Reporting for ISVs

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If you’re an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) looking to purchase a reporting tool, you’re likely searching for an integrated solution which you can directly support.  You need a one stop shop: training, support, updates, licensing, installation and manuals, all from one vendor.  Most ISV products start out with a handful of pre-defined hard coded reports that don’t allow end users to understand and explore their data, or even to produce reports in all of the required formats.  Because you need customizable reports and dashboards, you’ll probably decide to include a 3rd party reporting tool.  So with that in mind, let’s take a look at why more ISVs choose JReport than any other Java reporting tool.

Your customers want the application they purchase to be totally integrated with the look and feel of your application so that transitioning to the reporting tool is seamless.  The JReport UI is 100% JSP, JavaScript and property files so it can be easily skinned by the customer using Cascading Style Sheets.  The end user will not be aware that they are using anything other than your own application.

You require a reporting tool that is installed and licensed with the application.  JReport is distributable as a single WAR file with no installation and no licensing other than that of the original application.  Take IBM as an example.  They have their own BI product, but still embed JReport as their BI tool.  Why?  Because their tools aren’t able to be seamlessly embedded, installed or licensed as part of their application.

You want to optimize your resources, so you don’t want to write custom reports and edit them for each customer.  Even if you can charge for some of these requests, your engineers could provide more net revenue to the company by adding features to acquire new customers.   JReport’s self-service reporting allows many new reports and dashboards to be created by the customer without intervention from an ISV.  Based on user profiles, advanced users can hide fields, remove fields, drag new fields onto the report, change the width and format of fields, change groups, change filters, change sorting and change styles.  In other words, almost everything on the report can be modified by the customer with very little training.  See On-Screen Filter demo below:

JReport Designer is a powerful repository, meta-data and report template editor that allows ISVs to quickly connect to their data sources and build queries, views, cubes, formulas and security policies.  JReport is the only product which allows you to place any number of reports into a single template file, making report management much easier.  JReport keeps the connection information in a catalog rather than in each report template, which means that if you connect to a new DBMS, you’ll only have one place to change instead of hundreds.

JReport is 100% Pure Java and runs on any application server or as a standalone BI service.  Most BI tool vendors now provide a Java interface, but to run the full server and get all the features for security, performance and clustering, you need to use an OS specific installation which is only available for a limited number of platforms.  This may cause you to lose sales to competitors that are 100% platform agnostic.

That’s enough info to get you started, but if you’re interested in digging further, check out our white paper on this topic: 7 Reporting Essentials for ISVs.

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