New ETL platform for PALO OLAP

Jedox have announced that they intend to ship a Palo centric ETL open source server product early next year. This is excellent news and is on top of the new rules engine that was added to Palo this summer. Open source MOLAP has suddenly taken off the training wheels and is getting ready to mess with the big kids. The two things I really like about the new proposed Palo-ETL server are; it’s open-source and it’s designed to enable drill-down from the analysis cube back to the data source.

Drill back is the 2nd most common reason for continuing IT staff involvement in the day-to-day running of BI projects (the 1st is of course the ETL process). The “Where did that figure come from?” question is one of the reasons that the Excel pivot table function is so popular, double-click on a data cell – the rows used to generate that figure are displayed on a new sheet; simple but powerful.

As to what platform the new server is to be built on, I’m guessing Talend or Kettle. Now it is possible that Jedox have rolled their own product from scratch but with two superb open-source products already out there it would seem pointless. Talend actively seeks out technology licensing agreements with other companies and has just opened an office in Germany (Jedox is based in Freiburg) so it would be the most likely contender. But, Pentaho’s Kettle may also be in the running as there’s already prior-art and this Pentaho forum thread. Also, the one major missing from the comprehensive Pentaho stable is lack of an in-memory OLAP tool (their current OLAP offering is the ROLAP Mondrian project).


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