Wednesday, September 30, 2009

All in one BI tool for the non-geeks

A colleague of mine once asked me if I knew a program that can connect to almost all relational databases and offers MsAccess like features to build queries. Sure thing says I. Wabit.

So he downloads it and installs it in 5 minutes. It's free and open source. No hassle. He then creates his connections and manages to do everything he needs to fulfil his duties as a business analyst. Pretty kewl story, heh? Short too. But that's a good sign because as a developer on this project, I can confirm first hand that this is exactly what we aimed for. Making business intelligence easy and painless.

The Wabit is more than that. It's also an OLAP data warehouse browsing and reporting tool. It creates charts in 10 seconds and features a template engine for easy corporate branding. Version 1.0 will feature a server repository for multi-user collaboration and incremental saves, scheduling and fine grained security. The enterprise server is not open sourced though, but the Wabit client is a fully featured platform. You can still save all your queries and reports as an XML file for easy import and export and share it with your fellow co-workers.

The Wabit approaches 1.0 now. We need to reinforce the community around it and we need more feedback. The Wabit works on all platforms with a Java JVM, so whatever your background is, I'm sure that we can make good use of your comments or contributions. You are a GUI designer or a BI consultant or even just the regular Java developer, we have need of your help.

Wabit on Google Code
Wabit homepage

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Olap4j vs. Oracle and Ruby

During my monthly checkup of this blog analytics data (thank you Google Analytics), I discovered a new trend. More and more, people are searching for information on olap4j's compatibility.Here are the interesting keywords used and the number of occurrences for the last month.
  • "olap4j ruby" - 28 occurrences
  • "olap4j oracle" - 3 occurrences
Oracle; I can understand. Olap4j is picking up momentum and is more widely adopted. We support both Microsoft Analysis Services and Mondrian via XMLA. Oracle does have an XMLA server, Hyperion Essbase, although we never tested it with olap4j. If one of you reading this post happens to be a Oracle wizard, please contact us so we can have a chat. The more OLAP servers we support the better.Ruby; now that's intriguing. Ruby can run in a JVM thanks to the JRuby project. Would olap4j work well with JRuby? probably. Are there are any OLAP API for Ruby? Google says no. Digging further in the analytics data didn't reveal to me the actual intent of those who are searching for "olap4j ruby" keywords. What a mystery... I therefore send out there a general call to anyone interested in using olap4j inside JRuby, for we might have common interests.