Click here to close now.


Java IoT Authors: Tim Hinds, Pat Romanski, Brian Daleiden, Derek Weeks, Automic Blog

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
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context with p...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.