10 years of Pentaho Reporting / JFreeReport

Today, 10 years ago I received the e-mail approving the JFreeReport project on Sourceforge. This day also marks my first day as official project leader of the project.

10 years ago, JFreeReport was just starting out. A few weeks before that I added what would later be known as “Simple-XML” format to make it easier to define layouts. In the same year we got PDF export, Windows-Meta-File (WMF) rendering and report functions to calculate values and started gathering a community via the forums at www.object-refinery.com.

JFreeReport was written by David Gilbert. When I needed some printing capabilities for a customer of mine, I selected JFreeReport, as it’s code was clear, and it was easy to embed, had little dependencies and was free of weird runtime requirements (like the need for a JDK to ‘compile’ reports, whatever that means). JFreeReport was 100% in memory with the ability to run in any environment that had a Java runtime environment, regardless how restricted or resource-constrained.

And these days, we uphold that flag. JFreeReport, now Pentaho Reporting, still runs 100% in memory, with no need to swap report data to disk. The core engine is still small, even though the various data-sources can easily add up to 100MB or more, if you include them all.

Thanks to our vibrant community we had a successful decade. With remarkably minimal resources for development we now largely match what other multi-billion companies and their products can do. So thanks to everyone who contributed time, code and blood and tears to make JFreeReport … ahem .. Pentaho Reporting great.

And hopefully, ten years from now, we will be able to throw some flowers onto the graves of the dinosaurs of BI.

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About Thomas

After working as all-hands guy and lead developer on Pentaho Reporting for over an decade, I have learned a thing or two about report generation, layouting and general BI practices. I have witnessed the remarkable growth of Pentaho Reporting from a small niche product to a enterprise class Business Intelligence product. This blog documents my own perspective on Pentaho Reporting's development process and our our steps towards upcoming releases.

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