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​.


Valuable Features

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.

Improvements to My Organization

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

Room for 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.

Use of 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

Deployment Issues

There have been no deployment issues.

Stability Issues

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

Scalability Issues

There have been no issues with scalability.

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.

Previous Solutions

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’.

Initial Setup

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

Implementation Team

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

Other Advice

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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