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The purpose of the Pentaho Design Studio is to facilitate the creation and management of files within your Pentaho solutions.  The Design Studio helps organize these files and provides editors for each type of file.  There are several levels of organization within the Design Studio: workspaces, project, views, editors, and perspectives. If you haven't done so already start up the design studio.
 

Workspace

A workspace is the directory that contains a collection of projects, along with preferences and other settings related to the projects it contains.  The Design Studio comes with a workspace already set up - feel free to change it or its location if you like.  After the workspace location is chosen, a single Design Studio window is displayed. A Design Studio window offers one or more perspectives. A perspective contains editors and views, such as the Navigator.  Multiple Design Studio windows can be opened simultaneously.  A workspace allows you to organize groups related of projects. You may find it helpful to have all reporting and BI related projects organized into a BI specific workspace.

Perspective

A perspective is a group of views and editors in the Design Studio window. One or more perspectives can exist in a single Design Studio window. Each perspective contains one or more views and editors. Within a window, each perspective may have a different set of views but all perspectives share the same set of editors.  You can think of a perspective is a visual organization of the windows within a workspace.

View

A view is a visual component within the Design Studio. It is typically used to navigate a hierarchy of information (such as the resources in the Design Studio), open an editor, or display properties for the active editor. Modifications made in a view are saved immediately. Normally, only one instance of a particular type of view may exist within a Design Studio window.  The "Navigator" is an instance of a view.  It allows you to navigate the folders and files located within a project.

Editor

An editor is also a visual component within the Design Studio. It is typically used to edit or browse a resource. Modifications made in an editor follow an open-save-close lifecycle model. Multiple instances of an editor type may exist within a Design Studio window.  The Action Sequence editor is one example of an editor.

Projects, Folders and Files

There are three different types of resources in the Design Studio: projects, folders, and files. Projects are the largest structural unit used by the Design Studio. Projects contain folders and files, and they can be opened, closed, or built. Folders can contain other folders and files. The Design Studio provides a number of mechanisms for working with projects, folders and files.  A Pentaho BI solution is typically represented as a project of the Design Studio.  The folders and file represent the hierarchy of content within solutions. Initially, in the first Design Studio window that is opened, the Pentaho perspective is displayed, with only the Welcome view visible. Click the arrow labeled Design Studio in the Welcome view to cause the other views in the perspective to become visible. (You can get the Welcome view back at any time by selecting Help > Welcome.) A shortcut bar appears in the top right corner of the window. This allows you to open new perspectives and switch between ones already open. The name of the active perspective is shown in the title of the window and its item in the shortcut bar is highlighted.

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