Saturday, January 21, 2012

Comparison of resource sharing features in open source reporting

Comparison of resource sharing features in open source reporting tools

In large scale reporting projects sharing resources is key for efficiency. This article tries to compare the three most popular open source tools to understand to which extend their feature set supports the various resource files that are likely to be shared.

As an example: Maintain style definitions in a centralized global file. Instead of having to change a particular style in all the reports, this can simple be done in one global file. The clear advantages are: (1) It saves a lot of time and (2) consistency: every style is defined the same way for all reports and it is not as error prone as changing the style in every report.

Apart from styles there are several other report properties which can be maintained in global external files to achieve a similar effect.


  1. Hi Diethard,

    Nice comparison. Just a little correction for Pentaho Report Designer. PRD allows internationalization of data. If you use the resource-field the data will be matched and translated.


    1. Hi Ingo,
      Many thanks! Can you please point me to a Pentaho Wiki entry or any other tutorial? I was trying to find the feature there when doing this analysis. I did a search now again and found in the PRD for Java Devs book a function which can achieve this possibly. Is this what you used? Is there a way to define this through the GUI as well?

    2. I couldn't find a tutorial or current Wiki page, just on old one:

      In the newer versions, 3.5 and onwoards, you need to import the properties files, eg. and or make them available in the classpath.

      Then in the resource-field you set the following attributes:

      field = the field with the i18n-keys
      resource-identifier = the name of the properties file group, in this case translation

      and that's it.

    3. Thanks a lot Ingo! Works excellently. Time to update my matrix then ;)

    4. I couldn't find any info about localizing chart labels and parameter prompt text for PRD. Do you have an idea if this is possible as well?

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  3. Hi Diether,

    If you have a chance & while you're evaluating BIRT and JasperReports, try to make them read from Kettle using our JDBC driver.

    Looking forward to the feedback.



    1. Hi Matt,
      Sounds like a good idea! I'll drop you an email.
      Best regards,