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 Manual for iReport >= 0.2.0 (pure java version of iReport)

1 General Information about iReport

This is the iReport reference manual; it documents iReport version 0.3.1. As iReport is work in progress, the manual gets updated frequently (if I have sufficent time). So there is a very good chance that this version is out of date, unless you are looking at it on-line. The most recent version of this manual is available at http://ireport.sourceforge.net/docs.html in many different formats.

iReport is a powerful, intuitive and easy to use visual report designer/builder for JasperReports.
iReport is free software. It is licensed with the GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE http://www.gnu.org/.
If you want purchase a LGPL style licence for iReport, you can contact me at gt(@)businesslogic.it.

IMPORTANT: Reports of bugs, as well as questions and comments should be sent to iReport forums at http://sourceforge.net/forum/?group_id=64348

1.1 What is iReport

iReport is a program that helps users and developers that use JasperReports library to visually design reports.
Throught a rich and very simple to use GUI, iReport provide all the most importatnt functions to create nice reports in a little time.
iReport can help people that don't know JasperReports library to create complex reports and learn the XML syntax taking a look to the generated code.
iReport can help skilled report designer to compose very complex page saving a lot of time.
iReport is written in java. From the version 0.2.0 it was totally rewrited. For this reason they are two manuals for iReport. The new development direction was taken for a lot of reasons. iReport has lost a bit of efficence leaving the win32 native GUI for a clear, pure swing interface. But this is the right direction...

1.2 Short history of iReport

iReport is a visual designer for JasperReports. But What's JasperReports? JasperReports is the best (IMHO) open source reporting engine available for java community. It is developed by a small big genius called Teodor Danciu. JasperReports has always had one lack: it don't provide an adapted tool to visually desing reports. JasperReports has hundred of features, possibilities of use are infinitely... a person that does not have much confidence with the XML could have some problems to take fully advantage from the jasperreports library .
So in little time are borned some tools to fill the design hole... in order: Designer for Jasper by Jackie Manning and JasperEdit and Jeez by Erik Swenson, the first an editor capable to preview JasperReports XML and the second an Eclipse plugin.
In the same period, I was trying DataVision, a tool by Jim Menard. So my idea was join the powerful of Jasperreports with the philosophy adopted by DataVision. I solved the problem of a slow java interface using... VisualJ++. The result was one of the best visual designer for JasperReports. After six months, I posted a message on JasperReports forum about the idea to develop a pure java version of iReport. The enthusiasm was such that the same day I began the porting... iReport for java is now a reality.

1.3 Books about JasperReports

The mission of this manual is to introduce you in the world of JasperReports. However I suggest you to buy for few dollars the JasperReports Ultimate Guide, a fundamental manual to write jasperreports XML code (via iReport or directly to hand). You can find JasperReports Ultimate Guide at http://jasperreports.sourceforge.net/more.docs.html.

1.4 The main features of iReport

The following list describes some of the important characteristics of iReport:
  • 98% of JasperReports tags supported
  • Visual designer wysiwyg with tools for draw rectangles, lines, ellipses, textfields fields, charts, subreports...
  • Builtin editor with syntax heighlighting for write expression
  • Support for unicode and non latin language (russian, chinese, korean,...)
  • Document structure browser
  • Integrated compiler and exporter
  • Support of all JDBC compliant databases
  • Support of all kind of JRDataSource
  • Wizard to create automagically reports
  • Support for subreports
  • Save backup
  • Support for templates
  • Facilities for fonts
1.5 Useful JasperReports and iReport related links

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(c) 2002 by Giulio Toffoli <gt78 at businesslogic.it>