Discussions

News: Crystal Reports 9 Released with J2EE Integration

  1. Crystal Decisions today announced the availability of Crystal Reports 9. The new version of the popular reporting tools package provides an SDK that fully integrates into JSP, Servlet, and EJB applications running on Websphere or Weblogic.

    Check out Crystal Reports 9.

    Read the Java integration whitepaper.

    Threaded Messages (27)

  2. Does it only work for these commercial versions, or any J2EE container?

    I've recently started using JasperReports (http://sourceforge.net/projects/jasperreports/) and it's pretty powerful in terms of its capabilities (and is open source) but there aren't any nice visual design tools like Crystal, though there is an Eclipse plug-in but it's pretty limited.

    What other reporting tools do you use for your J2EE applications?
  3. Other reporting tools[ Go to top ]

    In response to your "what other reporting tools" question, I would like to point you at livereport, our reporting engine.

    The big, big plus of livereport is that it allows you to report on live data. It allows you to have real-time data pushed to your users without you needing to write any code. livereport allows you to use a GUI report builder to specify which attributes on which objects you are interested in, it allows you to traverse associations and see attributs on other objects, and all without you needing to write any code.

    livereport works in a number of environments, including any J2EE app servers that use JDBC to talk to the database.

    For more details, please see our product pages at isocra.com/livereport, or ask me!

    George
  4. Other reporting tools[ Go to top ]

    Does live reporting tool takes care of the calculations and other things?For eg the sum of all the values in a column need to divided by 35 to get a result.
    Do we have these kind of features in nay reporting tool or a parser has to be writen up.?
  5. Other reporting tools[ Go to top ]

    Vinay,

    You may have a look at www.actuate.com, they have eReport Designer Java edition and it works with many different types of data sources like EJB etc...

    my .02

    -Hemant
  6. Other reporting tools[ Go to top ]

    livereport does indeed allow you to perform calculations, or indeed other transformations on data.

    We provide a number of stock transforms to do simple arithmetic and suchlike, for more complex situations you (or us!) can write other transformations.

    We can also do things like capping the number of changes that are sent to some limit (say 10 per second or whatever).

    My phone number at work is +44 1223 551610 if I can help further, or of course I am happy to answer here if no-one else objects.

    George
  7. Other reporting tools[ Go to top ]

    "...without you needing to write any code."

    Do you know how many times I've heard this promise before? Furthermore, maybe I like to write code and maybe I think most GUI/Wizard tools offer unfulfilled promises. Crystal Reports is lame. If you really need a GUI based reporting tool, MS Access does all you need and has been since version 2.0 (1996)

     
  8. Other reporting tools[ Go to top ]

    <q>
    If you really need a GUI based reporting tool, MS Access does all you need and has been since version 2.0 (1996)
    </q>
    Nothing comes close to PowerBuilder's DataWindow. ;-)
  9. Other reporting tools[ Go to top ]

    What types of data sources does it report on? Last time I checked (it has been a while) it was only databases.

    If it doesn't do it on XML and 'Javabeans' then it has been bypassed years ago.
  10. Other reporting tools[ Go to top ]

    PowerBuilder data window is the King of reporting.
    v.
  11. Other reporting tools[ Go to top ]

    absolutely! I'm a developer too, and there are a lot of promises out there.

    I think that the balance comes in allowing a smooth transition at the edges of a tool's abilities. Clearly any tool cannot do everything that everybody will ever want.

    We try to make the edges of the tool as smooth as possible, and offer a number of areas where it is possible to write extensions of your own, if the tool is not doing what you need in a particular area.

    I guess that the most obvious places that this is possible (though usually not necessary) are:
     - Change Detection - in general this is automatic, however if you want to force livereport to think a change has happened, this is possible

     - transport adaptors - if you want to send changes over a non-supported transport, then you can write your own.

     - Custom Transformations - If you need to transform your data in some complex way, then we allow you to write code to do this.

     - Custom Filters - You can write custom code that allows you to decide whether changes are "important" enough to be sent.

     - Presentation - We provide lightweight "helper" classes to allow the presentation of the reports, but this is easily extensible by you. If necessary you can simply decode the stream of live data coming to you, and present (or whatever) it in exactly the way you want.

    I suspect that none of us (especially on this site!) however enjoy writing stuff that we know has been done already.

    If I can help further, please get in touch!

    George
  12. Other reporting tools[ Go to top ]

    <>MS Access does all you need and has been since version 2.0 (1996) <>

    It is a Windows only product. It requires database drivers to be loaded on the client. It only reports against databases and thus bypasses the business layer which is a no-no for any UI (unless one really doesn't care about OO).

