Product of the Day: JReport, Java-Based Reporting for the Linux Environment

The following information has been provided by the product vendor and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Linux Journal.

Product: JReport, Embedded Java Reporting

Manufacturer: Jinfonet Software

Address: 9400 Key West Ave., Rockville, Maryland 20850

Telephone: 301-838-5560

Corporate focus on cost-effective, reliable, and adaptable IT solutions is driving the enterprise migration to Linux server platforms. Application development must also deliver on these corporate mandates. Developers are responding by adopting Java technology--leveraging industry standards and modular components--to deliver low cost, scalable server applications. To enhance the value of their applications, developers are embedding precise, flexible reporting tools, like JReport, to provide their users with robust, actionable information.

JReport is a 100% J2EE reporting solution that seamlessly integrates into any application, empowering end users with production reporting, ad hoc reporting and data analysis.

Java Standards and Compliance

JReport's pure Java architecture makes it an ideal solution for embedding in any application environment. The complexities normally associated with application development--multi-threading, scaling, resource pooling, data source connectivity, communication protocols, interoperability, etc.--are minimized because the J2EE environment automatically handles these services.

Developers can integrate JReport as an Enterprise Java Bean or Java servlet directly into their application server. Because servlets and EJBs are platform-independent, minimal configuration effort is required to install JReport. Developers can easily design and customize JavaServer Pages within their Web application, and leverage JReport's tag library to easily define JReport functionality without writing and managing large amounts of code.

Native Java connectivity provides access to data sources from commonly used relational database systems and hierarchical sources like XML. In addition, JReport can utilize a data source's inherent structure for logical grouping of data in reports. As part of its extensibility, JReport provides an API to access virtually any data source, including multidimensional (OLAP) data.

Seamless Integration

Java reporting solutions differentiate themselves through ease of embedding and customization, a critical distinction for application developers who need to spend time focusing on presentation, rather than on issues like database connectivity. JReport provides a rich set of APIs and Java Beans that deliver a high-level of flexibility and customization options for embedding JReport. Developers can use these reporting "building blocks" to enable any degree of actionable reporting within their application. For example, JReport offers a Web-enabled API that enables developers to integrate interactive report functionality into Web applications or directly into specific reports as Web controls. This allows end users to customize report views through dynamic sorting, filtering, and drill-down capabilities.

In addition to leveraging its own stand-alone security model, JReport can seamlessly integrate with existing security schemes to provide single sign-on capabilities. Security can be controlled at the page, record, column, or cell level--ensuring only authorized end user access to specific information.

Management and Administration

System and report management--from performance monitoring to versioning--is critical to an embedded reporting solution. System performance can be monitored and fine tuned remotely, and public and private report folders make organizing and accessing reports and templates straightforward. With JReport, reports can be managed via the Web at the system level or by individual end users.

JReport provides a flexible scheduling interface that allows users to schedule reports to run once or at any recurring interval. In addition, reports can be deployed in a "subscription model"--once a report is run, it is saved in a specific location, and users are notified with a link to that report for viewing. JReport also supports report caching, allowing a single report output to be viewed by multiple users.

In addition to scheduling reports for distribution, JReport enables users to interact with reports and to save and share modified reports. With DHTML reports, for example, users can dynamically sort, filter, and group data to create a unique report view. This view can be saved as a report result and shared with others. Alternately, modified reports can be saved as a template so they can be re-run to refresh data on-demand.

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Ummm... ermm... nope.

Ian's picture

Sounds to me like that review was taken directly from a whitepaper?!

The company I work for has been using it for 3 years now and have nothing nice to say about it. Well, maybe one thing; It has reasonably powerful permisson admin - although, it's overly complex.

The reason we are still with it is our systems are all using it. Legacy stuff.

Until recently, the product was written in AWT (or so we believe) - making the product counter-intuitive and hard-to-use.

The product crashes often, when it does, the user is none the wiser as to why - with only a stack trace most likely leading to a null pointer exception.

To be fair, with it, you can extract and format virtually any data the way you like. As long as you have a month or so to make the attempt.

Feel free to evaluate it, but do your homework. Check out JasperReports (free), Crystal and all other reporting products.

Oh, and cost-effective? Well, try about 30K for a server license.

This is not a product review

Anonymous's picture

This is not a product review conducted by Linux Journal. Notice the line at the top of the article that says "The following information has been provided by the product vendor and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Linux Journal."

Feedback from a large financial institution

Anonymous's picture

I am not sure what version you looked at but we have been using JReport for over a year in a pretty large financial application and its working very well. I think you are right that the designer used to be AWT but the one we are using is Swing based which has been great. I think this version was released in the 6.x version of the product.

The server integration was pretty straight forward and has been very stable. We currently have it running on 2 4CPU machines and we serve some pretty complex reports to ~ 3000 users worldwide without any problem.

Obviously you always have to evaluate what's best for each particular
application so I agree, compare the latest release with the other stuff in the market and then decide.

Pricing Information?

Anonymous's picture

Looks like an interesting product, but I wish vendors would be a little more forthcoming with pricing information. If this is totally out of my league, I don't want to waste their time or mine. And I really don't like giving my name/address on a blind query like this.

Russell.

Pricing

John's picture

Russell,
Here is some general pricing information.
JReport Designer is $2,000 per copy.
JReport Enterprise Server comes in many different configurations, prices start at $10,000 for concurrent user configurations.

Hope that helps.
John

Has anyone checked out the

Mathew's picture

Has anyone checked out the new version of JReport? (JReport 8.0) What is your opinion about it?

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