Friday, November 26, 2010

Review "Pentaho Kettle Solutions"

A short review of the "Pentaho Kettle Solutions" book

Matt Casters, Roland Bouman and Jos van Dongen's Kettle bible was released about 3 months ago and I finally managed to finish reading it (600+ pages!!!). 
This is the second book about Kettle: At the beginning of this year María Carina Roldán released "Pentaho 3.2 Data Integration: Beginner's Guide" (my review here), which is written in quite a hands-on/step by step approach. "Pentaho Kettle Solutions" is more a theoretical piece of work, mixed with a lot of examples (jobs and transformation that you can download from the accompanying website). It takes the bigger context and tries to map Kettle features to industry standards (namely Ralph Kimball's subsystem). So instead of saying: Kettle can do this, the book speaks about the data warehousing requirements and identifies Kettle steps that meet these requirements. Important topics like creating star schemas and loading a data warehouse are explained. The next chapters talk you through working with OLAP data, the ETL development lifecycle, versioning, auditing, linage, performance tuning, parallelization, clustering and partitioning, .... it explains how to access all the various data sources (also including examples of SOAP, RSS, etc), how to create your own Kettle plugin and so much more that I won't be able to fit it all in a short review. It definitely is the ultimate resource for anything to do with Kettle. 

Now, which book about Kettle should you get? 
  • Answer 1: Both. These books are very different in what they are trying to bring across. They are not really overlapping, so it makes sense reading both.
  • Answer 2: If you want to have a quick start in a practical step by step fashion, get "Pentaho 3.2 Data Integration: Beginner's Guide"
  • Answer 3: If you want to understand the bigger picture, then go for "Pentaho Kettle Solutions".

Overall, I have to say "THANKS" to the authors for providing such an extensive book about Kettle! It's been a pleasure to read and it's extremely informative! There is only one thing left to say: Go out and get it ;)

P.S.: Roland Bouman and Jos van Dongen are also the authors of "Pentaho Solutions", another excellent book that you want to have in your library.


  1. Hi Diethard,

    Many thanks for your kind words and endorsements! It makes all the work worth while if you see that people appreciate your efforts. And great to see the answers to the question 'which book should you get?' Couldn't agree more: I too recommend Maria's book to anyone who asks me how to get started quickly with Kettle. (but of course I'm always pleased when people buy both ;-))

    Thanks again!

    best, Jos

  2. Hi Jos,
    Thanks a lot for your comment! I am sure a lot of people will appreciate all the hard word that you put into this book!
    Best regards,