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Thread: confusion of File formats

  1. #1

    Default confusion of File formats

    Dear all

    I took quite a learning curve getting into pentaho report solutions. I hope other users can help clarify some of the concepts here. I'll start post the questions one-per-post, first question is about file format:

    I thought Pentaho Report Design Wizard is a simplified way to help user use Pentaho Report Designer. The two share same function goal, difference being usability, complexity and flexibility. At least that's what the product name and documents seems to suggest. Is it true?

    In fact I use Pentah Report Wizard and in the end I was told to "Publish" my report (I choose "publish locally" and got a set of JFreeReport-WizardReport.* XML files); while in Pentaho Report Designer I usually use "Save" button to save the report I defined as *.report files, and do the real-life publish by using "Create Report" function and deliver printed report physically. Why I cannot just get the final report (e.g. in RTF) from the Report Design Wizard (I tried to select RTF as "Default Report Type" and publish to a local folder, and was told publish successful, and check that folder, there are no RTF files but only a group of XML files)? And if the result of Report Design Wizard is to be fed to Report Designer to get the final output, why not it just tell me to do so?

    I can also get the result of Report Design Wizard into Report Designer using "Import Pentaho Reporting Report Definition" function in Report Designer. So:
    1. Report Design Wizard can generate Reporting Report Definition which can be imported into Report Designer and even saved as *.report file which is the native format of Report Designer; but Report Design Wizard cannot directly generate *.report file;
    2. Report Design Wizard cannot directly generate the final report output. To get the printed Report, the user opens Report Designer, import the Reporting Report Definition and use "Create Report" function;
    I took a lot of time to figure out these concepts and still not sure if they are correct. Maybe I am stupid in understanding these BI stuff. But correct me if I am wrong, it's important to get the concept correct first.

  2. #2

    Default

    You are correct both try and achieve the same functionality.

    The Design Wizard is far easier for simple reports, it doesn't allow for any flexability away from the standard templates but does allow you to configure plenty of aspects of the final report content.

    The Report Designer is a application designed to allow for fine tuning of reports created in the report wizard or generation of reports from scratch.

    What you shouldn't be fooled about is the publishing aspect. Neither of the programs generates completed reports for you, apart from in the Preview dialog. Both the Save and Publish functions allow you to publish the finished reports to your Pentaho server for actual retrieval of the finished article. The only difference with the output, publish locallaly if you pentaho server is on the same machine as the Report Designer, or Publish to Server is the Designer is on a differnt machine.

    HTH

    Tom
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  3. #3

    Default

    Hello.

    Thanks for clarification!


    Please also remember users do not approach Pentaho from a single path. Me for example approaches from reporting system. I am absolutely not interested (at the moment) of doing data analysis but came here with report related requirements, thus I wouldn't have known the final report require pentaho BI server there. And I am the kind of user who probably will end up also BI user, so I should be guided to the right direction.

    That's being said: you need additional prompt text on the UI. e.g. say "Publish to Pentaho BI server" and "Publish to Pentaho BI server running on local host". How can people tell "Public to Local" means "publish to local server" without having the concept "a server must be there"? As a server is not mentioned as mandatory in Getting Started guide.

    Hope you can make this UI change. That's for a better / less confusing product!

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