New Year 2014 starts with a Vanilla update

Dear Readers,

It’s been just heavy weeks of work during last december and this beginning of year, as we had large projects to deploy in January in France

In parallel, we had to welcome a lot of new customers turning to Vanilla 4.4 to maximize their project ROI and found Vanilla as the best alternative to deploy Reporting and Dashboard at reasonable cost.

So, it’s a pleasure to see that our team members – developers & product manager – were able to release on time an update version for Vanilla 4.4, because with the last minute issues we found (like a postgresql jdbc bug  that we had to turn around), there was high probability this update of platform could gave been delayed.

This release of Vanilla is more a release bug fix that comes along with new features like an automatic grouped list in our Web Reporting interface (a long awaited feature that we finally released, as usual after strong validation to secure its behavior), support of WFS standard for Maps integration and new FreeMetadata features to build and save you own queries, and select on the fly different relationships for each business models (what is usually called alternate join strategy)

You can keep this new release here

I guess Vanilla 4.4.2 will be a successful release … as we have already good signs that 2014 will be a good year for the Vanilla project !

Have Fun !

Patrick

Vanilla 4.4 – 1 Week after

Dear Readers,

It’s been 1 week since we launched Vanilla 4.4, and result is again very amazing … giving us reward on the direction we took : a reliable secured Bi platform, large set of features, integrated modules, and full open source !

I would like to thank those who sent us friendly messages about Vanilla 4.4 : be certain it’s always a pleasure to receive such message, it’s a proof we meet our customer expectation and we are listening to them.

I wrote same kind of blog in january, 1 week after Vanilla 4.2 launch … so, I did the same kind of analysis, this time with a comparison between this post-week launch and january 2013 (Vanilla 4.4 launch) : Website activity (unique IP) has increase 40%, and number of download for platform has reach 350 in 7 days (it was 200 download for Vanilla 4.2 in january !).

On country origin, France and European countries (still strong from Germany and England with now a big increase from Italy) are those who are making the trafic, but Asian Region (China, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand) and America (Usa, Chili, Brazil) are just behind. New countries also from Africa : Morocco, Cameroon and South Africa (we had discussion with people from those countries, so, it’s no surprise).

Important to notice visitors are browsing more pages, and they are also staying longer on our WebSite (Thanks to the redesign of WebSite from our filipino partners). In parallel, our forum is having some activity, but it’s not a key subject as of today : we provide good software and all the documentations … so, motivated people can always find their way themself (we got question about a packaging problem, that we will solve today) ?

Even we are soon in winter season in Europe, the sun shines bright … I hope you will enjoy playing with Vanilla !

Have Fun !

Patrick

Vanilla 4.4

Dear Readers,

Vanilla 4.4 is now available, on a key date today 26th october (today is also the birthday of 2 members of our team : Lynn and Heidi !)

Vanilla 4.4 provides new features such as :

  • Hadoop & NoSql support (Etl and Bi modules) : Cassandra, Hbase and MongoDb
  • Support for Birt 4.3 Engine and Birt 4.3 Report Designer
  • Support for Java 7 / Tomcat 7
  • New engines for Workflow and Scheduler
  • New smartphone app to design report directly on your Tablets / Support for disconnected mode for Tablets
  • Support of the latest databases like MySql (version 5.6), MariaDb (10), Oracle (version 12), PostgreSql (version 9.3) and Microsoft SqlServer2008 / SqlServer2012(including AnalysisServices2012)
  • More than 100 new features in different studios : FreeAnalysisSchemaDesigner, FreeDashboard, BiGateWay, Biworkflow, Enterprise Services, Architect …

You can access the new features document

Don’t hesitate to download Vanilla 4.4

We work hard to deliver best quality software on time, don’t hesitate to turn to the only true honest open source business intelligence platform that meet user, admin and developer expectation !

Have Fun !

Patrick

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