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Pentaho Review: "My Favorite Data Integration Tool is still Kitchen"
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Julia Gusman profile photo
Updated November 05, 2014

Pentaho Review: "My Favorite Data Integration Tool is still Kitchen"

Score 10 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version
5.0
Modules Used
ETL, BI Server, DI Server, Report Designer, Schema Workbench

Overall Satisfaction with Pentaho

We are a consulting company and implement BI and data warehousing solutions for our clients. I have lead and implemented a number of BI and data warehousing solutions in my current as well as previous role.
  • The data integration tool is very strong. It is easy to use and very accessible to business users
  • The data integration component provides ability to connect to almost any data source as input as well as output - quick and easy
  • The data integration component allows quick preview of the data in a pivot view type format which enables data analysis at an early stage of development
  • The BI server front end does not seem to be very appealing to the end users. In my experience the end users wish for a prettier display and easier navigation
  • Schema workbench is not easy to develop with, I know there were some plans of integrating the tool with the data integration component
  • Data integration server does not seem to be as useful. For example, while it provides some source control, the files are only controlled separately one by one. If the developer changes several files at the same time, they cannot commit them all in one go. Often the changes across different files need to be kept in sync.
I have seen several clients choose Pentaho Data Integration over SSIS for its simplicity to learn and use. I would have expected that the cost would also be a driving factor, however, once the company has invested into SQL server, they view SSIS as 'free' addition to the server so the cost factor does not count. The lack of skilled Pentaho resources on the market seems to be another factor that makes clients decide against Pentaho.
Pentaho Data Integration is making my day-to-day work with data more effective. I have found that Pentaho Data Integration can connect to more data sources more easily than SSIS. Being open standards Pentaho can run in almost any environment - meaning it can run in the cloud as well as in client's environment and supports different operating systems.
I would definitely recommend the ETL tool but not the server. I would consider the amount of data to be processed, the budget the client is looking to spend, available knowledge and expertise. it seems that there are not that many Pentaho skills on the market and companies are reluctant to implement the product as they are concerned about ongoing maintenance. I would also ask about requirements to integrate with other products or run on the cloud. Being open standards Pentaho integrates nicely with in-house systems.