Category Archives: Release

Pentaho 5.0 hits the sourceforge servers – go grab it!

Today the long wait is over, as Pentaho released the community editions of version 5.0 of the Pentaho BA-Suite, which includes Pentaho Reporting and Pentaho Data Integration.

Pentaho Reporting 5.0 is a big step closer to the crosstab feature that has been sorely missing. To keep the waiting time exciting, we added some goodies.

The feature with the most impact is the support for CSS-inspired style-sheets. These stylesheets combine CSS3 selectors with our own flavor of style-properties. The stylesheet selectors are powerful enough to replace the majority of uses of style-expressions for conditional formatting, and above all: they can be shared across reports.

A new “sequence” data-source joined the list of data sources, and combines an easy API and an auto-generated UI into a handy package. This data source allows you to feed data into the reporting engine by writing just a handful of classes. This reduces the time to spin of a new data source from days to hours.

While speaking of data sources: Pentaho Reporting 5 has a new way to interface with Pentaho Data-Integration. The big-data-mode uses a convention based approach to make KTR files (PDI transformations) available as standalone data sources. Inputs and outputs are auto-mapped and we reuse PDI-dialogs inside the report-designer to configure queries. This hides the complexity of the data-integration process and makes querying data a seamless experience.

The BA-server contains a host of goodies, including the final transition away from the home cooked file repository to a JCR-backed repository, along with a full set of REST APIs to communicate with the server. Anyone trying to integrate the BA-server into an existing set of applications can now rejoice in happiness.

So go to and grab the software.

Pentaho Reporting 3.9.1 released on SourceForge

Doug just uploaded the latest stable release of the Pentaho Report Designer on Sourceforge. Thanks Doug!

This is a bug-fix release addressing issues in the drill-linking editor and the formula-editor. It also enabled support for smarter Mondrian-Caching via the new ‘JDBCConnectionUUID’ property.

Be aware that using PRD-3.9.1 requires that you also use BI-Server 4.8. If you have an older BI-Server installation, you have to stick to the report-designer that came with it or upgrade your server to 4.8.

Thank you Sulaiman to handle the whole release process! Well done.

Saiku Reporting 1.0 hits the market

.. and WAQR can finally rest in peace.

The community edition of the Pentaho Bi-Platform just got a whole lot better: On Friday, Marius Giepz released version 1.0 of Saiku-Reporting (SR).

Saiku-Reporting is a adhoc reporting plugin for the BI-Server. SR uses your existing Pentaho Metadata models to produce stylish reports. SR provides you with everything you have would expect from a adhoc tool:

  • Drag&Drop Report-Design with What-you-see-is-what-you-get design of your report
  • Export to: PDF,CSV,XLS,CDA,PRPT
  • Uses PRPT-Templates (bye, bye, WAQR templates!)
  • Grouping
  • Aggregation
  • Totals
  • Calculate additional columns with formulas

Creating a report is rather simple. Select your data from the left-hand side of your screen and drag it into the fields for columns, groups or filters. Double-click on the field-names to open a dialog with some more formatting options. 
When creating your reports, you have the choice to view your data either as paginated report or as raw-data. The raw-data view comes in handy when you create calculated columns, as you can see the data in the same way the reporting engine actually sees it.

And last but not least: Saiku-Reporting 1.0 is miles ahead of WAQR, so now we can finally bury that zombie for good.

Thank you Marius for that new member of the Pentaho space. And thank for your not naming it CAR (Community Adhoc Reporting). 😀

Pentaho Reporting 3.9-RC is on the slide to its release

Right now the engineers at Orlando are building the Release Candidate of the 4.0 release of the BI-Server. Along with it, we will have a bug-fix release of the Report-Designer and Reporting Engine named 3.9-RC.

The release ships with only a handful of new features and a ship load of bug-fixes.

New feature: Justified Text

This feature has been sitting on my list of things to do for ages. More specifically, since the old “Pre-Pentaho” days, when the internet was still young. We now have a new text-alignment option for your content and a button for it on the toolbar.

New feature: Heavily Scripted Data-Sources

This is my personal favourite of this release. All major data-sources (SQL, MetaData, Mondrian and OLAP4J) can now customize both the configuration of the data-source, the query that gets executed and the result-set that gets produced. At the moment we ship with support for Java-Script and Groovy scripting to make these customizations.

Improvement: CDA-datasource local calls

When running on the same server, CDA data-sources now call the CDA plugin via Java-calls instead of routing all calls through a network layer. THank you, web-details, for this addition.

