilla 5 – Migration Services

Dear Readers,

It’s amazing to notice we got an impressive number of incoming calls and contacts for BI migration projects.

Migration of a project is always something difficult : usually, customers have already invested to buy an expensive commercial BI platform, and invested a lot of time in their Datawarehouse & Bi Platform. So it’s not easy to tell them “let’s restart”.

It’s amazing, because we have a dedicated services to help customers to migrate their legacy BI platform for years now, with interesting migration projects from Cognos and Business Objects to Vanilla. This team “live its life”, doing some projects, getting more and more experience, but as we don’t promote this activity, it’s just a silent activity.

But recently, incoming call are more to discuss about Open Source migration platforms (Jasper, Pentaho, Talend) … so situation is different, and it’s also much easy to discuss about such migration, because we can access the documents and run migration scripts. Why they want to run away from such Open Source BI platforms is not the subject of this post … maybe a next post … but there are valuable reasons to run away now.

Usually, the DataWarehouse (including ETL transformation) is the second part of the project. We always start with the visible part : BI plaftorm, taking the existing documents and adding interesting features like Maps, Olap Viewer, Html5 support, etc … Vanilla portal can run JasperReport and BIRT report, so this is the easiest part of the project … this can be a smooth migration, as we do provide support of existing development (it’s a key subject)

About ETL, situation is confused those days (I will not comment the Talend situation, neither the absorbtion of Kettle by HDS). Customers are reviewing their strategy when they have already invested a lot in their ETL  backbone … and ETL is not visible for end users, so they don’t understand easilly the interest of such migration.

If you have some migration questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a mail …

Have Fun !

Patrick

Vanilla 5 – New Features 11 – Release Strategy

Dear Readers,

Last year, first in may, then in september, it was an important decision to postpone Vanilla 5 delivery, because it was not “bullet proof”, and other subjects like documentation & Website update were not available. This decision had impact : we kept silent, and we work hard on Vanila 5 (no comment on other editor’s strategy). Our integration team started using it for our projects, and some partners get early access to Vanilla 5, with nice messages.

During this year, we use Vanilla to develop, we make it stronger, we added some features to make it easier to use (like maps and olap view inside kpi interface), keeping in mind we are going to release it. We reviewed also the packaging, to separate the Core BI modules and the ETL modules, and we developped a specific version Vanilla Big Data Analysis.

Vanilla 5

Vanilla 5

We took also this additional time to develop 2 new modules : Vanilla Hub and Vanilla for Excel … we are in peace with version 5, it’s already deployed for most of our customers, with only good feedback. Version 5 will be the most important release for Vanilla, maybe also the most difficult to achieve … it was a long journey, but we are soon reaching the promise land ! Early version is available from our WebSite, in the download section, don’t hesitate to download it to enjoy a fresh BI platform, with cool features !

Have Fun !

Patrick

AklaBox Search Engine Update

Dear Readers,

Such a Fresh and Fun update from the AklaBox development Team, french side (Thanks to Kevin & Brice) : we reviewed the search aproach, to bring more that list result or maps results (ok, Maps result is already exciting, but we already do it, so … let’s do more !) … and I really appreciate what Kevin (Ph side) published as thumbnail for this news

AklaBox Easter Edition

AklaBox Easter Edition

The Easter Edition of AklaBox put together the best of Solr and R to run search, cluster the search result set and display it in a mind map interface, providing more than a simple search, with result in list. Algorithm (written in R) can be customized : you have now the possibility to influence how the search engine will manage, sort, split the result set !

AklaBox Mind Map Result

AklaBox Mind Map Result

It’s running inside an Hadoop instance, to take advantage of Solr/Cloud and Hdfs, and the development – at Api level – will be replicate soon for Vanilla, Search Engine Interface.

Have Fun !

Patrick

Vanilla 5 – New Features 10 – Internet Of Things

Dear Readers,

We worked a lot on the new area for data lake / data ocean : Internet of Things :

  • data logger, sensor, real time data from Point of Sales, internet trafic analysis, social media behavior & web site content, weather & maps, economic & financial data, legacy data
  • search engine, data analysis, cluster of data, data model & data forecast
  • data visualization : graphs, maps, analytical advanced display, etc …

We are proud to provide an early version of  Vanilla 5, Big Data Analysis, a dedicated platform built on top of Vanilla 5, to provide data analyst with the tools & platform to collect, store, transform, analyze and display data coming from numerous sources, in various format.

Subject is no more to collect data and store it in Big Data : subject is to provide analysts with additional data (weather, maps, finance, economic are “standard”) and to allow them to build analytical business model on those blended data, then run process to analyze those data and display result through human interfaces.

