in Book reviews, JasperReports and iReport

Review of the book iReport 3.7

In this book made of 12 chapters, the author Shamsuddin Ahammad shows how to use iReport, the indispensable tool to conceive reports based on the JasperReports library, written with Java.
A MySQL database is created and its model is described in the appendix.

The first three chapters give us a quick overview of the tool :
– a presentation of the functionalities of iReport,
– the use of the Report Wizard to create a first report with a connexion to a MySQL database,
– formatting the report and its elements.

Starting from the fourth chapter, the author explains the processing of data in iReport with the creation of variables (to calculate sums for instance) and parameters (to create dynamic queries or titles for instance).
Then groups and group variables are explained.

An entire chapter is dedicated to reports and their sub-reports, with master-child relations.
Another chapter details the creation of crosstabs, which are very used in reports.
Three types of graphic charts are created : a pie chart, a 3D pie chart and a bar chart.
The author also shows how to display pictures which are stored in a disk or in a database .

An example shows the use of the JasperReports API to create a project which displays a report in a Swing application.
The display of a report in a web application is not detailed but the author still mentions the methods to use.
NetBeans is the IDE chosen by the author to develop, with the integration of the Report Designer plugin.

What I liked the most : the numerous screen shots to facilitate the comprehension, especially the use of sub-reports.

What I liked the least : I would have wanted to read about the use of other types of datasource such as EJB-QL queries (EJB with JPA) or MDX for cubes of data.

You can order a copy of the book on the Packt Publishing site.