Improvement: JQuery based report-viewer

Well, not sure whether this is a new feature or improvement, but we now have a pure Java-Script based report-viewer based on JQuery and standard JavaScript. It is so clean that even I can understand that code. Over the last few years, we heard more and more desperate calls for a better report viewer that can be customized to customer needs. If you are a web-developer or know one, you now are one step closer to a customized report parametrization experience. Credits go to Jordan Ganoff for coming up with this great addition.

Improvement: Data-sources now obfuscate stored passwords.

When writing PRPT files, we now obfuscate all passwords so that they are not as asy to read. Note that this does not make any change to any skilled attacker – as anyone with a debugger or access to the source-code can see how these passwords are en- and de-coded. If you need true security for your database credentials, you still have to use JNDI connections and ensure that only trustworthy administrators can access the server configuration.

Bug-Fixes: A load of layouter related issues. Subreports processing with page-footers and repeated group-footers was buggy. The HTML content produced by the HTML output writer is now much cleaner and less verbose. The table-datasource editor now can remove multiple rows at once and has other usability problems fixed as well. For a complete list, have a look at the release notes on our JIRA system.

What’s New in Pentaho Report Designer 3.8.1 – Bug-Fixes!

With weeks and weeks of doing nothing bug bug-fixes passing by, we finally reached the point where there is a new release of the reporting tools and the BI-Server comes along. So let’s have a look on what changed and why you want to upgrade as fast as possible.

The most exciting new addition for everyone probably is the Pentaho Interactive Reporting service. Pentaho Interactive Reporting replaces the old Web-Based Ad-Hoc Query and Reporting (WAQR) tool. WAQR was one of those things that get the job done, but do so neither gracefully nor with style. But in the 21st century you need something better. There are times where you can’t go for the full featured hardcore-nerdy Report-Designer option.

Pentaho Interactive Reporting is aimed to supplement our reporting solutions. Technologically it stands between Analyzer being a complete Ad-Hoc tool for exploring the OLAP models of the data-warehouses and the Pentaho report designer, a tool for creating standardized reports for printing or non-interactive access to the data.

Apart from opening up some APIs for Pentaho Interactive Reporting, this release only contains bug-fixes. This release contains fixes in the layouter, the parameter handling and the cascading prompt capabilities inside the platform and the report-designer and fixes some missing functionality inside the charting system.

Overall, 63 bugs got squashed in the process.

Pentaho Reporting 3.8.1 is now in the final build process and from my part the work is done now (assuming that the final tests do not come up with any show-stopping bugs). Judging from the last releases, the final build should be uploaded to our public Sourceforge page in a next weeks.

Release Notes – Pentaho Reporting and Pentaho Report Designer – Version 3.8.1 GA (4.0.0 GA Suite Release)


