Concat Strings

There are several possibilities in Pentaho Data Integration to put together several fields:

a) Step: Concat fields

This step is very straightforward if you want to concat fields using the same separator:

Concat Last and First name to a field “person_p3”, with separator “, “

b) Step: Formula

Similar to Excel you can create a new string using your fields and ad hoc defined strings in the Formula step:

c) Step: User Defined Java Expression


Similarity of person names

If you want to compare strings using fuzzy logic, you either can use the step “Fuzzy match” or calculate the similarity within the “Calculator” step.

Calculator Step: Testing various algorithms

To comparing person names I found the “JaroWinkler similitude” algorithm with a score > 0.75 providing acceptable results:

Results after calculation of similarities (sorted by Jaro Winkler)

Note: In this example “Grams, C. M” is obviously similar to “Grams, Christian Michael Warnfried”. With the Levenshtein distance, this similarity would not have been found.

In order to filter out false positives, you can run additionally the similarity check also on just the last name only.


Pentaho Data Integration (PDI) offers the input step “JSON-Input” to read out data from a JSON file or stream. Often I use this step after a REST-API-Query, so I would have the JSON-Input as a field from a previous step.

In order to test the field-extraction, it’s helpful to save some local samples of the possible responses. In the tab “File” you first can do your tests with the local file and switch later to “Source is from a previous step”.

Since recently Pentaho offers an “internal helper” to select the fields. However it unfortunately does not to work for most of my use-cases. Instead I found very useful.

Get JSON Path to the data you want to extract via

Then add the fields with the corresponding path in PDI:

Extracting various fields from the JSON response of the Crossref REST API (e.g.