    Quick and dirty - ok.
  13. Other reporting tools[ Go to top ]

    You may be interested in using Actuate Corp's e.Report Designer Professional, currently in version 6. Its a gr8 tool with a lot of features. You can view the reports in a number of formats like HTML, PDF, XML, DHTML, Excel. It provides the facility of connecting to all the available databases be it Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, Informix, Sybase...or flat file. You can even read data using Java objects as interface. Moreover, to facilitates the web enabling of reports, it provides a web app developed in JSP. Here you can even integrate reports develop in other reporting tools e.g. Crystal Reports.
  14. Other reporting tools[ Go to top ]

    Since it seems that people will start mentioning one reporting tool or another I would like to point out that most 'reporting engines' that are targeted towards Java have an outrageous price. I have reviewed several reporting tools. Most of them are expensive and have a poor GUI report designer.

    I have ended up with Crystal Reports. It is not the perfect tool and does not integrate well with Java (at least up to version 8.5), but it I can reasonably state that:
    - it does the job fairly well (including some complicated/fancy reports that would take ages to develop used JSP, XML, XSL, etc. and impossible to do using MS Access)
    - can be used by non-programmers
    - is reasonably priced (for a small or medium sized project). If I ever need to scale up, then I will pay more – Crystal at least give several options.

    If vendors start using the forum to promote their reporting engine, I would invite them to state the products price apart from telling us what their perfect tool can do.

    Even without the J2EE integration in version 9 I did manage to use the product with a J2EE application. Though I surely welcome the 'J2EE integration' in version 9, I would take this with a fair pinch of salt - Crystal has traditionally been tied up with the MS platform.
  15. What other tools for reporting?[ Go to top ]

    Originally the company I worked for used Crystal Reports. I took over creating the reports, and the consumers of the reports kept asking for more and more detailed layout, and CR just wasn't cutting it. So I started using FOP (at xml.apache.com) inside of Cocoon. FOP turns xml and a xsl stylesheet into a pdf. Granted, I haven't used a gui to create the layout, but xsl:fo gives you an extraordinary amount of control over the layout. Since starting with Cocoon, I have moved to using FOP in my own Struts based web app. Although it hasn't been a walk in the park, I am so much happier using FOP than dealing with the wysiwyg layout of CR and its quirks.

    My 2 cents....
  16. Scott,

    I'm planning on using JFreeReports with JFreeCharts because of SVG support. Is there some reason you chose Jasper over JFreeReports?

    I would be interested in other reporting engines, except that most others want a $/CPU fee, which I don't really like because I develop software that has multiple instalation sites, and that becomes more expensive than it is worth.

    Happy reporting :)
  17. Where can I get JFreeCharts from? I was searching in google and I found only 2 matches and both referred to JFreeCharts. SA the name suggests is it really free? Thank you very much.
  18. Works ONLY with Websphere and Weblogic?[ Go to top ]

    I couldn't find it on google either. I knew it was on sourceforge and found it that way.

    http://www.object-refinery.com/jfreereport/index.html

    As far as I can tell, it only reports from a Swing TableModel. Not having used either yet, I currently like Jasper better. There is a tool on Sourceforge to create reports.

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/jasperreports/
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/jasperedit/

    Other JasperReport related links:
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/oreports/
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/jeez/
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/jrparamprompter/


  19. Works ONLY with Websphere and Weblogic?[ Go to top ]

    Thank you very much. But the object_refinary url doesn't eem to work. Gives a 404 error.
  20. It's a "-" not a "_" for "object-refinery", and just go to "www.object-refinery.com". I like the idea that it uses TableModel, because at least that gives me the ability to get data from a J2EE source and implement good security for reports as well(I don't want any disgruntaled employees trying to sell clients private info to another store, which has been attempted before.). I haven't seen any other actual reporting software out there that supports SVG either. This matters a lot when you make a PDF to be printed. Joe's 3600 dpi printer will make your reports look even better without being 10Meg big. Besides, charts are vector graphics anyhow when you think about it. Reports just don't look all that good with graphics and Jasper when you print them, I think, but that could just be me.

    I guess I'm being a choosy beggar, and should make my own d***ed reports if I don't like them :) The way I see it is if it takes me 1000h's at 50$/h then still 50K and would pay off after 10 clients assuming that a decent reporting package would cost 5K/install. Even if the reporting package was 250$, it would only be a good choice if I didn't plan on going to more than 200 places. And my maintenance fees for my own reports would still be less than upgrade costs of third party reporting packages.

