Click here to close now.


Java IoT Authors: Victoria Livschitz, Stephen Baker, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Ed Featherston

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

Reporting Made Easy with JasperReports and Hibernate

JasperReports and Hibernate in Web applications

JasperReports is a valuable and viable reporting solution for Java Web applications. It simplifies report generation through the use of XML report templates that are then compiled using the JasperReports engine for use in reporting modules. These compiled report templates can be filled by data received from a variety of sources including relational databases. JasperReports can be integrated into Web applications and create reports in several file formats including PDF and XLS.

Reporting in Java Applications
Often reporting modules increase in complexity and size during the course of application development. Clients tend to demand more information from report modules when they become aware of the benefits reports offer. The reporting module developed as something of an afterthought in such environments suddenly becomes a much more integral part of the application. Reporting modules often seem to be tacked on to developed applications, rather than being considered and implemented during initial application development.

Recently while working on some applications that made extensive use of report extraction to XLS files using the Apache POI library, it became apparent that these report modules tied up lots of valuable development resources for extended periods of time. When the client requested PDF extraction, initial iText API research led me to discover JasperReports. JasperReports was to change our team approach to report development dramatically.

Prior to implementing JasperReports each report creation required the development of a custom report class using the Apache POI library. This approach expended valuable development time creating aspects of the report such as cell specific formats, styles, and population methods. JasperReports offered our team the ability to get back this valuable development time, while producing the same report because of its embedded use of the Apache POI library.

One of the benefits offered by the introduction of JasperReports is that a single report template implementation can produce reports in a number of formats. This means that templates created for XLS format extraction can also be used to produce PDF files and even CSV, HTML or XML.

How Can JasperReports Help Developers?
JasperReports gives developers the ability to create reports quickly and easily that can be extracted to numerous formats. Developers can also use the JasperReports engine to compile report templates at design or runtime - allowing dynamic report formats. Developers can also inject data into these reports from a number of data sources. Developer time no longer has to be spent creating custom report classes using the Apache POI or iText libraries for formatting and stylizing reports, allowing the code writers to focus on the data retrieval aspect of the report. As a result developers gain valuable flexibility and time savings using JasperReports in application development.

The XML report templates used by JasperReports provide the layout and presentation information required to format the resulting report as well as field, variable, and parameter references. Non-development staff can create these templates using a third-party GUI such as iReport with minimal developer collaboration, so developers don't have to involve themselves in the layout and presentation aspect of report generation.

JasperReports enables developers to concentrate their efforts on the parts of the reporting module where they are required, while relieving them of having to write custom report generation code. A developer's role in the report module can be reduced to template compilation, data source implementation, and actual report creation.

Creating and Compiling an XML Report Template
JasperReports requires a report design defining the layout, presentation, and data fields. This design can be built using the object, so developers can create report designs dynamically, or by creating a instance from an XML report template. Unless an application specifically requires a dynamic layout a compiled XML report template is the recommended method. This XML template is usually saved with a .jrxml file extension and compiled using the net.sf.jasperreports.engine.JasperCompileManager.

The JasperReports XML template includes elements for <title>, <pageHeader>, <columnHeader>, <pageFooter>, <columnFooter>, and the main data <detail> element. Each of these elements has a variety of sub-elements as can be seen in sampleReport.jrxml (see Listing 1).

You can download the code samples used in this article at As can be seen in sampleReport.jrxml some elements such as <band> and <reportElement> contain layout information, while others such as <textElement> and <font> contain presentation information. The XML templates also contain <parameter>, <field>, and <variable> elements used to include data in the report.

The <parameter> elements allow non-data source information to be passed into a report, such as a dynamic title; <field> elements are the only way to map report fields to the data source fields, while variables are values generated at runtime for use in the report. The complete Document Type Definition (DTD) for the JasperReports XML report template can be found in the JasperReports Ultimate Guide.

Compilation of the XML template can be done either at runtime or build time as part of an Ant build using the JasperReports Ant task.

Compiling the report at runtime entails loading the report into a JasperDesign object and using the created instance as the parameter to the JasperCompileManager.compileReport(JasperDesign design) method, which returns a JasperReport instance. Alternatively the XML template can be passed into the JasperCompileManager.compileToFileReport(String sourceFileName, which creates a compiled report file (.jasper) available throughout the application.

