Pentaho Solutions - The book
Roland Bouman and Jos Van Dongen took 6 months out of their family life and created this. And cutting to the chase, every Pentaho learner should thank them for that.
Pentaho is a very complex application due to many factors. For starters, the BI field is, by definition, a very sensitive field; the fact that pentaho started by combining distinct successful open-source projects - mondrian, kettle, jfreereport and weka - doesn't help when we want to learn exactly what's what. There are so many distinct applications that gets confusing to know what each thing is for.
All this makes the learning curve a very steep one. Until now. Trough over 600 pages Pentaho Solutions does a great job explaining all the Pentaho stack, where each of the components fit it and when to use what. And it doesn't stop there; It's impossible to do anything in Business Intelligence without some very solid knowledge of Data Warehouse. While this book is definitely not about it (this one is) still gives the novice reader the key concepts needed to read the book and go through the practical examples that are used.
The chapters are very well organized. They are in the same order as the topic appear when we are implementing a Pentaho solution. In the end the 600 pages even feel short, so many concepts it introduces. Don't expect to become an expert in pentaho; You won't master any of the components with this book only; you won't be a OLAP guru, a reporting wizard or even a etl master. But you will definitely know where to search for.
In my opinion, the ones that will benefit the most with this books are those guys with emails ending with @pentaho.com. It's so difficult to start playing with pentaho that a lot of newcomers feel scared and abandon it, resulting in a loss of potential user. This book changes all that. I wish I had it when I started playing with pentaho over 2 years ago. And I'm glad I have it know.