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Pentaho® Solutions: Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing with Pentaho and MySQL® by Jos van Dongen, Roland Bouman

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Introduction

In 1958 IBM Research Fellow Hans Peter Luhn wrote a seminal paper for the IBM Systems Journal called "A Business Intelligence System". In this paper the term intelligence was defined as "the ability to apprehend the interrelationships of presented facts in such a way as to guide action towards a desired goal." Nowadays this paper is generally considered as the spark that started the development of Business Intelligence (BI) systems as we know them today.

For a long time the software market for supporting BI has been the domain of a handful of proprietary vendors who could charge huge sums of money for their specialized solutions. The late nineties marked an important turning point for the worldwide software market when open source solutions started to become viable alternatives for supporting mission-critical systems. First the various flavors of Linux came of age, and in 2001 and 2002 several new projects were initiated, all in the areas of data integration, reporting, analysis and data mining, the typical cornerstones of a modern BI solution. In 2004 both Jaspersoft and Pentaho were founded to offer complete BI suites that leveraged the existing stand-alone BI solutions. Since then, these companies have seen strong growth and market adoption, making open source BI solutions a serious alternative to the established proprietary vendors.

You might ask yourself now, what is Business Intelligence and why does it matter? In fact, the definition given by Luhn is still a valid ...

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