Compiling the report at build time using the JasperReports Ant task requires the addition of the task definition to the build.xml file and a target making use of this task as seen in Listing 2, which is an extract from the source code build.xml. Using the Ant task results in the creation of a compiled (.jasper) file in the destdir task and offers the opportunity to save the Java source file by passing the keepjava attribute of the target a true value. A more thorough example of how to use the Ant task is included in the sample applications provided in the JasperReports download bundle.

Using Data Sources to Fill JasperReports
Most reports use a database as the data source, but JasperReports can use any available data source. These data sources are passed to a net.sf.jasperreports.engine.JasperFillManager fillReportXXX() method. Two types of data source are provided for by these methods - net.sf.jasperreports.engine.JRDataSource and java.sql.Connection. The source code for this article contains examples of both a static data source that extends the JRDataSource and a JDBC connection data source implementation.

The StaticDataSource class implementation provided implements the net.sf.jasperreports.engine.JRDataSource interface enabling it to fill the report data by calling the JasperFillManager.fillReport(JaperReport report, Map parameters, JRDataSource dataSource) method. The two required methods getFieldValue(JRField jrField) and next() of the JRDataSource interface present in StaticDataSource handle the data passing from the data source into the JasperReport. The data source used by StaticDataSource is a static simple two-dimensional array of bowlers containing their names and scores over three games (see Listing 3). When the fillReport() method containing this data source is processed and a detail section is encountered in the report a call will be made to the next() method. The implementation of this method in StaticDataSource (see Listing 4) returns true if there's another element in the data array, or false if there is no more data. If this method returns true then field elements encountered in the detail section will result in a call to the getFieldValue(JRField jrField) method in StaticDataSource. The implementation of this method in StaticDataSource (see Listing 5) returns the value of the mapped data field name for the current index of the data array. When the end of the detail section is encountered, the next() method is called again and the process repeats until the next() method returns false.

The JDBCDataSourceExample (see Listing 6) implements a fillReport() method that accepts a java.sql.Connection parameter. Through the addition of a <queryString> element into the XML report template (jdbcSampleReport.jrxml) this fillReport() method enables data to be extracted from a relational database. The <queryString> element returns the data fields for use in the report data mapping. In this case the query simply returns all records in the sample_data table. A java.sql.ResultSet can be used instead of implementing the <queryString> element in the report template, allowing dynamic query implementation.

Using Hibernate with JasperReports
Hibernate is one of the most popular ORM tools in use at the moment. Using Hibernate as a data source for JasperReports can be very simple when a collection of objects is returned from a Hibernate query, but when a tuple of objects is returned then a custom JRDataSource implementation is required.

When a Hibernate query returns a collection of objects, a can be used to map the Hibernate POJO instance fields to the report fields. All that's required for this simple solution is to use the JRBeanCollectionDataSource(java.util.Collection beanCollection) constructor, passing it the Hibernate Query result set as implemented in SimpleHibernateExample (see Listing 7). In this example the simple Hibernate query used (session.createQuery("from SampleData").list()) is equivalent to that found in the JDBCDataSourceExample. JRBeanCollectionDataSource implements JRDataSource like StaticDataSource but its getFieldValue(JRField jrField) method implementation maps the report template field names to the query result bean properties.

When a Hibernate query returns a tuple of objects it's necessary to write a custom implementation of the JRDataSource similar to HibernateDataSource (see Listing 8). The implementation of the required next() method in this class returns true if there is another list item in the Hibernate query result set, while putting the current list item in a currentValue holder for use in the getFieldValue(JRField jrField) method. The getFieldValue() method implementation gets the field index in the currentValue object via a call to the getFieldIndex(String field) method. This method iterates through the mapped field names passed to the HibernateDataSource constructor until it finds the field name it was passed and then returns the index of this field in the currentValue information. The getFieldValue() method then returns the value at this index in the currentValue result object.

More Stories By Peter Sellars

Peter Sellars is the lead devloper at Netbyte Internet Ltd
( in Auckland, New Zealand. His main interests are project
automation and application architecture. He aims to simplify developer jobs by
implementing tools that enable them to utilise their time better. He
enjoys playing soccer and tenpin bowling.