Vanilla 5

Vanilla 5

Even it’s early version, we have already customers who believe in our project and decided to move to Vanilla 5, Big Data Analysis : this cover customers from Pharmaceutical industry, Hospital sector and Retail Business. Data Analysis challenge is there : don’t miss a chance to enjoy playing with your data soon !

Have Fun !

Patrick

II-SDV 2015 in Nice

Dear Readers,

Later this week-end, I’m joining II-SDV for a 3 days event & workshop in Nice. This will be my 4th presentation since 2012 (thanks to the persons who organized this event for keeping a slot for Open Source)

II-SDV is the no 1 place to talk about Data Visualization, Patent, Search Engines, and advanced platforms, for industries like chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

II-SDV

II-SDV

This year, I will share my talk with another company, Thermolabo, to present Open Source Graph & Maps, and to demo Web Platform like AklaBox (Document Management Platform) and Thermolabo (Data Logging Services). Weather is going to be ok, presentation is almost ready, so all the trafic lights are Green for this beautiful event …

Have Fun !

Patrick

Vanilla 5 – New Features 9 – Vanilla Hub

Dear Readers,

Let’s talk about a key new component available with Vanilla 5 : Vanilla Hub, which is our new module for EAI, Real Time Data Integration and Data Exchange

Vanilla HUB

Vanilla HUB

Vanilla Hub solves a lot of problems :

  • Real Time Data Integration, as a secure path for data inside a datawarehouse database
  • Able to accept and manage Web Services requests coming from external platforms, for both :
    • data input : data sent to Vanilla Hub, multiple format available
    • data request / data output : web service request for data exposed as Web Services on Vanilla Hub
  • Able to accept unstructured data format, together with standard data file such as sql dataset, web service or xml data file
  • Able to run custom API that can process complex transformation on data file (such as Xml data file transformation)
  • Compliant & able to start both Vanilla WorkFlow and Vanilla Gateway, based on cron or events

Vanilla Hub provides an easy and clean interface to declare custom API that can process data input coming from Web Services or complex Xml data file.

No need to write complex ETL transformation that will be processed by Workflow : just write a custom API (there are easy development tools and Api to process Web Services and Xml data files) and deploy it inside Vanilla Hub : it will run like a charm and process your data, together with providing Admin with Log Analysis, Flexible deployment (support for various methods to accept requests)

Have Fun !

Patrick

Vanilla 5 – New Features 8 – Packaging, WebSite, Platforms

Dear Readers,

Vanilla 5 comes with new packaging : h2 server (in parallel of the standard mysql and pgsql servers), that can be downloaded and deployed in few minutes. This will make easier the first discovery of Vanilla, for those who want to see the portal and some of its awesome features (olap browser, maps in dashboard, aggregation of multiples reports …).

In fact last h2 package we provided was with Vanilla 3, “a few” years ago” (september 2010), a package that had annoying limitation (no olap support), With Vanilla 4, our tentatives with other embeded database such as derby were also “so so” : multi thread problems at database level (very annoying to run a report, an etl process and an olap view, even in demo mode !), so we offered for download a VBox server … but some of our contacts had problems with Vbox … so difficult to please everybody when you have worldwide downloads.

H2 server is available from our WebSite, www.bpm-conseil.com, in the download section.

For those who visited our WebSite, I’m certain you have noticed the refresh version of our Website, with more focus on our strengths : Full Open Source Platform (server and designer), Kpi Module, Excel Add-Ins, Big Data Integration, Internet Of Things dedicated platform (with multiples connectors to various source of information). At a key moment of our project, it was important to update our WebSite to have it align with our platform position. I was amazed by the good feedbacks from friends & partners with this WebSite (some liked the References we displayed, important companies and governmental agencies, where other liked more the “products” section, and enjoyed putting an image on some of their mail contact).

Bpm-Conseil Website

Bpm-Conseil Website

Last subject in this “packaging” post : we have clarified our offer, software side, and aligned our packaging with our offer : in addition to Vanilla Bi (which provides core Bi services), we propose now Vanilla ETL (a platform with Mdm/Etl/WorkFlow/DataQuality services) and Vanilla Big Data Analysis, a certified platform with standard and advanced services for both Big Data support and Internet Of Things support,

Have Fun !

Patrick

Vanilla 5 – New Features 7 – Hypervision

Dear Readers,

Hypervision is not really a new feature, as it’s part of our commercial offer since 2012.But it’s worth remining its existence, especially with rapid emergence of cluster of Vanilla servers in private clouds.

Since 2012, many customers have chosen Hypervision to manage their Vanilla platform, usually with multiples servers (Etl & WorkFlow server, Bi server, Reporting and Olap Server), and feedback on Hypervision usage is just crazy nice, as the package does its job, and do it very well !

