Compare XSL-FO and Jasper for PDF, XSL, RTF Reports

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EJB design: Compare XSL-FO and Jasper for PDF, XSL, RTF Reports

  1. I am considering whether to use XSL-FO or Jasper for creating reports in PDF,XSL,RTF formats for my project. I will probably churn out the reports from java servlets.

    Question 1:
    iReport is an excellent FREE tool to design the jasper reports. However, I could not find a similar tool for XSL-FO, a tool that allows me to drag and drop components and which can create the .FO file for me. Understanding the tags will be time-consuming. Can anyone recommend a "FREE" tool that can perform the tasks similar to iReport for XSL-FO?

    Question 2:
    Has anyone done comparison between XSL-FO & Jasper in terms of performance, ease of report design, output formats supported, features, integration into J2EE applications? If so, please reply.

    Thanks!
  2. Hello;

    You might want to look at http://www.windwardreports.com - it can do all of this for you and you design in your Word Processor.

    thanks - dave
  3. Thanks for the info. But I looking for a free tool. :)
  4. Comparing JasperReport/XFL-FO[ Go to top ]

    Hi!

    Japer is a really good tool for making PDF/other reports even I prefer XSL-FO (using apache fop). I hven't found a free GUI design tool for XSL-FO, however it is not neccessary. The XSL-FO syntax is very similar to HTML/CSS2. Most of CSS properties are implemented such as XSL-FO tag attributes. Otherway it is very esay to find lots of documentation, examples and helpfull experiences in the internet. The only idea is understanding layouts (pages) that is also esay to know.

    See

    http://www.w3.org/TR/xsl/ (definition)

    http://www.w3schools.com/xslfo/default.asp (tutorial and doc on w3schools)

    http://xmlgraphics.apache.org/fop/ (apache fop)

     

    Be aware!

    There are some XSL-FO attributes those are not implemented in each XSLT-FO engine such as apache fop. If you are using an advanced function or you FO doesn't work see the documentation of your XSLT-FO engine.

     

    Experience:

    I successfully implemented apache fop into spring-mvc and wicket projects. The template (XML with FO tags) I use to generate such as a page of text/xml content type. After that it is parsed and processed by apache fop. Spirng-mvc or wicke puts all dynamic data such as user names, tabels, prices etc. as FO tags as well.

    The big deal is about web technologies and resources in FOP. Some kind of resources, such as configuration, doesn't work correctly with relative pathes (external images, fonts). It is a dummy limitation of FOP. Probably a bug that should be soon fixed. The solution is to use full pathes to solve it (eg. /web/app/intranet.org/fop/fonts). Be careful about read permisions and java permisions specialy if java security manager is on.

  5. Hello, Martin Strejc!

    Could you explain more detailed how you was able to integrate apache fop with spring-mvc. Because now i have a well-working spring-mvc application without fop and well-working desktop application with fop, but when i tried to insert fop into spring it stopes unexpectedly on the line FopFactory fopFactory = FopFactory.newInstance(); I don't understand why... Maybe you have some links about how set the integration between spring and fop?...

    I will be glad for any reply, thank you!

  6. I really don't know the reason that you've described. I use a fiter that invokes original URL and it parses just response (XML). That solution works fine.