Archive for April, 2007

April

20

by Kaj Kandler

Sun and the OpenOffice.org community found an agreement Pentaho to integrate business intelligence features into the next release of OpenOffice.org. Pentaho has recently integrated formerly separate open source projects JFreeReport, Mondrian, Kettle, and Weka to a powerful business intelligence server complete with reporting, analysis and OLAP capabilities.

The project offers a J2EE compliant reporting server, that can connect to many data sources and integrates workflow to create and distribute important report information to the authorized people in an enterprise. The project also offers a powerful report designer based on Eclipse and is modular so it can be integrated into other applications.

Apparently, Sun has decided it will build a Report designer of its own that defines reports in Pentaho’s formats. These reports will draw data from the Pentaho business intelligence server as well as from other sources.

If you want to see how example the integration of OLAP features into an Excel spreadsheet could look like, watch the demos of Jedox Palo Server a repository and OLAP server for Excel spreadsheets. These demos cover a specific case of OLAP and Spreadsheet integration, which I think is one possible use of the OpenOffice.org Business Inteligence integration project. However, it makes the abstract term of business intelligence more concrete. By the way Palo announced at the beginning of the year that it seeks sponsors to build a spreadsheet server for OpenOffice Calc. The sponsors role is to help cover the cost of open source development and to become first users.

April

20

by Kaj Kandler

Looks like Michael Dell, the iconic oner of Dell Computers, is looking deeper into Linux on Dell computers. According to the corporate Biography Michael uses a Laptop with OpenOffice.org on Ubuntu Linux.

I guess Michael did receive the letter from the OpenOffice.org community offering to satisfy the apparent demand for OpenOffice.org on Dell Computers. May be this prompted him to check it out himself.

Dear Michael,
if you need a help with OpenOffice.org, you are very welcome to join Plan-B for OpenOffice.org where we answer questions and demonstrate the features of OpenOffice.org with screencasts.

Truly Yours,
Kaj

April

20

by Kaj Kandler

I’m going off topic for this post about PayPal.

I just completed a change of e-mail address at Phil Taylor’s website for Joomla components. Phil has an unusual security scheme, asking for any purchase date to verify my identity. Well, I bought his components 2-3 years ago and his page reminded me that I must have payed with PayPal. But I could hardly remember what day I bought the component.

So, I went to PayPal to see if I still could find the transaction in the archives. It turns out, PayPal is doing a really good job here. The site allows you access to all back transactions, even years ago. Wow! That is much better than most banks that cut you off after 3, 6, or 12 month.

It came to me as a shock how many transactions I have made with through PayPal over time. I thought I used them really only occasionally, but over the years it adds up.

Thanks PayPal, you saved my day!

April

05

by Kaj Kandler

Software easter eggs are popular among programmers and geeks alike. No, you can’t eat them and they don’t count for you diet as calories. But like real easter eggs, they are hidden features found in some applications.

The OpenOffice.org easter egg is a space invader style game, hidden in OOo Calc. To find it:

  1. Open a new spreadsheet
  2. Enter the formula ‘=game()’ in any cell, press
  3. Enter in the next cell the formula ‘=game(“StarWars”)’

Voila, you got a game that resembles “Space Invaders”.