With Vanilla 5, Hypervision has been upgraded to support the lastest technical & interfaces features (Osgi Api upgrade, new features interfaces). As a reminder, please find below some key features of the package. What is interesting to notice is those screenshots have been sent by Bpm-Conseil integration team, as they are using Hypervision on a daily basis to manage some customer platform.

Cluster Configuration & Visualization

Cluster Configuration

Cluster Configuration

Cluster Architecture Visualization

Cluster Architecture Visualization

Package Management & Deployment between servers (dev & prod)

Package Deployment

Package Deployment

Report & ETL process Management, log Analysis

Report Monitoring

Report Monitoring

ETL Monitoring

ETL Monitoring

Log Analysis

Log Analysis

Function to stress cluster of servers

Stress Scenario

Stress Scenario

Olap Cache Management

Olap Model Management

Olap Model Management

Olap Cache Management

Olap Cache Management

There is no package like Hypervision when it comes to monitor cluster of servers ! Vanilla Hypervision stands in this list of awesome package we provide to Admin team to help them in their daily job, managing process, configuration, testing & stressing cluster, clearing & refreshing caches, etc … once you start using Hypervision, you can’t stop using it !

Have Fun !

Patrick

Vanilla 5 – New Features 6 – Some Portal New Features

Dear Readers,

In this series of posts to expose Vanilla 5 New Features, let’s have a look at some interesting features available from the portal (this comes in addition to global features like OpenStreetMap integration)

AklaBox Integration, Publish to AklaBox

AklaBox is our primary choice for Document Management, as it has been developped by our team in Philippines. Integration with AklaBox allow any user to push a report on the cloud or on its private instance of AklaBox, to share the file with external partners, for example. Sharing information is now a native feature inside Vanilla, no need to save the report and send it by mail anymore …

Push to AklaBox

Push to AklaBox

Multi Reports combination

This feature allows user to create a virtual document built with various predefined report, to behave like a single document. Beeing able to create such combination of document is useful when you want to create a bundle of reports to send as Pdf to some other users, or if you want to run multiples reports by running only a single portal item. To be transparent : origin of this feature is a Business Objects to Vanilla migration project, but it’s still a very useful feature !

Multi Reports Feature

Multi Reports Feature

Dashboard, Olap Viewer integration

This is an upgraded & enhanced feature, as it was already available in Vanilla 4. With Vanilla 5, we have integrated a custom Olap viewer as on object inside a dashboard document, with options to allow users to manipulate/explore the olap interface directly from the Dashboard. This is really impressive, easy to develop, and useful, as the Olap Viewer can take the Dashboard selection as parameters

Dashboard Olap Viewer

Dashboard Olap Viewer

Dashboard, export to Pdf or Word

A long time requested feature : to be able to save a Dashboard as PDF or as a word document. It will allow users to freeze their exploration and save a snapshot of the dashboard content.

Export to PDF or Word

Export to PDF or Word

Save & Reuse Queries

With Vanilla 5, user can create their own queries using Metadata Explorer. It’s the same feature we had already in version 4 for Bi developer, as they were able to create and publish predefined queries in the Metadata document. All those queries can now be used as datasource with Vanilla Report, our Web module to create reports. Reusing Queries is also a factor to improve user productivity

Saved Query as Datasource

Saved Query as Datasource

Export to R & Weka

From the Web interface Metadata Explorer and Web Analysis (Olap), you can export your resultset or your grid in csv format or directly in arff format (Weka),

Excel, R and Weka Export

Excel, R and Weka Export

This is just a sample of the new features from portal, as we strongly believe portal should provide more than just a way to run reports …

Have Fun !

Patrick

Vanilla 5 – New Features 5 – OpenStreetMap integration

Dear Reader,

Vanilla v5 has a clean & deep integration with OpenStreeMap, the most advanced alternative to GoogleMap. I won’t burn time explaining difference between maps & geolocalisation, some stupid people will keep on trying to explain the difference … let’s focus on result, user side : whatever your interface, you can now enjoy maps inside your document : cube, report, dashboard and Kpi.

OpenStreeMap integration comes together with an impressive Web interface to manage maps, define zone on map, level and relation between maps (for zoom in capacity). The linkage between “maps + zone” and level from dimension (Olap) or Axis (Kpi) is just so smooth that anybody can now integrate maps inside Vanilla documents

Enjoy this series of screenshots …

Vanilla5-Maps-Dashboard Vanilla5-Maps-Dashboard2 Vanilla5-Maps-Kpi

OpenStreetMap integration opens the door to new kind of vizualisation, like geolocalisation of product inside warehouse, localisation inside building & floor level, or any kind of situation where a map is worth hundred reports …

Note : we still support Google Map, and also Flash map (yes, still there …)

Have Fun !

Patrick