Getting close to closing Release 0.8.9

After more than 6 month of development and one year after the release of our last stable version 0.8.7-10, we are now approaching the next stable release.

This release contains more changes than any other release before. The diff between 0.8.7-10 and the current SVN-version is about 10 MB, and it does not even contain the sources and changes for the new libraries (which sums up to another 3MB).

What did we achieve?

  • We have Sub-Reports and parametrizable DataSources now.
  • We have a new layouter*, which gives us paddings, borders, backgrounds, better text-processing capabilities and most important: A layouter that allows to have page-breaks inside elements.
  • We have support for OpenFormula-Compatible formulas, which simplifies the computation of values in the report.
  • We have style-expressions, which simplify the dynamic formatting.� In most cases, no one needs to write extra functions in Java now – just add a formula to a style-property and you are done.

There are a lot more things in this release, way to many to be listed here. Download the Pentaho Reporting Classic engine and see it by yourself.

So whats next?

We will continue on the classic track for a while. The most important change for the next release will be an organizational one: The Report-Designer now moves closer to the Report-Engine. Treating it as a separate Sub-Project at Pentaho yielded horrible results – the Web-Centric heavy-weight Pentaho-Platform is not a good guiding light for a Swing-based Java-Application aimed to create reports for a lightweight embeddable report-engine. So Martin Schmid and I teamed up to bring the Classic Engine and the Report-Designer closer together. Our users see the Report-Engine and Report-Designer as a single unit, technically our projects cant survive without working with each other – and now, we did the last logical step and joined forces.

During the next weeks, we will compile the road-map for the Version 1.0 of the Class Reporting Engine and for the Version 2.0 of the Pentaho Report Designer.

But to create the best report-designer and the greatest report engine we need your help. JFreeReport – and now Pentaho Reporting Classic – would not have been where it is today without the constant input and feedback from our community. If we dont know what *you* need, we cannot provide you the things you need. Or in the words of the wise man: “If we don’t know, we don’t know!”

* The first time since a very long time, our Layouter passes the Wine-Based Complexity Test (WBCT). The WBCT is simple: Drink a whole bottle of wine, and then try to explain how your code works. If you can explain it (and more important: your colleagues understand you and the code) , your code is simple and logical enough to be called sane.

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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.