Warning: This blog is more technical than our usual blog entries, but it serves to explain the value (and power) of Birst.

Now, how does ETL fit in? ETL uses the Birst Query Language (BQL). The language for report-level (post-aggregation) expressions uses THE SAME SYNTAX AND ENGINE as ETL scripts. The only difference is that some statements only function when running in a script (e.g. WRITERECORD) and others are only allowed when working in an expression for a report (e.g. Lookup function).

That’s because some ETL statements make absolutely no sense in a report expression and some report-level expressions could destroy script level performance if used incorrectly. But the fact that they use the same syntax and engine allows us to do some cool things like embedding scripts in reports. That’s how Function, Lookup, Transform, Let and some of the report-level scripting elements work and is what makes our report-level calculation capabilities far more capable than other BI/OLAP tools.

Whew! My weed whacker is nearly out of gas. But these distinctions are important. And should clarify that there are only TWO forms of syntax in Birst and because they serve different purposes in different contexts they are different in important ways.