Introduction to JasperReports
JasperReports named from a crystal “Jasper” to provide security, stability, and balance is an open source Java reporting engine helps to deliver rich content onto the printer or screen into various formats like HTML, PDF, ODT, RTF, XML and TXT files. It is a Java class library used in a variety of Java-enabled applications to generate dynamic content for reports. It provides ease to create page-oriented, ready-to-print documents in a flexible and straightforward manner.
JasperReports is not a standalone tool, so can’t be installed on its own and instead, it is embedded into Java applications by including its library in the application’s CLASSPATH.
What is a Report?
A report is a document that represents a meaningful, well-defined, and summarized presentation of information in an organized format having the template below:
Reports are used to represent the disordered data in the form of charts, graphs, and many other ways of graphical representations.
Let’s know the elements of the report template.
- title element is the caption of the report that begins the report by appearing at only once.
- pageHEADERelementappears at the top of each page and may contain information of date and time or may contain organization name.
- columnHEADER element lists the name of the specific fields like “Author name”, “Starting hour”, “Finishing hour”, etc. what you want to display in your report.
- detail element specifies entries of the specific fields that columnHEADER lists.
- columnFOOTER element displays the summation of each field listed in columnHEADER.
- pageFOOTER element counts and displays the number of an instant page out of total pages like “1/23” at the bottom of each page.
- summary element contains the information concludes from “detail” element in visual charts like pie chart, graph, etc., fora clear comparison.
But there were some common troubles faced during report development and became an overhead for the reporting process like core changes, results exploring, complicated reports, and chart reports. So to overcome these overheads, a lot of tools, frameworks, libraries, and third-party applications like JasperReports were introduced.
Features of JasperReports
These are the features of JasperReports that make reporting process trouble-free as follows:
- It has a flexible report layout, allows us to separate data into free report sections. These sections are as follows:
- Title appears at the top of the report
- Page Header appears at the top of every page
- Detail Section typically contains primary report data
- Page Footer at the bottom of every page
- Summary Section at the end of the report
- It provides multiple ways to present report data textually or graphically via charts
- It offers various ways to supply data to report that is by using special classes called datasources and also by passing it report parameters.
- JasperReports supports multiple datasources to generate reports that include JDBC, XML files, Plain Old Java Object POJOs, custom datasources, and also supports empty datasources.
- It is capable of generating background images can serve a sort of ‘watermark’ for the report or text on reports it creates for security and branding reports.
- Using JasperReports, we can create reports within reports called Subreports to simplify report design.
- It is capable of exporting the report generated with it too many formats that include PDF, CSV, XLS, RTF, XML, HTML, and plain text.
Working Process of JasperReports
- Add Jasper Library to the project.
- Before start reporting, create some layout design from java code. Jasper’s reporting layout design is an XML file with the extension .jrxml. GUI tools of JasperStudio or iReport can be used for designing as well as texting purpose of JRXML files.
- After creation, JRXML files need compilation either on the fly, dynamically from our java code or on jasperStudio or on iRreportto generate jasper file having extension .jasper.
- After compilation, we get jasper file .jasper and so we can feed data into the report from our java code.
Tools to generate JRXML files
- Eclipse plugin for Jaspersoft studio
- Jaspersoft Studio
Advantages of using Jaspersoft studio
- Using Jaspersoft Studio, professional reports can be produced quickly with a little training to get started.
- With a good support associate, its license is of low cost in comparison with its competitors.
- Its users are in bulk of community to solve its all issues.
- Reports can be deployed merely in multiple environments.