To create and deploy new documents in Pentaho Business Intelligence Suite you can use the web interface directly. The web interface is usefull when you have simple reports or simple analysis or to let the final user create them. Some external tools, like Pentaho Report Designer or Mondrian Schema Workbench can publish docuements directly into Pentaho's web platform to achive more control on document definition.
When you need more flexibility or the document to be published is quite complex Pentaho provides a powerfull format, called Action Sequence, and a complete tool, Pentaho Design Studio, to define them. With this tutorial you'll be able to creare new analytical documents quickly using Action Sequence format and register them in the plaform.
Setup Pentaho Design Studio
Pentaho BI Suite can run analytical documents (reports, queries, charts, etc) using a flexible and powerfull format called Action Sequences. For example a report is described as an Action Sequence and then deployed in Pentaho.
To start creating new documents in Pentaho first download Pentaho Design Studio from the url http://sourceforge.net/projects/pentaho/files/Design%20Studio/
Next extract the archive and run the executable eclipse.exe as in the following picture.
Pentaho Design Studio is an Eclipse based IDE and at startup ask you for folder (workspace) where to save project's data. Choose a workspace folder, the default one is fine, and then press Ok.
Once Pentaho Design Studio is started press File -> New -> Project... to define a new analytical document.
As project type choose General -> Project.
In the Next dialog is VERY important to set as Location the pentaho-solutions folder of you Pentaho BI Suite installation.
Create a new Action Sequence
By now you have a new Pentaho's project pointing to your documents repository. If everything is ok you should see a group of folders, as in the next picture. By fact you are now working on Pentaho's repository and you have access to all its folders, even the ones hidden in the portal.
To create a new document simply right click on a folder and choose New -> Other... You must select a folder visibile in Pentaho web portal (http://localhost:8080/pentaho), in this case /steel-wheels/reports.
In the dialog choose Pentaho -> New Action Sequence Wizard
Click Next and give a File name for this document, as example helloworld.xaction.
A new form appears with the document's data. The General tab contains any information used to identify the document and display it in the web portal. For example this document has "Hello World Action Sequence" as Title. Make sure the Visibile checkbox is selected, otherwise the document won't be visible to portal users.
In the Define Process tab you can define an entire process to be executed for this document. Action Sequence is a quite powerfull format, by now you can keep it simple and create a new Hello World document. To do so click on the plus icon of Process Actions and choose Utilities -> Hello World.
As Message we set a simple "Hello World!!"
Once you have filled in the blanks press File -> Save to register the document.
Test and deploy a new Action Sequence
Now we have created a new Action Sequence it's time to test it. Open Action Sequence Test tab and set in "Pentaho Server URL" the web portal address, as example http://localhost:8080/pentaho. Make sure the Pentaho BI Suite is running, otherwise the test won't work.
Now click on "Test Server", complete the log on process as an administrative user and then click on "Generate URL". Finally to run the document you've created simply click on "Run" button near the generated url.
The first time you create a new document you can have an error as output (SolutionEngine.ERROR_0007) like in the next picture.
This is because the new action sequence is saved in Pentaho's repository, but Pentaho BI portal loads all action sequences at startup only. Simply Pentaho cannot find the new document in it's cache, and you must refresh the cache to make it avaiable.
To make new documents avaiable in Pentaho's cache point the browser to Pentaho BI portal's home, log in and click on Tools -> Refresh -> Repository Cache.
You should see the new document appearing in Pentaho's portal navigator.
If you go back to Pentaho Design Studio and press "Run" the new action sequence should work.
Creating a new folder in Pentaho BI Suite
The creation of a new folder is quite simple in Pentaho. The easiest way is to log in Pentaho BI web portal as an administrative user and right click on a root folder.
For example, if you create a new folder called "Test" you can see it on Pentaho web portal and, after a refresh, in Pentaho Design Studio.
Notice each repository folder has a special index.xml file, which tells Pentaho the folder should be visibile to portal's users.