Q&A: Top 4 Ways to Deploy Reporting in Your Business Application

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Missed this week’s webinar? No problem, watch it on-demand or check out the Q&A below!

1) Does JReport require client side installation or use applets or plugins when running JReport?

No, JReport is entirely thin client so it doesn’t require any installation on the client’s machine to run. In fact, it doesn’t require even a Java JRE or JDK, all JReport needs is Javascript to be enabled in the browser. However, if you run the optional Flash components in JDashboard then the Flash component would need to be installed in the driver in the browser. Other than that, JReport doesn’t use any applets or plugins and just a standard browser of Chrome, Firefox or IE will give you all the capabilities of JReport with no client installation.

2) How do you handle integrated security and single sign-on?

Security is provided by JReport internally but if you want to use your own security, JReport also provides interfaces where you can add the code for connecting up to your security provider and use your own application to provide the security. You also have the option to use 3rd party tools like LDAP or an active directory, which are built-in security providers to JReport. Both authentication and authorization can be done externally, and as long as you register the interfaces to call, JReport will automatically go out and call the code that you’ve registered and use that to get the authorization and authentication for the user rather than prompting them for log-in credentials.

3) Can JReport share the connection pool of the application server with other applications?

Yes, if your application is using a connection pool to connect to the database on the application server, then you would want JReport to share it so that your application and all of the reports that are making requests are using the same connection pool and same caching. JReport is much more efficient than many other reporting products because you can share those connections. Your application in JReport also becomes a lot easier to administer because you’re just dealing with a single connection pool to your database and administering everything together with your application, rather than having to make an additional connection to the database as with other tools.

4) Can the data source connection information such as URL, user, and password to the DBMS be configured at runtime?

The connection information to the database like the user login, URL, and driver are all stored in a catalog or XML file and are therefore not part of the report template itself and able to be configured at runtime. Unlike other products, JReport doesn’t store any of that information in the report template. The report template simply has information about how to format the report. This is extremely important for OEMs who are embedding JReport in their application because every one of their customers is likely going to be looking at a different database with different platforms and will have different log-ins, passwords, and URL’s to get to their database.

There are 3 levels to configure this. One is in the catalog that you publish with the report. However, you may not want it there if you’re using that same catalog for many different customers. The second is through JReport Server which also has an XML file data source that overrides all of the information in the catalog. The third level is either through the API or on the URL itself. When you call a report you can override even what is in the XML file so you are fully flexible to change the database connection information right up until the time you request the report to be run.


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