Integration of Pentaho BI Community Dashboard Editor (CDE) with Community Dashboard Framework (CDF)

by Yogaraj Khanal on July 27th, 2011


This article demonstrates the integration of two Pentaho open source software BI module viz. Community Dashboard Editor (CDE) with Community Dashboard Framework (CDF).


Pentaho is the open source business intelligence development platform which has different components integrated with it. You have both open source and commercial version available to support your BI need. This article is scoped to help open source business intelligence developer to integrate CDE on CDF to fulfill their dashboard development BI needs.


I would like to make this article interactive from development perspective without dumping lot of definition and other architecture terms that are easily available elsewhere from the site. If you want to learn more about Pentaho and it capability you can visit their official site.
They will give you option to download trial version for 30 days evaluation purpose. They have done good work and have integrated these technologies to start your project out of the box. But if you choose to stay open source and open standard then these is where you end up going after doing some research.

I recommend to download the latest available stable build the second link listed above. To this date 3.8 is the latest stable build and I am using that one in this article.
After you unzip the distribution this is how the folder structure will look like and this is the place for you to start Pentaho BI platform deployed in Tomcat server.

After you start the click on start-pentaho batch file you will have your Pentaho BI platform up and running. If you don't have any applications claiming port 8080 you will have your Tomcat running in this default port. You can find out how to change port for Tomcat easily if you search for a while.

By this time CDE is already up and running which you can access using this URL:
Then when you click on Pentaho User Console Login button as in diagram and choose the available user Joe with admin rights for this demo purpose.

After you login these are the options available to you out of the box.

As you can see in the diagram New Dashboard option is not available to you which comes built in with the commercial version.

You can lunch the demo dashboard version present out of the box with the downloaded distribution by using this URL:

If you want to look out of the box samples that are provided with the downloaded distribution this is what you do:
File->Open->BI Developer Examples->CDF

Now I am going to demonstrate how you can integrate Community Dashboard Editor to create the new dashboard. First we need to get the latest version of the CDE from this website.
For this article purpose I am going to use the latest available till date which is CDE-bundle-1.0-RC3

I am used the Eclipse Remote System Explorer(RSE) functionality to connect to remote server unzip the file issuing this command. If you are interested learning and using Eclipse Remote System Explorer functionality I recommend that you visit my earlier article posted on

The coolest thing about Eclipse RSE is that you can do lot of UNIX tasks in Windows machine like file transfer and stuff without using command line and you have option to work on terminal as well.I higly recommend you use this tool to aid your development. It will also give you visual clue about where everything are placed by showing GUI directory structure.
Otherwise you can use any tool like putty and login to the server and issue the following command to unzip the file.
tar -jxvf CDE-bundle-1.0-RC3.tar.bz2
Then you get this folder structure when you go inside the extracted file inside system subdirectory:

At this point I want you to stop the biserver-ce that is running by clicking on following windows batch file stop-pentaho.

Then please rename or delete this folder pentaho-cdf from the location mentioned below: <UNZIP_PATH>\ biserver -ce\pentaho-solutions\system.As an example I have it installed in this folder

Now copy these three folders viz. cda,pentaho-cdf,pentaho-cdf-dd from CDE distribution system subfolder
<UNZIP_PATH>\ biserver -ce\pentaho-solutions\system
You will able to figure it out since they will be in this path as example in my directory structure and will be copied from system folder of CDE to system folder of biserver-ce.

Then you start the Pentaho BI server using the same batch file as explained about and should see the CDE option as shown in the snapshot below:

Now you have your CDE option available to you for the BI dashboard development purpose as shown in the figure below and you can start your own exploration.


This article demonstrates how you can integrate Pentaho CDE with Pentaho CDF. As an open source software developer for most of my career I understand the pain of finding correct resources (link, files etc) and documentation that leads to the successful software development. So this is my effort to guide the new developers for successful integration of CDE on CDF and save time by giving them kick start.

Any suggestions or feedback is appreciated. Please free to send me your comments through this website or my personal email . I would love to hear your comments and suggestions regarding this article.


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Yogaraj Khanal
Date: July 27th, 2011


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Commented by Yogaraj Khanal
on July 28th, 2011 at 10:55:43 EST
Please read this article for the big picture architecture and to explore full functionality of the CDE.

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Commented by Saurabh Sethi
on August 4th, 2011 at 00:03:04 EST
thank for this article.

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Commented by Yogaraj Khanal
on September 16th, 2011 at 14:32:31 EST
Alternatively use can use installer found here:

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Commented by Yogaraj Khanal
on October 3rd, 2011 at 13:33:16 EST
Please use this article instead.All the steps I posted here are manual which can be automated using script as in the post below.Also it will have one sample CDE app to get you started.

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Commented by Anu Reddy
on August 1st, 2013 at 05:46:44 EST
hello i am new to pentaho design. please help me to create the cde dash board.for me save destination folder not opening.
when i click save option new window opening empty.
can you help me what is the issue.

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Commented by Yogaraj Khanal
on August 1st, 2013 at 11:13:55 EST
Do you get any error in Tomcat console? Are you able to run existing sample code in CDF?

Try this example.