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(warning) PLEASE NOTE: This tutorial is for a pre-5.0 version PDI. If you are on PDI 5.0 or later, please use

Written by María Carina Roldán, Pentaho Community Member, BI consultant (Assert Solutions), Argentina

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.


Pentaho Data Integration (PDI, also called Kettle) is the component of Pentaho responsible for the Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) processes. Though ETL tools are most frequently used in data warehouses environments, PDI can also be used for other purposes:

  • Migrating data between applications or databases
  • Exporting data from databases to flat files
  • Loading data massively into databases
  • Data cleansing
  • Integrating applications

PDI is easy to use. Every process is created with a graphical tool where you specify what to do without writing code to indicate how to do it; because of this, you could say that PDI is metadata oriented.

PDI can be used as a standalone application, or it can be used as part of the larger Pentaho Suite. As an ETL tool, it is the most popular open source tool available. PDI supports a vast array of input and output formats, including text files, data sheets, and commercial and free database engines. Moreover, the transformation capabilities of PDI allow you to manipulate data with very few limitations.

Through a simple "Hello world" example, this tutorial will to show you how easy it is to work with PDI and get you ready to make your own more complex Transformations.


  1. user-70b3e

    Hello Maria!

    Thank you very much for the tutorial.  It's very useful to us (PDI newbies).

    Now, may I suggest you something?  In several ocassions it isn't clear what to do.  I mean:  for example, how to connect elements in a transformation (in which order).  I had to take a look at the pictures of the transformation so guess how to connect them.

     And I couldn't get along with the last step (4).  Could you please make a small review and tell us what is wrong or missing?

    Thanks again,


  2. user-e5a03


    In the pdf documents (Page Operation --> Attachments) you'll find a more detailed explanation (i.e. how to connect elements, etc.), as well as the *.ktr and *.kjb files.