I have been given a one-year commercial license by the Jaspersoft to test their JasperServer Enterprise Edition version 188.8.131.52. This software is very valuable for use in a company that might need to handle large amounts of data. From the data one can create customized reports, which prove to be valuable for supervisors and, of course, the boss.
Prior to this I had worked with the community editions of JasperReports and IReport, which I was grateful for since my projects did very well. I can only recall two problems:
- The first concerned the Excel output report. The format in IReport was not always exported accurately in Excel. I had to output to a PDF report instead.
- The second problem was that I never could establish a Hibernate database connection. I therefore had to turn to a JDBC connection instead. To be honest, this turned out to be better because SQL is more powerful than HQL when one considers the joins and unions.
Based on my experience with this software I got the feeling that it was only a matter of time before something better came out. After sometime the free enterprise edition of JasperServer came into my hands. In my opinion I would consider JasperServer to be oriented mostly towards developers, business analysts, and maybe even administrators.
- With this software one can now create special reports based on topics and domains using tables, charts, cross tabs, and dashboards. Working with dashboards has been very interesting because they let you display many reports within a single integrated window. What’s even better is that they let you insert web pages or web content with input controls. Can’t get enough? By using dashboards you can even include other dashboard within themselves!
Another good thing about the software is that many people in different roles can all use the reports and dashboards for their own analysis. JasperSoft documentation list many more types of users in different roles that can benefit from JasperServer including:
- Technical Business Analyst
- Report Developer
- System Developer
- System Administrator and Database Administrator
At first glance JasperServer can look complicated considering how it’s organized (i.e. repository, reports, datasources, etc.) and how the execution of work is handled. The good thing is that there are good quality manuals and books based on valuable theory and, most importantly, explaining how to work with each software component offered by JasperSoft. They offer step-by-step instructions with the user in mind.
The most basic manuals cover information about installation, administration and the user guide for Jasperserver. The more valuable resources are the Ultimate Guides. You can consider them to be the definitive bibles covering:
- JasperServer (Actually reading)
One special note to mention about the Authentication Cookbook based on LDAP and CAS is that it offers the source code if one wanted to work with it.
Another tool that I was able to test, although not in great detail, was JasperSoft’s IReport Professional Edition 3.7.0. This program offers more customization options and, better yet, exports seamlessly to Excel. You can even integrate IReport with JasperServer and share the same DataSource connections.
In the coming months I shall be sharing more of my experience with this powerful software program. You can read more about my 4-day experience with the JasperSoft Technical Training here.
Thanks a lot JasperSoft! Special thanks to Susan Chang.
Read The Part Two