Apr 182013

I am on a mission.  Several actually, but this one is about enabling the masses of PDI and Kettle users to keep their proverbial ducks in a row.

What I’m talking about is the bevy of errant connections that are meant to be straight, but are off ever so slightly.  But you and I know better, we see that errant line, the angle that is off by 3 degrees.  And it MUST BE FIXED!

Let’s look at an example.  Below we have a transformation that reads some sales data, does some data cleansing and data enrichment, and outputs the results into a fact table.  Now does that look terrible or what?  Every line is crooked.

If you’re like me, you’ll spend extra time making sure every line is truly straight.  Then, you’ll need to add or change something about your transformation and do the line-straightening thing all over again.  Let’s face it, that’s a waste of time.  Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to have our ETL steps automatically lock into place, say, on a grid perhaps?  Well you’ve come to the right place.  Open up the Tools –> Options menu.

Switch to the “Look & Feel” tab, and change the “Grid Size” field to something larger.  I’ve found 30 to be a good value to set here, mostly because that’s what Lynn Yarbrough suggested during my PDI training class.  Thanks Lynn!

Now we can clean up our transformation and straighten everything out with the quickness!  Check it out:

See?  Look how nice that is.

So there you have it – the best PDI / Kettle tip ever for orderly people.  Don’t you agree?  Learn more goodies like this in our PDI training course!


  10 Responses to “The Best Pentaho Data Integration Tip Ever for Orderly People”

  1. Those lines are amazingly straight.

  2. Hell yeah they are Josh! I’m so glad you noticed! :)

  3. Great example Brian !

  4. Great blog post!

    After long consideration I think the ideal grid size is 16 or none at all. If the grid size is too large, splitting hops and moving steps around becomes too unwieldy.
    For straight lines you can also align & distribute steps with keyboard shortcuts like CTRL+LEFT/RIGHT, ALT-UP and so on.


  5. Great tip! I was always selecting steps and then using ‘control-up’ or ‘control-left’ to align them, but this is definitely more efficient.


  6. I am setting up a new Pentaho DI 5.3 Installation. The Server is installed in Linux Box. Dev Team have Installed Pentaho Client Tools in Windows 7 Virtual Machine. Created Central Repository in Client Machine connecting to Server
    and all development are done in Repository.

    This is the issue I am facing:- I have a File Location in UNIX Server /xxx/xxx where I will get and place all files from FTP Server. How do I connect to this Unix Location from Windows Client?

    I tried reading the files using Text File Input giving the Unix Location directly and using Kettle Variables, But getting Error:- ****”Could not list the contents of “file:///C:/xxx/xxx” because it is not a folder.”**** Does not recognize it as a Unix location.

    I know I can use SSHGet and write a shell script, what are the other options that I have? && If I write a shell script, how will I give the location of script (if I am placing the script in UNIX Server /xxx/xxx).

    Could you pls help me with this?

  7. Good article, thanks for the information. We also provide Pentaho Online training.

  8. Hello, Thank you for the information on Pentaho Data integration. You can get some more information on Pentaho Consulting

  9. Great brief on “The Best Pentaho Data Integration Tip Ever for Orderly People”. I must appreciate. Thanks for sharing the tip!

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