Mosc2016 : a Place to Be !

Dear Readers,

Malaysia Open Source Conference was really a Place to Be this year ! Thanks to Haris, who did his best to restart the conference after some years of troubles, we were able to enjoy a social moment, sharing about Open Source, student programs, community and government support, private companies success (Abyres is getting momentum … they deserve their own success), the future of Open Source, networking between attendees, true human moments to share about how to speed up knowledge and Open Source recognation.

I was also a witness of UKM-Abyres agreement signature, even impact is not for today, its soon there : tomorrow, students can enjoy professional training programs with Open Source technologies and professional trainers from Abyres.

Personal side, I got a slot to introduce Vanilla Air, our new Analytics module to develop and run R and Markdown programs. It was fun to discuss with some attendees about the switch from SAS to R, how to approach a data lake project, etc … honest, I was sad to leave before the end of the 3 days sessions, because of other business engagements, as I would easily have spent the 3 days onsite, talking about R, Vanilla Air, Data Mining & Big Data, Data Lake …  it looks like it’s the right time for Malaysia to move to those technologies and platforms.

Personal side, I was also very happy to rebound with long time Open Source promoters (even some are now retired … time flies !), and new people joining the Malaysian Open Source community (thanks again to Reza for driving me back to KL)

I wish to be back in 2017, for the global event,

Have Fun !


Vanilla 52 – Now

Dear Readers,

Vanilla 5.2 is available today, Easter Monday, with major new features such as WebMetadata Interface, Vanilla Air – our Analytics component – integration and a refreshed Kpi & Maps interface with central Maps management

  • WebMetadata should make it easy for anybody to start with Vanilla : no need anymore to install the Metadata development studio to start connecting your own database. Once server is installed, you can build your own analysis – developer or power user – using only your Web browser (including Analytics)
  • Vanilla Air – our Analytics platform – is now part of Vanilla 5.2. What a change in the game ! Vanilla Air is a browser-based R development studio with advances features to develop interactive Markdown document. Full integration : those documents can be published and indexed inside the Vanilla portal
  • Kpi & Maps together, powered by Vanilla Kpi database, is also a crazy new feature as anybody need maps to visualize its Kpi, and we provide now more, with kpi calculation on the maps (difference, evolution, comparison). Best of the bread : all the maps available in any Vanilla interface (Dashboard, Report, Cube, Kpi Maps) are now managed from a single Web interface,


You can watch the Vanilla 5.2 Pitch Video

Have Fun !


Vanilla runs on SSD

Vanilla :

  • we are Serious : in our business, in our development approach & roadmap … we don’t confuse platform & roadmap … we are SERIOUS
  • Vanilla is Secured : who can break Vanilla platform ? Vanilla rocks !!! Vanilla meets expectation & promises : its 300% guaranty : customers want a result … we keep it easy !
  • we Deliver : our integration team will help you to deploy Vanilla ! Simply, because Vanilla rocks ! That’s our promise. And we keep it. ALWAYS

What else ? Serious, Secured, and we Deliver … forget bullshit marketing campaigns, forget bullshit Gx quadrant, it’s not magic, its just bullshit ! … its not BI : its visualization ! Keep on board !!!

Today, Vanilla powers Military department, Defense Ministry, Finance Ministry, Private Bank and Nation wide Financial institution, Hospital & Hospital Network, Firemen Organisation, Police Department in numerous contries …. Vanilla rocks ! Vanilla delivers ! Vanilla is Secured !


Have Fun ! … just review where you burn your budget, why you burn it, who take benefit of it ! … 200% it’s not your users !!!


Vanilla 5 is officially available !

Dear Reader,

Vanilla v5 is available … finally ! … well, with “some delay”, we have to admit … but result is awesome !

Still some subjects to fix on our WebSite, like the server is more 1Gb, so our drupal Website is not happy … we put the archive on ftp account … but we kept our promise : version 5, LTS version, will meet your expectation in terms of features, reliability, cost effective, performance and scalability !

I was in KL last week to conduct a training with very nice people … its amazing to see Version 5 ran during the full week like a charm, and learning curve is very good for trainees.


Below some of the version 5 new features :

  • Vanilla Portal : OpenStreet Maps support for any documents, multi documents aggregation, document sharing using AklaBox, export Dashboard to PDF or Word format
  • Vanilla Metadata Explorer : users can now explore their metadata model from portal, aggregate it, turn it into cube and run data mining analysis on it
  • Vanilla Kpi update : using our experience on KPI projects, we have redesign Vanilla Kpi to meet latests standard and user requirements when it comes to deploy BSC or KPI projects.
  • New AddIns Excel components to access and run your cubes, reports or Kpi from your Excel interface
  • Big Data support. Vanilla has been certified on Hadoop (Cloudera & HortonWorks) and certified on Spark (Databricks)
  • BIRT 4.3 & 4.5 support, report designer and report engine,
  • Update to Solr5  with latest support of Solr5 advanced functions
  • R integration and support, to run predictive and analytics models on top of Bi data model
  • Lot of new features for Vanilla Viewer, Metadata, Dashboard and Olap Designer
  • Review of platform component : optimization of BI core and the ETL core for monitoring, clustering and scalability

Have Fun !


Vanilla 5 – Technology update

Dear Readers,

A common question about Vanilla v5 technology update : which component are new, whic component have been updated, I guess a very sensitive question when moving to a new major version of the platform.

This post is an early tentative to discuss some of those components, as the list is not limited to what is listed below, and some components will still get a “last minute update” (like “R” package, just updated to version 3.2)

Java Corner

About development Studio, we have moved to Eclipse 4.3 and kept this version (we didn’t moved yet to Luna, Eclipse 4.4). This comes with some funny problems, like having to run a xulrunner for VanillaDashboard, but globally, this Eclipse upgrade was smoother than the previous one.


Java support is still Java7. move to java 8 is not yet valiated, because we have many components which are not yet certified for java8

Web Framework side, we moved to Gwt 2.5.x (we didn’t moved yet to Gwt 2.6, and version 2.7 will be the next version we will evaluate when it’s time to migrate this Framework

Vanilla Portal is a certified html5 portal, with support for the 5 major browser : Internet Explorer, Chrome, FireFox, Opera and Safari.

Server Side

we migrated to the latest Tomcat 7 version, together with providing a full functional stand alone version of the Vanilla server with an h2 embeded database.

Hadoop Side, Vanilla 5 platform has been certified with the latest Cloudera (C5) and HortonWorks (Data Platform 2.1) Hadoop platforms

Vanilla certified Platforms

Vanilla certified Platforms

Components & Libraries

We have upgraded to the latest version of FusionChart XT (trial version), to enjoy the lastest html5 chart display (again, FusionChart team is doing a great job !!!), and we migrated also to hibernate 4.2.8 (clealy, this post is not the right place for the complete list of the updated jar and packages)

OSM support is now integrated inside any of our studio, providing support & renderer for OpenStreetMaps visualization.

Additional server component have been also upgraded :

Solr/Lucene is now version 5


R package is soon version 3.2 (it will be available this week, together with Vanilla 5 rc9, as an upgrade from version 3.1.2)


… maintenance and upgrade of a platform is a subject in itself, and we are not really setting the rules : why Java8, why Windonws10 and its new browser (so, IE will be discontinued), why a new standard (Html5) took the place of a former one … Vanilla v5 will be a LTS version, so we have to be ready to provide support on updated components !

Have Fun !


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 !


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 !