    Main point: There just isn't enough value in the average reporting package to justify it's incredible cost in the grand scheme of economics. This holds especially true of Crystal because it's not flexible enough to integrate properly (historically anyhow, with the dependance on ODBC, windows, or IIS to generate a report in Java... now it's a 10K/CPU dependance on Weblogic or Websphere). The only reporting packages I've seen worth their cost have been free :)
  21. I have not worked with this product myself but I recently interviewed at a company
    that was using a product called WebFOCUS (made by Information Builders).
    Supposedly their product has features for plugging it into a Java app server (http://www.informationbuilders.com/products/webfocus/wf_java_sers.html).
  22. I am very happily using StyleReport/Pro by InetSoft (www.inetsoftcorp.com).
    I like the fact that it comes with both a powerful GUI designer and an even more powerful API.
    I usually sketch up an "empty" report with placeholders in the GUI designer, but instead of connecting it directly to the database through the Query Wizard of the GUI designer, I instead write a piece of Java code that fills in the blanks with data that comes from our O/R persistence layer, and from our LDAP directory server.
    Output can be in Swing, RTF, HTML, PS, PDF, Excel, CSV

  23. for help[ Go to top ]

    Why I can't login to http://jasperreports.sourceforge.net
    from china?
  24. for help[ Go to top ]

    Hi man, you may visit sourforge.net through some proxy server
  25. for help[ Go to top ]

    I am living in china now. just try the following link, you will get it.
    http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/jasperreports

    Because http://www.sourceforge.net is forbidden by chinese government, which is why you can't connect.

    Good luck,

    Robin
  26. Hi,

    If you like to use a nice visual design tool like Crystal Reports Designer and you like to use the reports at runtime in your Java application with a platform independent report server then you should take a look at i-net Crystal-Clear.
    It is a platform independent Java report engine with that you can use the rpt files designed with Crystal Reports Designer (v.6 - 8.5) in your Java application or servlet or as EJB component in your EJB application server.

    More information: http://www.inetsoftware.de/English/produkte/crystalclear/Default.htm
    Trial version: http://www.inetsoftware.de/English/scripts/frmCrystalRegistrierung.asp
    Questions and Support: CrystalClear at inetsoftware dot de.

    Regards,

    Torsten Rietzel
  27. just some info that i thought might help on various reporting technologies...

    CRYSTAL REPORTS:
    i have been using crystal since it's inception (back in the day, mon) - and i've got to say there are good things and bad things:
    good things:
    -layout is a breeze (zoom to 400% you can't position something properly!)
    -the sections methodology is very intuitive (it's been copied by everyone)
    -you can do just about anything w/a function to your data
    -there are LOTS of unique ways to format reports - if you know what you're doing (READ THE CRYSTALDECISIONS KB STUFF RELIGIOUSLY - lots of stuff in there that is undocumented)
    -supported by java and microsoft technologies all the way down the line


    bad things:
    -lots of undocumented things! it seems as though crystaldecisions has never been able to get it together with any extended documentation other than the kb
    -there are things that SHOULD be simple that are not unless you really are experienced with the product
    -pricing fluctuates constantly - they raised the price significantly for the web - then when the dotcom bust lasted for a while, it seems that they realized that they shot themselves in the foot and started lowering the price - as a matter of fact, it seems as though the sales staff at crystaldecisions have gone so far as to quote prices on a per-customer basis - way out of line - and now they're losing customer base because of it (they deserved that - very sneaky)
    -and on and on and on...


    JFREEREPORTS:
    i've started to use a fairly new opensource product called jfreereports for java recently - and if you're a java developer, this is a really cool reporting engine
    good things:
    -it's free
    -you can layout down to the pixel
    -you use a tablemodel to put your data in the report which is a simple construct for most people.
    -it uses the concept of java functions to add functionality to the report (i.e. you can create a function in java code that can change a column's formatting, value, etc - which totally blows crystal's functions out of the water)
    -the xml layout is intuitive

    bad things:
    -it appears that very few people (maybe one guy) is currently maintaining/developing it (don't quote me on this)
    -there is no gui tool for layout - you have to hand-code the xml layout which is VERY tedious (HOWEVER THERE IS CURRENLTY A LAYOUT PROTOTYPE that works fairly well for now on my website at etherbot.com that you can download for free - also i'm almost done w/a crystal convertor for jfree!)
    -sometimes it's slow - but not slower than crystal that i've been able to ascertain

    good luck in your reporting endeavours - i hope this helps some people... email me at support at etherbot dot com if you need help w/jfree

    see ya,
    eric.
  28. Crystal Convertor[ Go to top ]

    also i'm almost done w/a crystal convertor for jfree
    What is this crystal convertor tool you speak of? The one problem with Jasper, Jfree, and Crystal is once you choose one, that's it. If you have a convertor for one-way/two-way conversion, that opens up a lot (to both open-source and commercial options!).

    Make some noise where this tool might be, I'm interested!