Supporting the old population – BI-Server 3.5.2 and 3.6.0

Now that the end of the traditional calendar year is near and Samhain is fast approaching, it is time to take care of the dead corpses of the old and existing production installations out there.

Personally, I am a big fan of instant upgrades. As soon as a new release is out, upgrade. Agreed, I am biased as every old installation means I have extra trouble with support and bug reports. Every old installation gone means less work for me. Isn’t that cool?

But there are those boring people with arguments like “cant upgrade a tested installation that is in production” and “never change a system that already works”. As those people also fall into the category of being “honourable Pentaho customers”, I quell the urge to scream “Get over it, what’s live without a bit of risk and fun”.

Pentaho Reporting 3.7.0 release ante portas

So here is my personal take on that problem. Note that my preference does not affect your support plans or dictates what Pentaho as company can and will do or can and will support. It just affects what I do in regard to feature and support requests that come to me via the open channels like the forum, e-mail or personally addressed blackmail.

This release will be out somewhere this year. Note how carefully I avoid any specific dates. It will be released when it is finished or when our Sales and Marketing team grow tired of waiting and invade the developer dungeon to get hold of the treasure.

Pentaho Reporting 3.7.0 will resurrect the dead BI-Server corpses

After that release I will branch the 3.7 codeline to retrofit it into the BI-Server 3.5.2 and 3.6.0 codebase. At the end of that process we will be able to upgrade the existing BI-Server 3.5.2 and 3.6 installations with the new reporting engine.

The server will still be mainly 3.5.2 code, as I do not plan to touch any of the BI-Server’s core projects. The “reporting-plugin” and the “pentaho-reporting-classic-engine” will be the only things that change.

The automatic parameter discovering in PRD for Drill-Linking will only be supported for links to reports. XActions and Analyzer do not support the correct parameter format and I dont feel tempted to mess with their sources (and potentially break things on the way). However, when you know the parameter names, you can always add the parameter to the “Manual Parameter” section of your Drill-down definition.

All other reporting related features will work as if you had a BI-Server 3.7.0 release.

Let the dead corpses rest in peace: No support from me for 0.8.9 and 0.8.10

I will make no effort whatsoever to support BI-Server 3.5.0 or anything that uses the old 0.8.something reporting engines. That code is so old that even my local necromancer would have trouble getting that back to life. I ended all support for that some time ago and although I happily answer questions from time to time, I will not open up that code in my shiny and clean IDE. If you are still working with that code, consider to upgrade, or be prepared to work on the branch alone.

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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.