  • [PRD-114] – Round settings on rectangle element are not being saved.(In HTML)
  • [PRD-2434] – PRD will show only the one column if the same column is being queried in multiples of different aggregates.
  • [PRD-2690] – Selecting a formula-function in the side-bar-list does not show the function’s description in the bottom area of the formula editor.
  • [PRD-2834] – Radar chart not displaying Japanese characters for the legend and graph points
  • [PRD-2924] – Reporting plugin within PUC, date field doesn’t populate with the date chosen with the date picker.
  • [PRD-3243] – On functions attributes, when you use the … button to select a group, for the property “Reset on Group name , and select a group, the value won’t update to the property
  • [PRD-3330] – Removed “ProductLine” custom parameter in Hyperlink definition on the “Product Line Sales.prpt”.
  • [PRD-3354] – Experimental features disabled with CDA datasource on classpath dies with NPE
  • [PRD-3420] – Date format on X-axis in chart is ignored
  • [PRD-3425] – Saving a report with landscape orientation mixes up the left and right margin on load
  • [PRD-3431] – Regression: Sheetname style expression used on group header does not set the first sheet’s sheetname
  • [PRD-3433] – PRD Windows *.bat startup file does not work with latest JRE
  • [PRD-3438] – Horizontal scroll bars do not appear in IE when using custom landscape layout and parameter-layout equal to horizontal
  • [PRD-3453] – Tables need a style definition “table-layout: fixed” to render properly in IE
  • [PRD-3466] – UI Refresh – Reports in the PUC report viewer do not have new scroll bars.
  • [PRD-3467] – UI Refresh – Report filters controls do not have updated style
  • [PRD-3470] – Indexed columns had no proper metadata processing and therefore wizard-label printing broke if the tablemodel did not provide proper metadata
  • [PRD-3474] – Overlapping element in group header on HTML Action report.
  • [PRD-3475] – Report Name for Chart Post Processor is Line it should be “Chart Post Processor”.
  • [PRD-3476] – Radar Chart is display incorrect data for the series. The chart is setup incorrectly.
  • [PRD-3478] – Firefox: Links are not aligning with items in a PRPT’s pie chart (Product Line Sales)
  • [PRD-3479] – Adding element in details band breaks out the Pentaho Report Designer GUI.
  • [PRD-3480] – On functions attributes, the Value’s dropdown list contains empty descriptions
  • [PRD-3487] – I get the following stack trace when using the report wizard in PRD, no end user impact
  • [PRD-3489] – Report Header displays a blue border and the font it not anti-aliased (IE only)
  • [PRD-3490] – Reports are not displayed correctly in IE 7.0 and 8.0 when the Report Parameter pane is minimised
  • [PRD-3494] – XYBar-Charts do not have the stackedBarRenderPercentages option the categorical charts have.
  • [PRD-3495] – Morphing a label into a date field kills the attribute-table when it tries to format the “value” attribute
  • [PRD-3496] – Edit-Groups dialog looses user-input if a cell-editor is still active when the user hits OK
  • [PRD-3497] – LegacyChartEditor looses user data if closed while editing cells.
  • [PRD-3498] – Report Pre-Processors are displayed with their raw classnames in the master-report attribute table
  • [PRD-3499] – As a PIR developer, I want the wizard-core to provide an option to override metadata formatting when applying a user defined format.
  • [PRD-3503] – Chart Editor has additional chart properties that don’t have user-friendly names.
  • [PRD-3507] – Set Italian number format for chart labels
  • [PRD-3512] – Problem launching Report Designer version 3.7 and 3.8 on Windows 7
  • [PRD-3514] – Adding TOC to report causes exception from JDBC driver
  • [PRD-3515] – Url-formula option in the Scatter Plot Chart doesn’t work.
  • [PRD-3516] – Saving a report in PUC via IE gives the filename as “reporting” instead of giving the prpt’s name as filename.
  • [PRD-3519] – Default date format for a text input parameter field works in 3.6 but not in 3.8
  • [PRD-3521] – XY/XYZ charts have no option to display the textual series key in a tooltip or URL
  • [PRD-3522] – Layout Issues: Inventory Report doesn’t look the same in 3.8.1.
  • [PRD-3528] – Sample Report – What’s New – is not correctly grouping the detail items.
  • [PRD-3529] – Block layout in Report Header behaves differently between html stream and html paginated.
  • [PRD-3536] – BarcodeElement with invalid barcode input bombs the layout and the report processing
  • [PRD-3537] – After changing the orientation from portrait to landscape, the right and left margins get reversed.
  • [PRD-3540] – Cascading prompts with server side calculated default values are not working
  • [PRD-3541] – A plain text-field parameter with a data-source attached to it resets unknown values to even if the parameter is not strictly validating.
  • [PRD-3542] – Editing a metadata query containing the same columns with differ aggregation types, the query aggregation types default to MIN.
  • [PRD-3549] – Character spacing on report elements not working on PDF outputs.
  • [PRD-2422] – When editing query with a parameter that is a date in the MQL Editor, the editor updates the a parameter, {date_parameter} to DATEVALUE([date_parameter]) and the default value can’t be set.
  • [PRD-3349] – Request for patch to Report Designer 3.7 to fix number truncation problem
  • [PRD-3365] – Column-by-index fields are not available if the data comes from the query-cache
  • [PRD-3373] – Random incorrect value displayed in PDF output format
  • [PRD-3375] – Round up/down error in Report Designer
  • [PRD-3396] – Problem displaying different format-string in the same column on a number field
  • [PRD-3422] – Moving the focus widget out of the parameter panel
  • [PRD-3448] – Excel chart output is blurred
  • [PRD-3451] – As a reporting user I want to use a default-value formula to get default values for cascading parameters when the parent parameter changes
  • [PRD-3454] – On Open dialog, update Report Definition to include the .prpti file type.
  • [PRD-3455] – On Open from Repository dialog, update Report Definition to include the .prpti file type.
  • [PRD-3465] – Kettle datasource does not work correctly with datasource-cache enabled as it does not take the query name into account
  • [PRD-3473] – Label Text “Group n Footer” is displaying in a report generate by the Report Wizard using the new templates.
  • [PRD-3411] – Issue with Cascading Prompts


  • [PRD-3426] – Need the ability to set the padding on the detail elements on templates
  • [PRD-3432] – Width of Inherit column is too wide leaving less space for property name
  • [PRD-3525] – Update default Chart Options to be consistent with Analyzer and Dashboards
  • [PRD-3547] – Opent Dashboards (.xdash) via hyperlinks into new tab
  • [PRD-3452] – As a reporting user I want to open PRPTI files from within PRD
  • [PRD-3469] – Add new templates and remove the old ones.

