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Evaluating Pentaho Analysis Using Your Own Data

This document contains instructions and information that helps you evaluate Pentaho Analysis using your own data. This document should be used with the current version of the Pentaho Open BI Suite, version 1.6. It is assumed that you are familiar with the Pentaho Design Studio, the Pentaho BI Platform, and you know your data.

Pentaho Analysis is built on the popular Mondrian OLAP engine. The Pentaho BI Platform embeds the Mondrian engine as part of its architecture. Along with the Pentaho BI Platform, the Mondrian engine processes MDX requests with the ROLAP (Relational OLAP) schemas. These schema files are XML metadata models that are created in specific structure used by the Mondrian engine. These XML models can be considered cube-like structures which utilize existing FACT and DIMENSION tables found in your RDBMS. It does not required that an actual physical cube is built or maintained; only the metadata model is created. The structures and related API are outlined in the Mondrian Technical Guide that accompanies the Mondrian distribution as well as the Schema Workbench.

This XML-based metadata structure can be created using a text editor, Pentaho Cube Designer, or the Schema Workbench. I have found the Schema Workbench to be the best tool for this task; however, there are some additional steps necessary to create the Pentaho Analysis View. This process will be made easier in future releases.

Additional information is available at the following locations:

Pentaho Analysis Services Mondrian Project 

Pentaho Analysis Product Offering 

Mondrian Schema Workbench Software 
(software to build Pentaho Analysis Schemas)

Pentaho Cube Designer

Pentaho Design Studio Software

This document adheres to the following assumptions:

  • Oracle data is used in this example.
    Note: When using Oracle JDBC data connections make sure you use the "thin" and not "oci" as in: jdbc:oracle:thin:@localhost:1521:XE
  • There is one fact table and some dimension tables
  • References provide supplementation when additional information may be necessary
  • The Java application server being used is Tomcat
  • Your application server and the way Java JNDI data sources are configured may vary
  • Java 1.5 must be used for the Schema Workbench to run
  • Schema Workbench will be referred to as "SW" in this document

Creating a Pentaho Analysis View Using the Schema Workbench

Follow the five basic steps below when creating a Pentaho Analysis View using the Schema Workbench to create the ROLAP model:

  1. Configure your RDBMS JNDI data source for your Java application server so that the Pentaho BI Platform accesses the desired data.
  2. Create your Pentaho Analysis Schema Model using Schema Workbench
  3. Publish your Pentaho Analysis Schema Model to the Pentaho BI Server
  4. Create the Pentaho Analysis View Action Sequence
  5. Execute the Pentaho Analysis view using a Web browser
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