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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.

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