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.

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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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