Pentaho Data Integration Review

​It gave ‘out-of-the-box’ widgets for reading XML and Json interfaces which would otherwise have to be build from scratch​.


What is most valuable?

It allows for very quick development due to the intuitive interface. Compared to other ETL tools like Powercenter, SSIS and SAS DI Studio it excels in rapid development cycles.

How has it helped my organization?

It gave ‘out-of-the-box’ widgets for reading XML and JSON interfaces which would otherwise have to be build from scratch.

What needs improvement?

PDI excels at the development part. Administration and monitoring are pretty weak and basic. But, I must say I have been spoiled with the great capabilities that Powercenter offers ‘out-of-the-box’ The Pentaho development team seems to rely very heavily on Linux/Unix for the admin part. Debugging could be enhanced with better feed-back.

For how long have I used the solution?

We used PDI 4.3 in a pilot against SSIS during 2013 for a couple of months. In 2014 I have the 4.4 version on a daily basis within a production environment for exactly one year. We also looked into the commercial front-end solution and found this to be too much of a collection of loosely connected applications

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There have been no deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is a bit of an issue. The GUI quite often ‘freezes’ and the is no alternative to killing the session. Very frequent saving is in order

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There have been no issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

The community site is pretty brilliant. Every technical component is handled on its own Wiki page. You can even look into the scrum backlog of the dev. team. Absolutely amazing.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Heavy ETL solutions were simply too expensive and the SSIS alternative is simply too hidious to consider. It took at least three times as much time to develop the same ETL proces with SSIS as compared to Pentaho. (And having to deal with the abject Microsoft ‘debugging’.

How was the initial setup?

Incredibily easy. Just unpack, make sure you got the right drivers installed, and beware of other Java applications running.

What about the implementation team?

We simply did everything ourselves, with a little aid from the community.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure Pentaho solutions are still available as they were prior to the commercial take-over. Administration is not the best developed component . The ETL is brilliant. Make sure that the admin part is covered.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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