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 !


Vanilla v4 (Post 9 on 10) – UnitedOlap

Dear Readers,

I have already posted some words about UnitedOlap, our new Olap Engine, that will be delivered with Vanilla version 4. UnitedOlap is a serious project, that started 1 year ago, and we will provide designers, admin & developers with all the features they need to manage a real Olap project.

Most important with UnitedOlap is we provide a bug free interface when it comes with complex calculation. I wont waste my time talking about bugs in old Open Source olap driver … they never fixed it (last calculation, “all” display not coherent with visual datagrid …).

Key features for United Olap are

Support for dynamic calculation in Olap Cubes
Vanilla UnitedOlap is the only platform with an olap component which use dynamic agregation depending on the level of dimension. For instance : you can define sum as the agregator for the country level and count agregator for the city level, or you can define your ‘last’ calculation strategy

Interface to Design a Dynamic agregation using FreeAnalysis Schema Designer

Support for non-Sql datasources

Vanilla UnitedOlap provides support for oda and sql datasource (pure jdbc or fremetadata datasource, with security)

Support for Snowflake schema with multiple column join strategy
Vanilla UnitedOlap support multiple column join strategy for Snowflake schema, as opposed to other old engine that has limitation to 1 column only … this allow UnitedOlap to connect to production database, not only to datamart.

Real Admin Interface with cache management & performance audit

Serious Administrator need tools to manage their Olap Platform, install and audit a cluster of Server, especially in the (R)Olap world. Hypervision provide tools to help you understand what request is time consuming, what is the cubes activity, …

Hypervision : Olap Audit

When it comes to keep promises … just put aside marketing noise … real platform dont need that kind of noise !

Have Fun !


Vanilla v4 (Post 6 on 10) – Vanilla Apps

Dear Readers,

There is something certain with Vanilla Apps : it’s growing every week, in terms of new supported platform (application & database), new document (more dashboard, more report, more cube, more Kpi) and in terms of architecture, because we have migrate to UnitedOlap engine. What does it means ? …  simply we can now delivere cube ready to run on production database, breaking the limitation of our old olap driver that supported only 1-column join strategy (it was not usable with production database, where join strategy is multi-column with snowflake schemas) … package “ready to deploy” that provide Bi on production database !

But most important with Vanilla Apps is now the number of platforms covered, as we provide now 11 : Mantis, OpenBravo, Glpi, VTiger, SugarCrm, OrangeHrm, GoogleAnalytics, Nagios, Cocktail, DotProject and Vanilla (itself). I’m certain most of you have already deployed 2 or 3 of those applications and would like to deploy standard Bi documents (available on Tablets & Smartphone), as opposed to managing report & dashboard for each application.

Now, next step is to improve the way we delivere Vanilla Apps, because we understand it’s sometimes difficult to have access to information about new document, new update, or even new Apps. This will be one of the new features that will come with Vanilla v4 : tools & methods to deploy Vanilla Apps using Enterprise Services … just keep in touch, I will provide soon the first screen shot of this new feature.

Have Fun !


UnitedOlap, Designer Explorer

Dear Readers,

First of all, I would like to thanks all the persons who contacted us to be part of the UnitedOlap test Team. It’s really a nice message sent to the UnitedOlap dev team to have experienced persons behind us to finalise some features and run tests on various databases.

I took time to answer to most of the mails (for those with clear mail address), to indicate that we forecast to add new testers with period 2 of the global test, which should start second half of july, once we will have collected & solved most of the identified bugs.

During the test period, development of new features such as new integrated explorer to browse more objects while developing the schema. I will go short on the competition, because there is nothing in Open Source (Designer + EXplorer of Cubes), leading to painfull cycle of development/tests.

So, thans to Eclipse PlugIn technology, we have added 2 explorers in our FreeAnalysis Schema Designer, one basic, to test direct Mdx statment, and another one with more interactivity, which purpose is to take place of FreeAnalysis Java, our java cube package.

Interface to select dimensions & measures

2 interestings features : you can select your profile/group to browse the dataset and you can limit the number of rows used from the fact tables (during the develpment/test, to reduce time to build the grid)

Results in a grid on large dataset

Revival of the Java package …. !!!

We finally make it … still under development, but already usable, promising and soon flashy !

… dont miss a chance to be part of the next generation of Open Source Olap Engine, join us and be involved in the Roadmap !

Have Fun !


UnitedOlap and Manual Dimensions

Dear Readers,

Another crazy feature is available in UnitedOlap, using our UnitedOlap Designer : you can easilly create a dimension level by your own (we call it MANUAL DIMENSION) and assign your child member to “virtual father node”. It’s so usefull when you miss a new level to group your data.

Just  let me give you a simple example. Suppose you have a list of countries but not the “continent” information in your database. Which means by default you can’t view the data per continent without any heavy operation such as adding a new table in your database, or a new column in your dimension table, along with building an interface to enter the codification.

With UnitedOlap, simply create MANUALLY a new dimension level (“continent” in our example) and assign each country to its continent. In 10 minutes, you can view your data using a “continent” dimension, without any new tables in your database (or SpreadSheet, / csv datafile) … all is under control by the Olap Designer …

… soon available in preview, this summer, along with documentation (Pdf, Video) …

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 !