Q&A: Visual Information Discovery: Get More Out of Your Data

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If you missed any of yesterday’s webinar presentation highlighting JReport’s visualization solution be sure to watch it on-demand here or take a look the great questions we received from our attendees during the presentation below, to learn more about some of the JReport features we discussed.

1) Is it possible to have different data sources for different components in the same report?

JReport is very flexible so you can have different data sources in every component. And, since some of the components can even have embedded components, you can have a single report have multiple data frames and different data sources.

For example, say you store your customer credentials on something like Salesforce.com but your invoices are stored on your system in your own database. With JReport, it’s not difficult to get the address information from Salesforce and the invoice data directly from your database and show that together in one report that looks like an invoice that would all be coming from one place. JReport is very flexible in that regard.

2) You mentioned in the slides that chart types can be switched among each other. Can you explain how to do that a bit more and explain if it’s easy to accomplish?

Yes, though that wasn’t shown explicitly in the demo if you can remember the Wizard that we did show when we were creating the chart, there was a drop down list of all the different chart types. That drop down list and the entire Wizard is available at any time by any user if you give them that permission. You can turn off the ability to modify a report, but if you don’t and you grant the user access to modify a report, they can completely change a chart to any other chart type with ease. They can also change categories, series and values on the chart.

As you can see, there is a ton of flexibility to change virtually anything on the report to look at data in an entirely different way. The only thing that a user can’t change is the data source but they can certainly go in and visualize it differently.

3) You showed the component synchronization during the demo, is it possible to set some components to be independent of that?

By default all of the components are synchronized on the filters. But there is actually another user interface that we didn’t show on the demo. It has a drop down list on the filter where you can switch from “All” down to the individual items using a checkbox for each component.

Doing this makes a lot of sense sometimes. Let’s say you have a yearly report and some of the other reports are by quarter or by month it wouldn’t make sense to change the yearly report to filter by quarter but it would make sense to filter the other reports. And, it is easy to do with just a drop down list on that filter control

4) Are dashboard components built the same way as report components or is there a separate learning curve for JDashboard?

Dashboard components are actually built exactly the same way as all the other components. In fact in V11 which is coming soon, you will be able to take any report that you have and actually drag components off of that report directly onto the dashboard or show an entire report within your dashboard.  So, not only are the built the same way but you don’t even have to build them again. Any type of component in an existing report can just be dragged from your report directly into your dashboard and it will run automatically as part of the dashboard as well as still being available to run as part of the report. With JReport, you can reuse these components in as many different places as you want.


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