about this book

This book is about Mondrian 4.0 and related technologies. It’s organized into chapters based on functionality. Chapters are designed to be standalone in most cases, but it’s easier, especially for beginners, to start at the beginning and work through the chapters of interest in order. Depending on your role in the organization, different chapters will be more relevant than others.

Intended audience

This book is targeted at four general types of users:

The business analyst is the person who will use Mondrian to perform analysis. This reader mainly wants to use Mondrian and the related tools, not necessarily understand all of the inner workings, such as configuration and database format.

The data warehouse architect is the person who’s responsible for setting up the data for Mondrian for business analysts to use. This person makes it possible for analysis to be fast and easy.

The business intelligence enterprise architect is responsible for making Mondrian work within the enterprise. This includes installation, configuration, scaling, and security.

Finally, application developers will want to learn how to integrate Mondrian in their own applications. Integration approaches include embedding the Mondrian engine into your application as well as using Mondrian’s web services to get data.

Roadmap

Here’s what you’ll learn in each chapter:

Recommended reading

Table 1 shows the chapter likely to be of most interest to each type of reader. That’s not to say that the other chapters won’t also be of interest, but that these are most relevant.

Relevant chapters by reader
Chapter Business Analyst Data Architect Enterprise Architect Application Developer
Chapter 1, “Beyond reporting: business
analytics”
+ + + +
Chapter 2, “Mondrian: a first look” + + + +
Chapter 3, “Creating the data mart”   +    
Chapter 4, “Multidimensional modeling: making analytics data accessible”   + +  
Chapter 5, “How schemas grow”   + +  
Chapter 6, “Securing data”   + +  
Chapter 7, “Maximizing Mondrian performance”   + +  
Chapter 8, “Dynamic security”     + +
Chapter 9, “Working with Mondrian and Pentaho + + + +
Chapter 10, “Developing with Mondrian”   +   +
Chapter 11, “Advanced analytics” +   +  

Code conventions and downloads

The code in this book is generally in individual listings. When code is inline it’ll be specified by code markings to make it easily identifiable. Code is set in a fixed-width font like this.

Note that the listings only show what’s necessary to explain something. You should download the software to get the full examples. See appendix A for more information on how to download the software; go to the publisher’s website at www.manning.com/MondrianinAction to download the examples.

Software requirements

The code in this book, when specific to Mondrian, is for Mondrian 4.0. Most will work with Mondrian 3.5 or later. Mondrian 4.0 will be released as part of Pentaho 5.1 in early 2014. You can currently use Mondrian 4.0 with Saiku, which was used to validate the examples in this book. If you encounter problems with the code examples in this book, please let the authors know in the Manning Author Online forum.

In addition to the software described in appendix A, you’ll need a system capable of running Java and a web browser. The code has been tested with Java 1.6, but should also run on Java 1.7 or later. You’ll also need a database that’s supported by Mondrian, such as MySQL or PostgreSQL.

An IDE that supports HTML, Javascript, XML, and Java, such as IntelliJ Idea or Eclipse, is ideal but not required. You can enter all of the examples in a text editor and compile from the command line. But an IDE will make it a lot easier.

Author Online

The purchase of Mondrian in Action includes free access to a private web forum run by Manning Publications, where you can make comments about the book, ask technical questions, and receive help from the authors and from other users. To access the forum and subscribe to it, point your web browser at www.manning.com/MondrianinAction. This page provides information on how to get on the forum once you are registered, what kind of help is available, and the rules of conduct on the forum.

Manning’s commitment to our readers is to provide a venue where a meaningful dialogue between individual readers and between readers and the authors can take place. It’s not a commitment to any specific amount of participation on the part of the authors, whose contribution to the forum remains voluntary (and unpaid). We suggest you try asking the authors some challenging questions, lest their interest stray!

The Author Online forum and archives of previous discussions will be accessible from the publisher’s website as long as the book is in print.

About the cover illustration

The figure on the cover of Mondrian in Action is captioned a “Man from Konavle.” The illustration is taken from the reproduction published in 2006 of a 19th-century collection of costumes and ethnographic descriptions entitled Dalmatia by Professor Frane Carrara (1812 – 1854), an archaeologist and historian, and the first director of the Museum of Antiquity in Split, Croatia. The illustrations were obtained from a helpful librarian at the Ethnographic Museum (formerly the Museum of Antiquity), itself situated in the Roman core of the medieval center of Split: the ruins of Emperor Diocletian’s retirement palace from around AD 304. The book includes finely colored illustrations of figures from different regions of Croatia, accompanied by descriptions of the costumes and of everyday life.

Konavle is a small town located southeast of Dubrovnik, Croatia. The man on the cover is wearing dark blue woolen trousers and an embroidered red vest over a white linen shirt. Over his shoulders is draped a brown woolen shawl, and a gold sash and red leggings complete his outfit. In his hand he holds a long pipe, and pistols and a musket are visible, stuck in his sash and hanging over his shoulder.

At a time when it is hard to tell one computer book from another, Manning celebrates the inventiveness and initiative of the computer business with book covers based on the rich diversity of regional life of two centuries ago, brought back to life by illustrations from collections such as this one.