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Thread: generating reports in (say) XML?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    15

    Default generating reports in (say) XML?

    Given that Pentaho can generate reports in HTML and that HTML can be translated to XHTML (which is XML), it's technically possible to use Pentaho to generate reports in XML. However, the XML in question may not be what most programmers would wish to import. Worse, it could change it some Pentaho developer got an idea for a "better" format (better isn't always better, but better is always different).

    So, I wonder whether there is a way to get Pentaho to generate XML reports with a predictable and reliable schema? If so, and if these can be generated in response to a "batch" command, a scripter might be able to run commands, then re-purpose the XML as desired.

    -r

  2. #2
    dmoran Guest

    Default Re:generating reports in (say) XML?

    Pentaho uses third party Open Source report generators to generate the actual reports. Currently we support Eclipse BIRT, Jasper Reports and JFreeReports. The output formats they support are:

    • BIRT - HTML PDF and XML-FO.
    • Jasper Reports - PDF, HTML, XLS, CSV or XML format. Their XML format is backed by a DTD.
    • JFreeReports - PDF, Excel, HTML, XHTML, PlainText, XML and CSV.

    All three support different types of XML. I’m sure you could get what you want from one of them, although you may need to do an XSL transform on the result.

    The output of a report generator is intended to be a highly formatted report, I’m not sure why a “programmer would wish to import??? the result, but it is possible. I assume if some sort of programmatic transform was needed, you would want to do it before the report formatting step. The Pentaho BI Platform supports the use of business rules, queries and scripting which should be able to get the data ready for report generation.

    This sounds like an ETL issue you are trying to solve with reporting.

    Yes. The platform can also handle the batch processing and scheduling. The “scripting??? is accomplished via Action Sequence documents.

    Post edited by: dmoran, at: 10/30/2005 17:15

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    15

    Default Re:generating reports in (say) XML?

    Thanks for the detailed response. It looks like there should be any number of ways to get at the data. I'm not sure whether what I have in mind qualifies as ETL or not.

    Basically, I'd like to have access to the full range of Pentaho's ETL, OLAP, data mining, and other functions, but never have to code any Java. If I can issue requests for "reports", get the information from them, and use it as desired, I'm happy.

    -r

  4. #4
    dmoran Guest

    Default Re:generating reports in (say) XML?

    r-

    The design goal is to do exactly what you want. Provide a set of capabilities that will allow solutions to be created without writing code.

    That being said, we are still early in the development process and have not built components that can handle every situation. As new uses, requirements or just plain things we haven't thought of come up, the architecture should make adding new capabilities as painless as possible.

    We are also currently working on a workbench with GUI tools to help make the creation of Action Sequences, Reports and other content easier. The mantra is – “Make it possible, then make it easy???


    Doug

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