Pentaho Interview Questions

Last updated on Nov 18, 2023

Pentaho is the most efficient data integration tool. It can connect to any data source like Excel, Database, XMLs, PDFs, Hadoop, etc. It can perform data transformations, data clustering, and data mining. It also offers several visualization operations through which users can create enhanced dashboards. It simplifies the process of data preparation through analytical modeling and machine learning.

Planning to attend an interview on Pentaho? Don't worry we are here to help you with that. In this post, we will list out the top 13 Pentaho interview questions. Go through the below frequently asked Pentaho interview questions and answers before you attend an interview.

Most Frequently Asked Pentaho Interview Questions 

Explain about metadata model in Pentaho.

Ans: Pentaho's metadata model transforms the physical structure of your database into a business model. The mappings in the business model get stored in a central repository. So, the developers can build optimized DB tables on top of that, which means that they can build an abstraction layer around the physical definitions of your database that depicts the information in the tables in business terms.

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What are the major server applications of Pentaho?

Ans: Pentaho offers the below server applications.

  • Pentaho BA Platform
  • Pentaho Analysis Services (Mondrian)
  • Pentaho Dashboard Designer (PDD)
  • Pentaho Analysis (Analyzer) (PAZ)
  • Pentaho Interactive Reporting (PIR)
  • Pentaho Data Access Wizard
  • Pentaho Mobile

What are the types of Data Integration Jobs?

Ans: The following are the types of data integration jobs.

  • Transformation jobs - It is useful for data preparation by applying several techniques on data. It is used when data doesn't have to be changed until the transforming of the data job is complete.
  • Provisioning jobs - It is useful for transferring huge volumes of data. It is only used when there is a large provisioning requirement, or the data doesn't have to be changed until the transforming of the data job is complete.
  • Hybrid jobs - It is a combination of both transformation and provisioning jobs. If you want to update data despite the success/failure, you can go with a hybrid job. There will be no data limitations and provisioning requirements.

What is the Pentaho reporting evaluation?

Ans: Pentaho Reporting Evaluation is a package under Pentaho reporting capabilities. It is useful for data evaluation activities like accessing sample data, creating reports, editing reports, accessing the reports, and interacting with reports.

Define MDX.

Ans: Multi-Dimensional Expressions (MDX) is a query language developed by Microsoft SQL OLAP Services. Its structure is different from regular SQL. It will be more like the formulas that we use in spreadsheets. This is the syntax for MDX,

SELECT {[Tablename].[Column1], [Tablename].[Cloumn2]} ON COLUMNS,

{[Date].&[2020]} ON ROWS

FROM [Tablename]

WHERE [Time].[2010].[Q2]

How to perform a database join with Pentaho Data Integration?

Ans: In PDI, we have to use the 'Table Input' method to join two tables that reside in the same database. To join two tables that reside in different databases, we have to use 'Database Join'. When a join is performed, the input query executes on the target system, which might lower performance. To avoid this, we can use 'Merge Join' on the two different Table Input steps.

What is the hierarchy flattening?

Ans: Hierarchy flattening is a process of establishing parent-child relationships in a database. It makes use of both horizontal and vertical formats that allow users to identify sub-elements easily. It includes the parent column, child column, parent attributes, and child attributes, which makes it easy to read the BI hierarchy.

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What is Pentaho Report Designer?

Ans: Pentaho Report Designer (PRD) is a graphic tool that allows users to create reports. Users can execute several report-editing functions that are available to generate simple or advanced reports. Once the report generation is done, we can export them in the form of Excel, HTML, PDF, and CSV files. PRD has a report engine based on Java that enforces data integration, portability, and scalability. This helps in integrating it with servers like Pentaho BA Platform or Java web applications.

Can we sequentialize transformations in Pentaho?

Ans: No, we cannot sequentialize transformations in Pentaho. By default, all the transformations of steps/operations in Pentaho Data Integration execute in parallel. If you want to make this happen, you will have to change the core architecture of PDI.

. How can we use database connections from the repository?

Ans: If you have jobs or transformations already loaded in Spoon, you can close and reopen them. Or, you can also create a new job or transformation.

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. How can we use logic from one transformation/job in another process?

Ans: Yes, we can use logic from one transformation/job in another process through sub transformations. We can call or reconfigure these sub transformations when we want. It allows the loading and transformation of variables, which enhances efficiency and productivity. 

. What are the types of reports in Pentaho?

Ans: These are the types of reports that Pentaho supports.

  • Transactional Reports - It is useful to create reports on transactional data. It allows creating reports that show detailed day-to-day organization’s activities.
  • Strategic Reports - It is useful to create reports based on long-term business data. The data will be of reliable sources.
  • Tactical Reports -  It is useful to create daily or weekly summary reports on transactional data. It is helpful to provide information for instant decision making.
  • Tactical Reports -  It is useful to create daily/weekly summary reports on transactional data. It is helpful to provide information for instant decision making.

. How to configure JNDI for Pentaho DI Server?

Ans: We can configure the JNDI connection for local data integration. During the development and testing of transformations, it helps in avoiding the continuous running of the application server. Go to the …\data-integration-server\pentaho-solutions\system\simple-JNDI location and edit the properties in ‘’ file.

