One great thing about Kettle is that everybody with Java coding skills can just write a plugin for it and hence extend its functionality. One plugin that I want to highlight is Slawo's Excel Writer Step which in my opinion is extremely useful. Why?
- Quick and easy report creation: Design your report in Excel and tell the Excel Writer step where to place the data. Here's a really cool feature: You can tell the step in which cell to place the data. So you can even use the step several times to write to different areas within the same spreadsheet. Learn how to do this be reading Slawo's excellent tutorial.
- Report bursting can be now set up within Kettle: Imagine a scenario where each country manager only receives a report with data related to their country. You can set up a process now in Kettle that takes care of this.
- There is always a business user who loves Excel above everything, even if you have the fanciest BI website. You can output reports to Excel using Pentaho Report Designer, but in this case the charts will only be images. If it is required to have native Excel charts, the Kettle Excel plugin in your best friend.
You can download the Excel Writer Plugin from here.