5 years of open source Kettle

Dear Kettle fans,

Five years ago, in early December 2005, I released Kettle in the form of 160,000 lines of Java code. The only thing that this initial open source version of Kettle had going for it was the fact that it worked. Sure it wasn’t perfect as no data integration tool can ever be perfect.  However, a few messages left and right and the fact that it worked quickly lifted it from a one-mans pet project to the globally cooperating Pentaho Data Integration project that it is today.

Most if not all of the 160,000 lines of code have been altered or re-written in the mean time by a team of around 70 committers, hundreds of direct contributors, thousands of volunteers and hundreds of thousands of users.  The codebase has grown to 675,000 lines of code in the core project and we have created a whole ecosystem around Kettle now too.  Not only are there the dozens of plugins, Agile BI, the Kettle-cookbook project, the Kettle Franchise Factory (KFF), we also have projects that embed or fork Kettle like GeoKettle and Quipu.  In those 5 years we also managed to translate Kettle into many global languages and have 3 books out on the subject with a 4rd and maybe a 5th on its way in China.   Clearly the marriage of Kettle and Pentaho did both a lot of good.  In the (almost) five years I’ve been with them, Pentaho has grown from a small shop to a global corporation with a staggering growth and enormous potential.

I’m not sure it’s necessary to drawn any conclusions out of this. Just allow me to make the observation that we’re still alive and kicking unlike a lot of top-brand-Gartner-MQ ETL-tools out there. For me it was mostly an interesting and humbling experience that invites me to keep going for new innovative ideas in the coming year.  The road map for next years looks very promising indeed.

For now however, I’m simply going to drink an extra glass to all of you out there with an interest in Kettle and especially to all of you who helped us along the way.  Perhaps in the new year at the Pentaho Global Partner Summit in San Francisco (Jan 19-20th) you can join me in celebrating 5 years of Kettle.

Cheers!
Matt