. What do you mean by Pentaho? Why do we use it?

Ans: With practically all data sources supported, Pentaho is regarded as an effective and resourceful data integration tool, enabling scalable data clustering and data mining. Pentaho is also regarded as a lightweight business intelligence suite that performs ETL operations, OLAP services, the development of reports and dashboards, as well as other data-analysis and visualization tasks.

. What are the significant features of Pentaho?

Ans: The following are the most important features of Pentaho.

  • It fulfills business intelligence needs through its ETL capabilities.
  • Pentaho offers support to different types of reports including PDFs, Excel sheets, XML, etc.
  • It provides enhanced functionality including in-Hadoop functionality.
  • Pentaho offers full YARN support for the popular tool Hadoop. Its YARN combination allows entities to use Hadoop’s entire computing power. 
  • It supports query & reporting.
  • Further, it allows access to conduct analysis, and visualization of MongoDB data by expert business analysts (BAs) and IT team.
  • It also allows in-depth analysis and visualization of large scale data.

. List some applications that use Pentaho BI Project.

Ans: Some of the major applications that makes use of Pentaho BI Project:

  • Data Analysis
  • Data Mining
  • Reporting
  • Business Intelligence Platform
  • Data Discovery and Analysis
  • Dashboards and Visualizations
  • Data Integration and ETL
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. What are the differences between Transformations and Jobs?

Ans: Transformation means transforming or shifting rows from the source system to the destination while jobs means performing high level tasks like utilizing transformations, sending mails, file transfer through FTP, etc. Another important difference is that transformation enables parallel execution which jobs use steps to perform.

. What is the difference between Data Integration and ETL Programming?

Ans: Data Integration is related to passing the data from one system to another in the same application while ETL is related to extracting and accessing the data from various sources and transforming them to other tables and objects.

. Is it possible to duplicate the field names in a row in Pentaho?

Ans: We cannot duplicate the field names in a row. Pentaho doesn’t allow it.

. Will transformation permit the duplication of fields?

Ans: As you choose the original field, "Select Values" will rename the field. A duplicate name of another field will now be used for the original field.

. How can a folder or file be decrypted?


  • Select the file or folder you want to decrypt and right click on it. Now select the properties option.
  • Select the general tab, choose advanced.
  • To secure the data checkbox, clear the Encrypt contents and click ok. Again click on ok.

. What do you mean by Pentaho Dashboard?

Ans: Pentaho Dashboards refers to collections of different information objects, such as text, tables, and diagrams, on a single page. BI data is extracted using the Pentaho AJAX API, while content definitions are stored in the Pentaho Solution Repository.

The procedures for creating a dashboard include

  • Including a dashboard in the solution
  • Dashboard content definition
  • Implementation of filters
  • dashboard editing

. How will the Pentaho Metadata work?

Ans: Administrators can define a layer of abstraction that provides database information to the business users in everyday business terms with the aid of open-source metadata capabilities of  Pentaho.

. Why the field names in a single row cannot be duplicated?

Ans: If there are duplicate field names, we cannot. We could force duplicate fields prior to PDI v2.5.0, but only the first value of the duplicate fields can’t be used ever.

. Why do we use Pentaho Reporting?

Ans: With the help of Pentaho reporting, businesses can simply access, format, and present useful and crucial information to clients and consumers through the creation of structured and informative reports. Additionally, they assist business users in tracking and analyzing consumer behavior for the relevant period of time and functionality, guiding them in the direction of success.

. What is a tuple?

Ans: A Tuple is an ordered list of finite elements.

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. What do you mean by Pentaho Data Mining?

Ans: The Weka Project, which includes a comprehensive tool set for machine learning and data mining, is referred to as Pentaho Data Mining. Weka is free software that can be used to extract massive amounts of data about customers, clients, and enterprises. It is developed by Java-based code.

. Define arguments and variables in transformations.

Ans: The transformation dialog box includes two tables. One of them includes arguments while the other includes variables. Arguments indicate the command line set while batch processing whereas PDI variables indicate the objects that were set prior to transformation or job in the operating system.

. What do you mean by Pentaho Schema Workbench?

Ans: Pentaho Schema Workbench provides the graphical edge for creating OLAP cubes for the Pentaho Analysis.

. What is Hierarchical navigation?

Ans: Users can go directly to the site section various levels below from the top using the hierarchical navigation menu.


Since Pentaho Fusion HCM is an open-source platform that runs on-premises. So you can try working on the tool too. The Pentaho Fusion HCM developers are high in demand with decent pay. A lot of reputed companies are already using Pentaho HCM solutions to carry out their HR-related tasks. So, there are plenty of job opportunities for the candidates to grasp.

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As a senior Technical Content Writer for HKR Trainings, Gayathri has a good comprehension of the present technical innovations, which incorporates perspectives like Business Intelligence and Analytics. She conveys advanced technical ideas precisely and vividly, as conceivable to the target group, guaranteeing that the content is available to clients. She writes qualitative content in the field of Data Warehousing & ETL, Big Data Analytics, and ERP Tools. Connect me on LinkedIn.

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