Create and maintain dashboards with Pentaho CTools (CDF, CDE, CCC)

Recently I got involved in a project, implementing dashboards for a private company. I am responsible for the Front-End development and I had to decide the technologies to accomplish this task. Then I found Pentaho CE and the CTools.

Pentaho CE (Community Edition) is an open source BI Suite made up of several products. One of them is the Pentaho BI-Server which includes a solution engine that integrates reporting, analysis, dashboard and data mining components.

The CE Pentaho BI-Server can be downloaded from:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/pentaho/files/Business%20Intelligence%20Server/

The CTools or C** Tools are a set of plugins to create and maintain dashboards for the CE Pentaho BI-Server. The actually tool-set are:

1. CDF Community dashboards framework.

2. CCC Community charts components.

3. CDA Community data access.

4. CDE Community dashboard editor

Although the CDF comes with the latest versions the BI-Server, the CDE tool is not integrated and has to be downloaded separately. I downloaded from the Pedro Alves Blog (A BI specialist and the lead developer of the CTools).

Download CDE 1.0-RC3 from:

http://pedroalves-bi.blogspot.com/2010/12/cde-10-rc3-available.html

The CDE is a powerful graphic editor to create and maintain dashboards. With this tools is possible to define the layout, components and data sources for dashboard creation.

CDE Screenshot

CDE UI

The installation process is quite easy and basically consists in download the bundle, extract it, and place it in a specific folder inside the BI-Server (The details directions are inside the bundle in a text file).

The only Drawback that I found is the lack of documentation, for this reason I expect to post in a few days a set of shorts screencast about how to start to use the CDE tool.

– I found a great document (Pre-Release) in this URL:

http://www.vinzi.nl/media/CDE-introduction_V0_8.pdf

– The best beginners’ tutorial I found is this screencast:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cW8YzwC2uNU

 

[Edit] This is the blog post for the screencast above:  http://type-exit.org/adventures-with-open-source-bi/2011/06/creating-dashboards-with-cde/ [/Edit]

– And if you want to contribute with the open source development you can purchase a CDF tutorial from:

http://store.kagi.com/cgi-bin/store.cgi?storeID=6FHAR_LIVE

Thanks Pedro Alves and WebDetails for these amazing tools.

See you in the next post!

About Paul Hernandez

I'm an Electronic Engineer and Computer Science professional, specialized in Data Analysis and Business Intelligence Solutions. Also a father, swimmer and music lover.
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