Packt, MongoDB, and Pentaho

Last year, when I received an email asking me to review a book about MongoDB and Pentaho for free, I barely opened the email before marking it as spam; “an outsourcing shop looking for desperate freelance editors? No, thanks!” I’d never heard of Packt Publishing before, and they were asking me to donate my time for a commercial project!

I’d used MongoDB in Pentaho before, and knew it was a “NoSQL” implant to the relational database world of Pentaho. It piqued my interest however; I wanted to see how someone can write a whole book about a relationship that was still in its infancy, and (at least back when I used it) hardly had any real utility beside the basic operations. I was also curious about the process of writing, editing, and publishing an ebook, so I just bit the bullet; “I’m in!”

Overall, I probably spent 15 to 20 hours to read the 100 something pages of the book, and didn’t get to communicate directly with the author. I only exchanged emails with the coordinators in India. The book was surprisingly well written, and it covered every possible aspect of using MongoDB in Pentaho. At the end, I received a physical copy of the book as a token of appreciation, and was able to download one of their ebooks for free. It wasn’t all for nothing after all!

If you’re interested in the subject, and are immune to people’s advice against using MongoDB, I’d recommend having a look at the book (obviously without any monetary benefit to me). Otherwise, there are a lot of books and tutorials about the great open-source BI suite that is Pentaho, and many other choices of reliable NoSQL databases other than MongoDB. ElasticSearch seems to be an emergent contender in that space.