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Thread: Help in evaluating 1.6 open source edition

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Help in evaluating 1.6 open source edition

    Hi all,
    We are in the process of evaluating the Pentaho 1.6 open source edition.
    Our requirement is to develop a reporting solution that will be a web based UI.
    We have two approaches either we develop a small java/jsp based web application wherein we will have to implement the login page and give links to pentaho reports and also implement subscription and other features.
    Or use the pentaho reporting solution.
    We are very keen on using the pentaho reporting solution. We would like to know how easy it would be to implement the below mentioned features:

    1: We want a login page where user will be authenticated. We saw that in the 1.6 edition the login mechanism is implemented.
    1a: How easy it is to add our own users and assign roles to those users. Roles like user1 can access only report1, report2 and user2 can access only report3 and so on?
    1b: What all files needs to be changed? Any link/document that will help in acheiving this?

    2: We investigated and tried the subscription feature which is new in the 1.6 version.
    2a: Does it also provide role based subscription. Like user X is not allowed to view Report1. So he should not be allowed to subscribe to that report.
    2b: Does it provide an option of entering email address during subscrition?
    2c: Can we specify the format of the report during subscription like whether html/pdf..?

    3: We want to deploy the entire reporting solution to Tomcat server 5.5. So is it possible to deploy the entire application right from the login page, to reports, subscription page
    to the Tomcat server.
    I have tried deploying the reporting application to Tomcat. I followed this site:
    With few changes I was able to develop the pentaho.war file. I could see the reports in Tomcat but I was not able to see the login page. I guess I also have to get some other war file for that.
    Any link/document that will help me in deploying the entire application to Tomcat? The same UI that we see in Pentaho server.

    4: Is there any way we can show date picker in the reports for input parameters? I saw in the design studio that there is no date type as input field.
    In forums I read that you have to write your own xsl and html to acheive that. Can any one send me the xaction and html/xsl file if they have implemented this?

    5: We are also keen on using the Adhoc reporting tool. How easy it would be to intergrate this with Tomcat?
    The above features that I am exploring, are they straightforward to implement or I have to change the pentaho source code?

    Pentaho Gurus, please help me in answering any of the points that you have implemented. I am sure many of them have implemented these features.
    This will really help us in evaluating and using this tool for our project.
    Any help is appreciated.
    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2



    Being someone who is most certainly learning from the ground up hopefully I can answer some of these questions for you....

    1) The system implements acegi security, i'm guessing adding personal users wouldn't be that hard, I've just set it up so it authenticates against our Active Directory server at work, I think the general consensus is you move it out of memory authentication and into LDAP or other DB secured authentication.
    1a) Roles are pretty painless to add and although i haven't used it indepth it does look pretty much as fine grained as you can be bothered implementing at the same time also long as you use a DB based repository you will also get permssion control within the reporting system itself.
    1b) Take a look at the applicationContext-acegi-security.xml and applicationContext-acegi-security-*.xml files

    2) Although not having used much in the way of subscription yet(thats coming over the next week or so) I do believe the answers to 2a and 2b is yes. And 2c I have no idea

    3) I have deployed mine in tomcat, for obvious reasons the jboss portal samples included in the samples file doesn't work but the rest does. You also need to deploy pentaho-style.war, you will find a very easy walk through which even I could follow and I have no J2EE experience on the pentaho sourceforge page, titled something along the lines of Pentaho Manual Installation.

    4) If by date picker you mean a way for a user to select a date range for a report, then thats easily achieved with the Secure Filter/Prompt, even I worked out how to do that by myself, but you will find lots of examples kicking around, make sure you take a look at the samples using the eclipse editor so you get an idea of how these things stitch together

    5) Never having really used the Adhoc reporting tool(I allow any of my end users to create a report, they're not the brightest bunch) I can't answer for sure, but there seems no reason why it wouldn't work under the above setup with no problem at all..

    Hope some of that helps answer your questions, I may be way off the mark in which case I hope someone corrects me, but I think most of the above is correct.
    <plug>Also if you would like some more help feel free to visit ##pentaho on freenode where I'm sure we can give you some more guidance </plug>


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    Hi Tom,
    Thanks for your inputs!
    I investigated on the acegi security implementation provided by Pentaho. By default it is using memory implementation.
    I would like to go in for the JDBC implementation. When I looked into the applicationContext-acegi-security-jdbc.xml file, there the database that its referring to is "userdb" and I guess there is no such database created in hsqldb.
    When I checked the start_hypersonic.bat file even there userdb database is not specified.
    Do I have to manually create the database and add users? Do we have the script available? Please point me to the appropriate link.
    Also is this kind of implementation secured? since we are mentioning the database connection details in the xml file?

    Can you please point me to the location for Pentaho Manual installation guide also for Advanced Installation guide.
    I am referring to this site but I do not see any such document there.
    Can someone please help me in answering my other questions? Any reference to links or docs would be helpful to me.

  4. #4

    Thats the file for tomcat installation have a read through it and see if it makes some sense.

    Security-wise I don't know much about acegi, and with our LDAP I'm assuming no one will hack my server No matter what system you use you will have to specify connection details somewhere on the server, so I guess your leaving it upto the gods, but I may wrong.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    Thanks Tom! I will look into that pdf.

    I was able to use the JDBC security implementation. The following link helped me in doing the necessary changes.
    However I was faced with a very strange problem. The applicationContext-acegi-security-jdbc.xml had the jdbc url specified as jdbc:hsqldb:hsql://localhost:9002/userdb
    because of which I was not able to login and I was always getting socket error. I spent quite some time in figuring out the problem. Later I reverted to port 9001 and things started working.
    Anyone has any idea why it was 9002?
    Now I am investigating on assigning user permissions on different reports.

    Please help me in answering my other queries posted in my original post.

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