Pentaho Reporting 3.8.1-RC1 released

On Friday without much ado, Pentaho uploaded the Release Candidate 1 of Pentaho Reporting 3.8.1 to the Sourceforge servers. This bug-fix release contains only bug-fixes, among the more noteworthy we have PRD-3349 and PRD-3375 (Numbers rounded wrongly) and some changes to the parameter handling so that cascading prompts get more usable inside the report designer and the Pentaho BI-Server.

Full list of all cases closed in this release

Download: Download Pentaho Report Designer 3.8.1-RC1

[PATCH Notice] There is a rounding error in PRD-3.7/3.8

Shortly after the release of Pentaho Reporting 3.8, we got reports that the nasty rounding error introduced in PRD-3.7 (PRD-3080) partially survived the surgery.

The bug caused rounding errors when we formatted and displayed numbers in a report and I highly advice anyone to install this patch.

Even though all patches and binaries of the bugfix releases are always available to our paying customers via the Pentaho support, I consider this one critical enough to make this patch available to the global community as well.

So grab the patch to the patch:

Patch Installation

Place this jar into both into your Pentaho Report Designer and BI-Server library directory.

For Pentaho Report Designer

(1) locate the “lib” directory in the Report Designer Installation directory
(2) delete the “libformat-1.2.3.jar” file.
(3) copy the “libformat-1.2.4.jar” file you just downloaded into this lib-directory.

For the Pentaho BI-Platform

(1) locate the “biserver-ee/tomcat/webapps/pentaho/WEB-INF/lib” directory in your BI-Server Installation directory.
(2) delete the “libformat-1.2.3.jar” file.
(3) copy the “libformat-1.2.4.jar” file you just downloaded into this lib-directory.

After that, restart your BI-Server and your Pentaho Report Designer.

Pentaho Reporting 3.8.0 is here … says the official annoucement.

The long waiting is over. Today Pentaho announced the release of Pentaho Reporting 3.8.0 and the BI-Server 3.8.0.

This release is mainly a bug-fix release with only few new features. Over the last few months we concentrated on making this release a “god damn stable” beast. With 132 cases solved and numerous blocker-class fixes resolved, I think we reached that goal.

On the new-feature side, we still have some good things to report:

  • Report data can and will be cached now. This way, the interactive parameter display and designing reports is more responsive now.
  • The SingleValueQuery- and MultiValueQuery-Function can now be used to define dynamic default selections in parameter.
  • You can redefine the list of output types that are available for a report
  • Pentaho-Metadata datasources can now accept multi-selection parameter.
  • Our Pentaho-Metadata datasource got a new Advanced mode to calculate the query string in a expression.
  • There’s a whole bunch of new barcode-types available.
  • LibLoader is more aggressive on caching data from HTTP connections. So even if your service does everything wrong when it comes to cache-headers, we will handle that gracefully now. And best of all: In most cases you can “just use it(tm)”. You don’t need to configure a single bit.
  • Thanks to KSK Solutions in Japan, we now have a Japanese translation for the Pentaho Report Designer
  • There is a experimental CDA datasource now. It works, even though it is still a bit flaky in Edit-Mode in the Report Designer.

Now the release is done, and there is only one thing left to do: Doug, please, please upload the product to SourceForge quickly, so that everyone can download it.

What’s New in Pentaho Report Designer 3.8 – Report and Data Caching

When you download the latest build (3.8-branch) of the Pentaho Report Designer and the BI-Server, you may* notice some lovely changes. Its not the look, its not the feel. Its the speed, baby!

Before 3.8, each time parameter changed and the report had to re-render, we had to generate the report twice. One run happened when asking for the parameter-document for displaying the number of pages in the page-selector in the parameter-viewer. And then a second run happened to get you that fancy single page report output.

If your report needed a minute to run, you had to wait two minutes for your results. Now, unless you are in the business of selling coffee to co-workers waiting for reports, this is not good.

With the upcoming 3.8-release (end of February, I have been told), I introduced two measures to make working with reports faster.

The Server Side Report Cache

From now on the report that has been paginated is held in a per-user cache on the user’s session for some time. This makes sure that the paginated report object survives the time between the parameter request (where pagination happens) and the actual content-rendering request. If we can render from a paginated report, we have the report’s result-set available and have the report pre-processed to already contain the page information. At that point, producing the content is fast and simple.

Expect to have the same report browsing speed in the BI-Server as you have in the report preview inside the report-designer.

