Jinfonet Boosts Performance of Reporting Tool
November 13, 2008 Alex Woodie
Jinfonet Software yesterday announced the general availability JReport 9, a new version of the Java-based business intelligence tool that’s designed to integrate directly into Web applications. Improvements to JReport’s memory utilization have boosted its performance by at least 40 percent, according to Jinfonet, while enhancements to its user interface, support for JSR168, and several dozen other new features round out the release.
JReport is a lightweight suite of business intelligence tools used by some of the largest companies in the world, including Bank of America and Deutsch Bank. The software runs on any Java-based Web application server, and is typically utilized as an embedded reporting tool for other Web applications, such as BofA’s J2EE-based risk management system. A drag-and-drop design tool lets developers create reports quickly, while users can consume reports in HTML, e-mail, PDF, XML, Excel, and fax formats.
Jinfonet improved performance with JReport 9, and also designed a reporting engine with a smaller footprint, greater scalability, and faster response time to the end user, the company says. Internal benchmark tests performed by the company show the new product yields at least a 40 percent performance boost compared to JReport 8, while some functions will perform 100 percent faster, according to Whit Mathis, Jinfonet’s vice president of sales.
One of the key performance improvements is a new feature called multiple report bursting. This enables the product to run a report a single time, while the results are distributed to different recipients according to predefined criteria, thereby saving CPU cycles. Jinfonet claims JReport 9 is the industry’s first reporting tool to support this capability.
Another new feature is support for page-level security. This will enable an organization to run a report for a large group of users, but only allow each user to view the portion that he or she is authorized to view. The software also integrates with most popular directory servers, providing another layer of security and single sign-on capabilities.
The feature that will be most appreciated by end users in JReport 9 is a redesigned DHTML interface, according to Mathis. The new DHTML interface introduces new wizards that expose customization features that were previously buried in the product, he says. The result is a reporting tool that gives regular users more power, including drill down capability, he says.
“The more functionality we get to the end user, the better,” Mathis says. “We didn’t have that [report customization] capability that was obvious of out of the box. But now it’s in the forefront.”
Developers using the full Report Designer (as opposed to the DHTML user interface) will also benefit from new features, such as the cascading parameter wizard, server monitoring, and support for relative dates. Designers now have better control of charts, including the font and orientation of labels, flexible axis labels and tick marks, and other charting elements.
The new version also brings new features for displaying data on maps. Support for conditional formatting gives developers more control over the appearance of the map. Map data can be imported in the form of Shapefiles, a widely accepted format for geospacial vector data from ESRI, an acknowledged leader in the development of geographic information systems (GIS).
JReport 9 also brings something for Eclipse users. With this release, Jinfonet has delivered an Eclipse plug-in for the Report Designer component, allowing developers to design reports directly within the Eclipse IDE.
Last but not least, support for the JSR 168 standard in JReport 9 enables reports to be delivered as a standard portlet within a Web portal application. Support for JSR 168 paves the way for consumption of reports as dashboards, and furthers JReport’s participation within a service oriented architecture (SOA). APIs are available for this and other report consumption techniques, including as JavaBeans, Servlets, and Java Server Pages (JSPs).
Rockville, Maryland-based Jinfonet was founded in 1998, when it launched the first version of JReport. Since then, a number of large banks, manufacturers, governmental entities, and other companies, including some System i shops, have licensed the software. Jinfonet also courts third-party software developers, who embed JReport into their own products.
JReport 9 is available now. The software requires version 5 of the JDK. Pricing starts at $7,500 for a license to run the server component on a single-core server, and ranges up to $26,000 for an unlimited license. Customers must also purchase separate user licenses, unless they bought the unlimited license. For more information, visit Jinfonet’s Web site at www.jinfonet.com.
This article has been corrected. The purchase of additional user licenses is not required when a customer purchases an unlimited license of JReport for $26,000. IT Jungle regrets the error.