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Mondrian / Getting started with Accelerator

Everyone who has ever worked with multidimensional databases analysis has most probably faced the problem of finding a suitable component that not only performs all required functions but also executes them fast. Flexmonster solved this problem and created Flexmonster Accelerator for Pentaho Mondrian cubes – a special server-side proxy that helps you to increase data loading speed from server to customer’s browser.

Working with OLAP cubes, a browser component is communicating with the server via XMLA protocol. It’s no secret that the XMLA protocol is heavy and exchanges a lot of excessive information. Thus, it takes too much time and memory to load and process the data.

We replaced XMLA protocol and use direct requests from the Component to a server.

In this way, we have come up with solutions to two major problems that many of those who work with big data had faced to a different extent:

  • We made big data transfer from server to browser enormously fast. Our tool allows you to transfer large multidimensional data in super easy and fast way. Reporting becomes more enjoyable and prompt for your end users.
  • We greatly reduced the load on a browser memory.

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  • Flexmonster Pivot Component v2.2 SITE edition or higher
  • Relational database and Mondrian schema for it
  • Java JRE 1.7+

Step 1: Configure Data Speed Accelerator on the server

The package contains following files (server/ folder):

  • flexmonster-proxy-mondrian.jar – server-side utility that handles connectivity between Pentaho Mondrian and Flexmonster Pivot Component
  • flexmonster-proxy-mondrian-4.jar – same as flexmonster-proxy-mondrian.jar, but for newer version of Pentaho Mondrian 4.4
  • flexmonster.config – file that contains configuration parameters for the utility (connection string, port, etc.)

Also, there are additional sample files:

  • FoodMart.xml – sample Mondrian schema for FoodMart database
  • FoodMart-4.xml – same as FoodMart.xml, but for newer version of Pentaho Mondrian 4.4
  • mysql-connector-java-*.jar – Java connector for MySQL database

First of all, let’s review flexmonster.config file. It contains following parameters:

  • CONNECTION_STRING – connection string for Pentaho Mondrian. Required.
    Example: Jdbc=jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/foodmart?user=root&password=password;JdbcDrivers=com.mysql.jdbc.Driver;
  • JDBC_DRIVER_JAR – path to the Java connector (.jar file) for database. Required.
    Example: ./mysql-connector-java-5.1.37.jar
  • JDBC_DRIVER_CLASS – class name of the Java connector. Required.
    Example: com.mysql.jdbc.Driver
  • CATALOGS_PATH – a path to the folder that contains Mondrian schemas. Optional. The default is ./
  • PORT – port number for the proxy service endpoint. Optional. The default is 50006
  • CACHE_MEMORY_LIMIT – size of maximum RAM memory available for cache (in MB). Optional. The default is 0 (unlimited).
  • CACHE_ENABLED – indicates whether the cache is enabled. Optional. The default is true. Available since version 2.211.

After configuring all the necessary options, Data Speed Accelerator is ready to be launched. Just execute the following commands in terminal:

# navigate to folder that contains Accelerator
cd {path_to_package}/server
# start Accelerator
java -jar flexmonster-proxy-mondrian.jar

If your schema is built for Mondrian 4, just use flexmonster-proxy-mondrian-4.jar instead.

Step 2: Open a port for Data Speed Accelerator in the firewall

If it’s planned to allow connection to Data Speed Accelerator from outside of the server, you should open an appropriate port in the firewall. Default port number is 50006, but it may vary depending on PORT parameter in flexmonster.config file.

Step 3: Configure Flexmonster Pivot Component

Now it’s time to configure the client – Flexmonster Pivot Component. Let’s create a minimal configuration using JavaScript API (replace proxyUrl, catalog and cube parameters with your specific values):

var pivot = $("#pivotContainer").flexmonster({
	toolbar: true, 
	report: {
		dataSource: {
			dataSourceType: "mondrian",

			/* URL to the Data Speed Accelerator */
			proxyUrl: "http://localhost:50006",
			/* Data Source Info */
			dataSourceInfo: "MondrianFoodMart",

			/* Catalog name / Mondrian schema */
			catalog: "FoodMart",

			/* Cube name */
			cube: "Sales",

			// Flag to use Data Speed Accelerator instead of XMLA protocol
			binary: true

Also, it’s possible to create XML report with the same configuration:

  <dataSource type="mondrian">
    <!-- URL to the Data Speed Accelerator -->
    <!-- Catalog name / Mondrian schema -->
    <!-- Cube name -->
    <!-- Flag to use Data Speed Accelerator instead of XMLA protocol -->

Cache control

Usually, the cache is a great help, but the cache becomes out of date if the underlying database is changing. Mondrian cannot deduce when the database is being modified, so we introduce a method to force clearing the cache.

It works by triggering the “ClearCache” as follows:


Also, it is possible to disable cache by the following parameter in flexmonster.config (available since version 2.211):


Mondrian configuration

Mondrian has a properties file to allow you to configure how it executes. It is possible to use any of these properties with Accelerator.

You just need to create file in the same location as flexmonster-proxy-mondrian.jar.

For example:

mondrian­.­rolap­.­aggregates­.­ChooseByVolume = false
mondrian­.­rolap­.­aggregates­.­generateSql = false

Please refer to the full list of Mondrian properties to find out more.