And of course: If you don’t like caching for some or all of your reports, you can disable the cache either globally (via the pentahoObjects.xml file) or on a per-report basis (via an attribute on the master-report object).

I apologize to all upcoming coffee entrepreneurs who I put out of business with this move. Put the blame of the next recession on me, I can handle it.

The Data Cache

From time to time I get complaints that validating the parameters is slow too.

Usually I hear that in conjunction with list-parameters driven by database queries. Parameter queries are supposed to return fairly small result-sets. In the classical business intelligence world, these parameter are driven by dimension tables. In a datawarehouse, dimension tables are reasonable small (compared to the size of the fact table) and hopefully have a reasonable index on them.

But not everyone believes in that. Some do things different ..

And thus I see parameter being driven by SQL statements as verbose as works of Shakespeare, with nasty constructs and pure evilness dripping out of the query code.

We can rule out to educate our users, for one single reason: Reporting is not Business Intelligence.

Reporting is getting your numbers on paper and when people start with that, they do not think about “Business Intelligence”. They think about getting their report done so that they can go home. They surely do “Business Intelligence” in the process, but they don’t see that. Writing Mondrian-Schema files and doing Data Integration is “Business Intelligence”. This is what the incomprehensible geeks from the IT department are for. But a business user, a analyst or a office assistant could not care less about that. If it works, its fine. If it works badly, it is still fine, as I can go home once it is done.

So I ventured out to find a technical solution to a organizational and people problem.

The Data Cache!

The data-cache is a global cache that holds cached result-sets in memory. Right now, we simply ship with some reasonable default implementations.

Within the report-designer, this is a global cache, holding copies of the result-sets. To make sure we do not run out of memory this cache is limited to result-sets with less than 10.000** rows of data and will cache up to 50** result-sets with a last-recently-used strategy.

It will not cache your latest 4 million rows full-table scan. If you need that to be faster, talk to one of the many Pentaho Partners for getting a proper datawarehouse set up. It will not cache result-sets coming from a scripting datasource, a Java method call, a table-datasource, a external datasource (results computed in a xaction) or a CDA datasource. In all of those cases there is either no point in caching (as caching is more expensive than producing) or because we have not enough hints on the involved query-parameters.

When the cache kicks in, parameter validation with abusive queries will be a lot faster. For everyone else, working with the data-tab in the Pentaho Report Designer will be smoother now. There is no coffee break penalty for adding expressions anymore. The only time queries are fired now are at the report start-up and when you edit either the report’s active query or the connection information of your currently active data-source.

Now there are a truck-load of good reasons to head for the upcoming 3.8-release. For now: Happy reporting!

*) Unless you are using steel-wheels driven reports from the in-memory database where response times are infinitely fast.

**) These numbers can be changed in the global report configuration (

Upgrade now – The end of life for JFreeReport 0.8.x has come

First: Let me thank you for your great support for staying with a software that now is 3 years old.

In September 2009 we finally released the ground breaking Pentaho Reporting 3.5.0 (Citrus). We fully integrated the Pentaho Report Designer into the Pentaho Reporting product family and enabled non-technical business users to create reports easier than ever. In that release we switched away from the JFreeReport product name. All future releases have been and will be known as the “Pentaho Reporting” product family.

So far you have not been tempted to upgrade despite our huge improvements in productivity, performance and potential benefits to your business. Let me show you some of them:

Your users will find the improved user interface of the Report Designer easier to use than the old Report Designer.

  • They will be able to create better reports without the help of your technical support or database administrators.
  • They can get the information they want whenever they want – now – instead of having to file a ticket, wait, file another ticket for corrections and eventually get their report.
  • The new elements and layouting options (Sparklines, Barcodes, better charts and Side-by-side-subreports) help your users to visualize their information better and to design the reports they need to be successful.
  • The new built-in parameter support enables them to produce reports that answer the questions they encounter in their working day faster than ever.

Your developers and power users will find complete and accurate documentation in Will Gorman’s book “Pentaho Reporting 3.5 for Java Developers” describing all the properties and classes you need to get started faster.

This improved productivity could be yours! But so far you decided to ignore that value for your business and your career ..

But here is a sad truth: After three years of great success, my active support for these old releases comes to an end. With my limited resources I cannot provide bug-fixes, answers to support questions, samples or documentation.

If you decide to stay with the old versions of Pentaho Reporting, formerly known as JFreeReport, I wish you great success and say farewell.

But if you need assistance to upgrade your code base and have questions on how to best proceed, please come to the Pentaho Forum and post your question there. Don’t forget to add “Upgrade question:” to your posting title, and the Pentaho community and I will help you to make the upgrade as smooth as possible.

Thomas Morgner