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ECL Builder – An ECL Web Interface for Analytics


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Narasimha Gopal, Infosys, presents at the 2016 HPCC Systems Engineering Summit Community Day.

The ECL builder is an online playground for HPCC built on web technologies. It provides a convenient interface for users to easily browse and select logical files and to then run various ECL ACTIONS on them in order to generate the necessary reports/analytics. While this is extremely useful for users who are not familiar with ECL, it also helps ECL developers be more productive as the ECL builder can quickly generate code for various ECL ACTIONS like reading datasets, performing joins, running cross tab reports, sorts etc. The ECL builder allows creation of new definitions or actions by reusing one or more existing definitions so as to chain them together to generate the necessary output. In fact, it’s possible to write a moderately complex ECL program using the ECL builder without having to manually write any code.

The ECL builder also features syntax highlighting and an enhanced interface for output visualization and output post-processing. One of the very useful post processing features provided by the editor is the ability to generate pivot tables from the generated outputs.

The ECL builder is currently being used on various projects where it is used by developers as well as by the business analysts who are now able to generate the necessary reports and analytics without needing any assistance from the development team.

Narasimha Gopal
Narasimha Murthy G, Technology Architect, has worked at Infosys for more than 12 years. Infosys is associated with the HPCC Systems® journey since 2010 and had setup a HPCC Systems® focus group in India and China to support the partnership.

Narasimha has been with LexisNexis for last 6 Years involved with multiple Web applications, Desktop Applications and Shared Services; he has worked with multiple J2EE and .Net frameworks and related Languages and on various Enterprise Search engines like Apache Lucene etc. Of late his interests have been in the Big Data area; more specifically, on HPCC Systems.
Narasimha is currently working on “Lexis for Microsoft Office (LMO)” an application that helps users with Citations & Entity extraction and provides direct access to Lexis research and citation tools and Web search tools from directly within Microsoft Word and Outlook.

Narasimha holds an undergraduate degree in Electrical & Electronics (2004) from UVCE in India.

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ECL Builder – An ECL Web Interface for Analytics

  1. 1. HPCC Systems ECL Builder Narasimha Murthy G October 12th , 2016#HPCCSummit
  2. 2. #HPCCSummit
  3. 3. ECL BUILDER - PURPOSE “ As HPCC Systems continues to evolve with significant new features, we simultaneously want to simplify the access to data so that users can fetch data as quickly and easily as possible with a Very Simple and Intuitive User Interface.” “User needn’t be a Developer or a Person with ECL Knowledge, they can be anyone (Business Analyst etc.) who need quick access to the Data” “Provide flexibility to the User to fetch data from any Client or Touch Device from anywhere without any Limitations or Pre-Requisites” PURPOSE 3
  4. 4. Agenda Agenda 4 Purpose ECL Builder - Features Web Technology used in ECL Builder Demo Future enhancements Q&A Practical use of ECL Builder
  5. 5. Current Challenges • Users like Business Analysts(human analysts) need ECL knowledge or assistance from developers to query data and generate reports • Non-availability of GUI based ECL clients which can construct complex/moderately complex queries and retrieve data • Lack of provisions for ECL developers to quickly generate repetitive boiler plate code CHALLENGES 5
  6. 6. ECL BUILDER - Features 6
  7. 7. ECL Builder – Online Playground Online playground for HPCC Systems built on web technologies with convenient and Intuitive User Interface. Online Playground 7
  8. 8. ECL Builder – Connect to different Clusters Connect 8
  9. 9. ECL Builder – Create New Builder New Builder 9
  10. 10. ECL Builder – Persist ECL code as Projects Persist 10
  11. 11. ECL Builder – Editor Editor 11
  12. 12. ECL Builder – Output Output 12
  13. 13. ECL Builder – Features Summary • Online playground for HPCC Systems built on web technologies • Provides a convenient and Intuitive Interface • Preference setting to connect to any cluster • Upload files into the landing zone and spray them • Create new Builders/Projects, Clone Existing and Delete • Provides the ability to segregate and persist ECL code as separate projects • Easily browse and select logical files • Clear [iconic] overview of the Names & types of the attributes of the datasets available under the logical Files of the Cluster Summary 13
  14. 14. ECL Builder – Features Summary –Cont.. • Vertical Filtering of dataset can be done in easy way (within drag & drop of Logical file to the Editor) • Drag & Drop logical files to run ECL Actions(reading datasets, performing joins, running cross tab reports, sorts) • Syntax Highlighting • Save and view Build History • Download Output • Provides enhanced interface to generate output visualization and output post-processing (e.g. generating pivot tables) Summary 14
  15. 15. Sequence Diagram Sequence Diagram 15
  16. 16. Architecture Architecture 16
  17. 17. Technology • Built on the ZK framework, an open-source Ajax Web application framework • Uses the WSClient libraries to talk to HPCC Systems • Can be built as a Maven project • Is available as a self-contained package that uses embedded Tomcat Server and does not need any external containers • Can be run out of the box using the embedded H2 database. External database instance not mandatory. • Can be installed on any Servers supporting the servlet specifications ECL BUILDER 17
  18. 18. Demo 18
  19. 19. Collaborate 19 Git: • The ECLBuilder code base • A pre-built packaged version of the ECLBuilder that can be run out of the box • A readme file that provides instructions on • Running on building, installing and running both versions of the application i.e. the enterprise deployment as well as the local deployment. • Steps to set up the pre-requisites including installation of the database, the servlet containers etc. • Instructions/guidelines on contributing to the project
  20. 20. ECL BUILDER IN USE • The ECL Builder is currently being used on the “FDA – Clinical trials Analysis” • ECL Builder can be used a Teaching Tool • ECL Builder can be used to generate repetitive boiler plate code ECL BUILDER 20
  21. 21. Upcoming Enhancements • Migrate to a more flexible and interactive front end based on Angular 2.0 and Spring MVC based web services • Adding support for additional ECL constructs like Normalize, Denormalize, Iterate, generating functions and macros etc. • Providing support for additional optional parameters for various constructs like JOIN, SORT etc. • Adding ability to generate and publish Roxie web services • Adding support for consuming and reusing Roxie queries • Adding support for leveraging Machine Learning (HPCC-ML) functions • Making the ECL builder Gradle compatible • Adding the ability to embed visualizations ECL BUILDER 21
  22. 22. Q & A ECL BUILDER 22 Point of Contact & Contributors • Narasimha Gopal ( • Raja Sundarrajan ( • Ashoka Parameshwara Kadambalithaya ( • Bhuvaneswari L • Senthil Kumar Ramachandiran • Angurbala Panda • Saravana Pandian
  23. 23. © 2016 Infosys Limited, Bangalore, India. All Rights Reserved. Infosys believes the information in this document is accurate as of its publication date; such information is subject to change without notice. Infosys acknowledges the proprietary rights of other companies to the trademarks, product names and such other intellectual property rights mentioned in this document. Except as expressly permitted, neither this documentation nor any part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, printing,photocopying,recording or otherwise, withoutthe prior permission of InfosysLimited and/ or any named intellectual property rights holders under this document. Thank You