Comments (8) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Most Recent Comments
Abhilash.T.G 10/01/07 10:40:22 AM EDT

Very informative at the same time simple presentation.

Rob K 02/27/06 09:00:51 PM EST

ant build runs (compiles) the reports, looks like directory tree good from build, but doesn't create a .war file?

anyone offer assistance?

also, anyone figure out how to run this under ireport 1.1 and hibernate v3?


Rob K 02/27/06 01:26:22 PM EST

seems to be very 'glossed' over in terms of what versions of the products are used or setup...

1. like why is this hibernate v2 and not v3?
2. what versions of jasper & ireport are being used?
3. how is a datasource configured for hibernate via ireport?

too much missing that's beyond the code (but would love to hear the 'rest of the story')


Yvonne Gevers 02/27/06 05:23:32 AM EST


If I want to put the result of the example into a jsp page, but I don't know how to do this. Can you give me an example of this?

Thank you.


James Nixon 02/20/06 03:39:19 PM EST

I found the source by following the "See Listing 1" link on the first page.

Jose Gulisano 02/10/06 12:57:45 PM EST

Any news on source code? I t would really help given the well written article.


Ashutosh Mittal 02/09/06 12:06:51 PM EST

Where to download the source code for this excellent article?

news desk 01/25/06 09:52:50 PM EST

JasperReports is a valuable and viable reporting solution for Java Web applications. It simplifies report generation through the use of XML report templates that are then compiled using the JasperReports engine for use in reporting modules. These compiled report templates can be filled by data received from a variety of sources including relational databases. JasperReports can be integrated into Web applications and create reports in several file formats including PDF and XLS.

@ThingsExpo Stories
As enterprises capture more and more data of all types – structured, semi-structured, and unstructured – data discovery requirements for business intelligence (BI), Big Data, and predictive analytics initiatives grow more complex. A company’s ability to become data-driven and compete on analytics depends on the speed with which it can provision their analytics applications with all relevant information. The task of finding data has traditionally resided with IT, but now organizations increasingly turn towards data source discovery tools to find the right data, in context, for business users, d...
“The Internet of Things transforms the way organizations leverage machine data and gain insights from it,” noted Splunk’s CTO Snehal Antani, as Splunk announced accelerated momentum in Industrial Data and the IoT. The trend is driven by Splunk’s continued investment in its products and partner ecosystem as well as the creativity of customers and the flexibility to deploy Splunk IoT solutions as software, cloud services or in a hybrid environment. Customers are using Splunk® solutions to collect and correlate data from control systems, sensors, mobile devices and IT systems for a variety of Ind...
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud without worrying about any lock-in fears. In fact by having standard APIs for IaaS would help PaaS expl...
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated and cloud solutions through hybrid hosting – a sustainable solution for the data required to manage I...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless Thingies, will discuss and demonstrate how devices and humans can be integrated from a simple clust...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk will be on IBM Cloudant, Apa...
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 150 developers, designers, quality assurance engineers, project manage...
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, focusing on how to help solve the problems that developers are continuously battling.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Raxak has been named “Media & Session Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Raxak Protect automates security compliance across private and public clouds. Using the SaaS tool or managed service, developers can deploy cloud apps quickly, cost-effectively, and without error.
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, will discuss the impact of technology on identity. Should we federate, or not? How should identity be secured? Who owns the identity? How is identity ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgeniakhela will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgeniakhela is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional Social, Mobile and Cloud user experiences, our solutions help large and medium-sized organizations dramatically improve productivity, reduce collaboration costs, and increase the overall enterprise value by bringing ...
Sensors and effectors of IoT are solving problems in new ways, but small businesses have been slow to join the quantified world. They’ll need information from IoT using applications as varied as the businesses themselves. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Meike, Distinguished Engineer, Director of Technology Innovation at Intuit, will show how IoT manufacturers can use open standards, public APIs and custom apps to enable the Quantified Small Business. He will use a Raspberry Pi to connect sensors to web services, and cloud integration to connect accounting and data, providing a Bluetooth...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
Nowadays, a large number of sensors and devices are connected to the network. Leading-edge IoT technologies integrate various types of sensor data to create a new value for several business decision scenarios. The transparent cloud is a model of a new IoT emergence service platform. Many service providers store and access various types of sensor data in order to create and find out new business values by integrating such data.