I’m a big fan of Google Analytics, I use it for all my personal websites to see what type of traffic I get. One of my colleagues who is also impressed with their reports wanted to know if you could make a Pentaho Report look as good as Google’s output. I quickly threw together the following report, to show that you can design just about anything in Pentaho Report Designer!
Here are my top 5 recommendations for folks when designing reports like this:
- Don’t be tempted to use the lines and rectangles. Instead, use padding and borders of bands and elements.
- Inline Subreports allow you to pretty much layout anything, use them!
- The message-field report element is very powerful, you can specify number and date formats as part of the message: $(field, date, MMM yyyy).
- Make sure to test rendering in the output formats that you care about. HTML renders as a set of tables, so you can’t have overlapping objects in your report.
- Take advantage of the “Paste Formatting” option, this allows you to copy colors, font sizes, etc, and will save you a lot of time.
And of course don’t forget to get a copy of Pentaho Reporting 3.5 for Java Developers :-). The book covers many topics, you can learn a lot about formula functions, chart options, shortcut keys, and much more.