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Michael Tarallo, Pentaho Pre-Sales Director -, gave a demonstration on how to use the Google Visualization API with Action Sequences.

This presentation goes way beyond the Google Visualization API and is an excellent tutorial for anyone using or interested in using the power of the xaction in their BI solutions. Mike also presents integrating xactions with Reporting 3.6, CDF and dashboards

Pentaho and the Google Visualization API

There are many times on a sales call when I am asked, "How does Pentaho integrate with other 'packages'?". Now 'integrate' and 'packages' can mean a number of different things. It can cover anything in the realm of application frameworks, extension points, plug-in architectures, data access, data integration, content delivery, distribution, ETL, SOAs, APIs, portals, etc. However, upon narrowing it down, a common request is one where a developer wants to know how Pentaho can use other 3rd party visualizations. Those visualizations that are provided by a number of vendors, both open source and proprietary.

In short, the Pentaho BI Platform is built on open standards. Java and XML to name a few of them. Its architecture can utilize the Pentaho Action Sequence technology (.xaction) to orchestrate and perform such a request. Many 3rd party visualizations, whether it is a Flash / Flex based charting engine or a JavaScript API based widget, have some means of accepting and processing data input. For example, those components may process data that is in the format of XML, JSON or even a JavaScript API. With a Pentaho Action Sequence, you are able to query and access almost any data source, traverse/iterate and dynamically format the result set into one of those means. Parameterization in the Action Sequence only enhances this capability and provides non-technical users an easy way to provide input as well as customize the visualization the way they want to.

Join this Technical WebEx, to see how I use Pentaho and and the Google Visualization API to create enhanced interactive visuals that can be easily added to a Pentaho Dashboard using the Pentaho Dashboard Designer.

Just another example of the power and flexibility of the Pentaho BI Platform. With Pentaho you are not only able to provide point solutions for the here and now problems..., you are able to evolve with it to also meet your future needs.

Topics include:

  • Taking a quick Look at the Visualizations available in the Google Visualizations Gallery
  • Discovering the an Action Sequence and what it could do
  • Using the SQL LookUp, JavaScript, and Message Template process actions
  • Understanding Inputs and variables
  • Using the object in the Dashboard Designer


The recording is now available on the WebEx service site. Click the link below to download or play it:

Pentaho Community Techncal WebEx - Pentaho and the Google Visualization API-20100217 1504-2
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 10:04 am New York (Eastern Time, GMT-05:00)
1 Hour 6 Minutes

Other Resources

Mike's Blog - How To's and general BI knowledge

The Blog post that inspired this presentation

Pentaho Pre-Sales Consulting Portal - Examples, additional presentations, documents and recordings
Main Page
Tips, Samples and Advanced Techniques

Javascript Component Doc

Creating Components
Creating BI Platform Components WebEx
Building BI Suite Components
Creating Actions, the lightweight alternative to Components
Developing Platform Plugins

The WebEx that was referenced during the presentation while talking about reporting and security