News

Four Series and a Book

October 10, 2022 — by Rosaria Silipo &  Elisabeth Richter &  Lada Rudnitckaia

The New Look & Feel for KNIME Press

We are pleased to announce the first book from the new KNIME Press! It’s the 4th edition of the popular “Will They Blend?” book. 

If you have never read it or heard of it, “Will They Blend?” is a collection of blog posts published between 2016 and 2022, describing solutions attempting to merge two, three, four, five, or more data sources. The more diverse, the better. The data science problems are simple and the question in all articles is always the same: Will the data from the diverse sources blend together? 

We have tried to blend data from MDF files with Apache Kafka data; Amazon S3 and Azure BlobStorage; a variety of databases; Snowflake and Tableau; Google Big Query and SQLite; AWS services and Azure services; Word documents and web crawling; Hive and Excel; SAS, SPSS, and Matlab; texts in 8 different languages; and more … Did they all blend? Yes, the data all blended. 

Thanks to the plethora of KNIME Connector and ETL operation nodes, it has been possible to import the data and reduce it to a common format. If you know of a Will They Blend challenge that we have not attempted yet, please send it to us and we will add your solution to the next version of the book.

Indeed, this book, like all books from the KNIME Press, is a live book. Not only is it updated with every new version of KNIME Analytics Platform, it is also expanded whenever a new solution is available.

What's New in the “Will They Blend?” Book?

We've rearranged the content. Now you can start from the most recent stories, involving the most recent Connector nodes, and end with the oldest stories, most likely involving files and traditional databases. 

We have added a new introduction “1,2,3, … 100 Connectors” by Julian Bunzel. This introduction follows the Connector cheat sheet to show us how to blend more than 100 data sources smoothly and effectively in a codeless fashion using the KNIME Connector nodes. 

At the same time, we have removed outdated articles, like the one about connecting to IBM Watson. Let us know if you need it, and we can easily reintroduce it in the 5th edition.

Most important of all, we have introduced an absolutely new look & feel for the book. We moved from an A4 to a B5 format. The smaller format allows for easier printing, transporting, and leisurely reading. The layout and fonts have been reformatted for a more approachable reading experience. 

We have also changed the cover, moving away from the all yellow idea to a more geometric and meaningful concept. It might not look like that at first sight, but every line and every detail in the new cover has a meaning. Let’s see what they are. From the top:

Four Series and a Book: New Look and Feel of KNIME Press

What about the Series? 

We mentioned that the first stripe in the cover indicates the KNIME Press series. What are those series then?

Indeed, we have not worked only in remaking and republishing the “Will They Blend?” book, but on a more general concept to upgrade the structure and the look & feel of all books available by the KNIME Press.

Four Series and a Book
A snapshot of some of the books available through KNIME Press. Explore the KNIME Press page to see more.

With 11 books already available and more in the making, four translations already available and a few more in the pipeline, we reached a point where some restructuring was necessary. We have now created four series: 

  1. Textbooks

  2. Transition Booklets

  3. Collections

  4. Guest Collections

They all exhibit a customized look & feel, befitting their task.

1. Textbooks

The parent or maybe now grandparent of the KNIME Press family is surely the “KNIME Beginner’s Luck” book. This book provides an introduction to the basic concepts of KNIME Analytics Platform and its low code user interface. In addition, together with the books “KNIME Advanced Luck” and “From Words to Wisdom”, it provides an easy way to get a thorough understanding of KNIME Analytics Platform. 

All these books are structured as textbooks, hence the name of the series, with lesson-like chapters and exercises to solve. Example and exercise workflows are offered separately on the KNIME Hub. These books are rich in content and in number of pages. 

These books contain original teaching material that we offer at the relatively low price of 19.95 euros.

2. Transition Booklets

Another less academic way to get introduced to KNIME Analytics Platform, if we are coming from using a similar software, could be one of the booklets of the Transition series. Booklets like “From Excel to KNIME”, “From SAS to KNIME”, and “From Alteryx to KNIME” offer you a quick onboarding, starting from what you already know.

These books are quite small - they are booklets really - and present the content side to side in a very visual way. No useless text, just a picture - on the left - of how an operation is implemented in the original software and a picture - on the right - of how the equivalent operation is implemented in KNIME.

These booklets are all free and can be downloaded from the corresponding section in the KNIME Press website.

3. Collections and Guest Collections

These books offer a collection of existing articles from the KNIME blog or other journals around a specific topic, be it data blending in the “Will They Blend?” book or data science use cases in the “KNIME for Life Sciences” booklet. They can be large books or smaller booklets depending on the amount of material we were able to collect around the given topic. 

These booklets are all free to download from their section in the KNIME Press website.

Guest Collections host collections of blog posts and articles around a given topic and by selected guest authors, hence the name. Since the material does not belong all to KNIME and KNIME might not have the permission to republish freely, these books are on sale for the usual fee of 19.95 euros. For now, this category is populated only by the “Practicing Data Science” book.

What's Next?

The first book to be republished in the new format is the “Will They Blend?” book, republished on October 1st 2022 in its 4th edition to fit KNIME Analytics Platform version 4.6. Soon after, in November we are planning to publish a new booklet in the KNIME Collections series about the data science work of those KNIME users, awarded with the COTM (Contributor of the Month) award from August 2020 to July 2022.

After that, every month we will republish one of the books of the KNIME Press in its new graphical dress, with its distinctive look & feel. Stay tuned!

If you have a book about KNIME Software in a drawer of your mind, let it free and let it find the path to the KNIME Press. We can help you to write it and publish it! Just send an email to Elisabeth.Richter@knime.com 

Find useful-reads on topics like Model Evaluation, Guided Labeling, Excel to KNIME, and more on KNIME Press

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