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Choosing the right Reporting Tool

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Our project is based on the struts framework and we were very successful in making the application go live. We just got new requirements for the next phase of the project and one of them was reports. We were in search for the right J2EE reporting tool. Some of them that we considered was Jasper Reports, Open Reports, Crystal Reports and BiRT from Apache.

Crystal Reports is actually a product and also it is not free. It does have a very user-friendly report designer and it is very easy for any non-technical user to get started with Crystal Reports. But our requirement was something more, like we needed to generate reports in various formats such as PDF,Excel etc. and we were not sure whether crystal reports could come in handy. So we scrapped it off.

Next we were looking into Open Reports, which is actually a front-end to Jasper Reports, in the sense it acts like a complete admin module for creating reports. It is a complete application with all the reporting tools integrated into it. With open reports there is nothing much left to do other than DB configuration and parameter setting. Although it comes for free under the GPL license, we din’t want to take the risk and hence we scrapped off this too.

Finally we decided to go on with Jasper Reports. It is open source and has all the necessary tools to generate reports in various formats. There is a report designer named iReports which can be used to create the report templates to be used with Jasper reports. Although it is not as user-friendly as Crystal Reports or BiRT designer, I’m sure we’ll get used to it eventually. There is a good comparison here between Jasper and BiRT. After reading it, there is no doubt Jasper is the best for our requirements.

Written by lokesh

October 8, 2007 at 3:50 pm

Posted in J2EE