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Iterative BI + Gradle Tips and Tricks: A Primer on Gradle Objects

While the Gradle manual is extensive, since we’re not building an executable or the like from source code, many of the concepts are a little opaque.  Here’s a quick primer on Gradle for BI:

Gradle is “project” based, with each project containing a set of inter-dependent tasks which in turn contain actions:

Data Intelligence - The Future of Big Data
The Future of Big Data

With some guidance, you can craft a data platform that is right for your organization’s needs and gets the most return from your data capital.

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The whole thing is configured in a build.gradle file.  Wherever you put this file becomes the root of your project.  In that file you can manually add tasks and/or apply plugin(s).  Plugins then in turn add tasks relevant to their purpose.

Things that we’ve found helpful in developing for BI:

  • Try and find commonalities between the out-of-the-box plugins and features and what you’re working on.  For example, we extended the Exec plugin for sqlcmd execution with a set of options specific to our need, and we didn’t have to reinvent things like PATH handling.
  • Conventions are your friend.  They pre-suppose how things should be laid out and then allow you to selectively modify that assumption.
  • Custom plugins are (relatively!) easy to develop – so decide what functionality you’ll use over and over and create your own plugin for re-use.

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Chris Grenz

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