Book Review: Pentaho 5.0 Reporting by Example: Beginner’s Guide

Hello friends today I am going to review Pentaho 5.0 Reporting by Example: Beginner’s Guide  book:

Pentaho5_Libro cover

Below you can check the link to purchase it:

Book review by: David Fombella Pombal (twitter: @pentaho_fan)

Book Title: Pentaho 5.0 Reporting by Example: Beginner’s Guide

Authors: Mariano García Mattío, Dario R. Bernabeu

Paperback: 329 pages

I like this book because if you are a noob in Pentaho Reporting you will gain a lot of knowledge of this excellent tool, besides if you are advanced with PRD you can use it as reference book.

The best of this book is that uses Pentaho 5 recent released version and shows how to publish and interacting with reports created with Report Designer 5 into the new Business Analytics server.

You should read this book because you will learn all details of this awesome tool. Maybe you have created reports using PRD but after reading this book you will improve your reporting skills.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Pentaho 5

Chapter List

Chapter 1 – What is Pentaho Report Designer?
In this chapter it is explained what is Pentaho Report Designer and some examples of typical reports are listed: Transactional Reporting, Tactical Reporting, Strategic Reporting, and Helper Reporting. Besides it is interesting to learn about the different versions of PRD along history.

Chapter 2 – Installation and Configuration
This chapters shows us how to download, install, and configure Pentaho Reporting Designer new version 5.0. Maybe it is not funny but this chapter is useful for beginners.

Chapter 3 – Start PRD and the User Interface (UI) Layout
In this chapter you will learn how to start PRD in different operating systems. Different areas of its UI are displayed too.


Chapter 4 – Instant Gratification – Creating Your First Report with PRD
Explains how to create an initial report, how to define its data sets and how to configure the report’s sections, how to add and set insertable objects and functions, and how to preview and export your report in all available formats suchs as CSV, PDF, HTML, Excel/Excel 2007. This topic is excellent to introduce non technical users to all visualization capabilities that Pentaho Report Designer includes.

Chapter 5 – Adding a Relational Data Source
Here we will create a copy of the report created in the previous chapter and modify it so that it takes its data from a relational source. We will explain what JDBC is, what a JDBC driver is, and how it is used. Using a JDBC driver you can connect to all available database systems: MySQL, Postgres, Oracle, Infobright, Vertica, Monet, Hadoop, SQL Server, PALO, Hypersonic, CouchDB…

Datasources Pentaho5

Chapter 6 – Adding Groups
In this chapter, we will use the report we created in the previous chapter and configure it to work with groups. The information included in this chapter allows us creating reports with partial group calculations and subtotals.

Chapter 7 – Adding Parameters
This chapter will be dedicated to parameters. Through the use of parameters, the final user will be able to interact with the report. A parameter is usually represented through a user interface component, which allows the selection or input of values. Pentaho Report Designer eases the task of parameter creation by providing us a simple and intuitive interface such as : Dropdowns, MultiValue Lists, Date Pickers, Text search components…

Parameters pentaho5

Chapter 8 – Using Formulas in Our Reports
In this chapter, we will talk about formulas (PRD uses OpenFormula ). We will explain how to create them and use them. As in previous chapters, we will use a practical example to guide us as we explain how to work with formulas, creating general-use formulas that we can use as an object and specific-use formulas that we can apply to our objects’ styles and attributes. By the end of the practical example, we will see how the combination of formulas and parameters opens up new horizons for the creation and personalization of reports and allows us great flexibility in design.

Chapter 9 – Adding Charts
This part of the book is dedicated to charts. We will talk about chart functions, good and bad practices of using charts, and how to create and configure our own chartsamong other topics. Report designer uses JFreeChart to create charts. By explaining each type of chart (Bar chart, Line chart, Pie chart, Area chart, Barline chart, Ring chart, Bubble chart, Scatter-plot chart, XY chart, XY line chart, XY area chart, Waterfall chart, Radar chart, XY area line chart) , we will be able to understand which chart to use for a particular need, and how to configure the chart so that its look and feel is what we want. We will also see how charts allow us to show data from different perspectives and add value to our reports.

Radar chart

Chapter 10 – Adding Subreports
This chapter is dedicated to Subreports. We will see what Subreports are and how they work and learn about their specific features. We will also talk about the relation that exists between the main Report and its Subreports. We will be able to add information to our Reports in the form of tables, charts, and so on, whether this information is connected to our data set or not. This gives us an idea of the potential that Subreports provide.

Chapter 11 – Publishing and Running Reports in Pentaho BA Server
In this chapter we talk about Pentaho, the fastest growing, most popular, and most heavily invested in Open Source Business Intelligence (OSBI) suite in recent years. We analyze its principal characteristics and the principal projects included in the suite. With Pentaho Business Analytics Business Analytics Server, we have full BI analytic power at our fingertips through a GNU General Public License (GPL). We will see how Pentaho Report Designer (PRD) and Pentaho BA Server interact, and how we can use them to run our reports from Pentaho User Console (PUC). At the end of this chapter, we will have Pentaho BA Server running and will be able to access our reports from a web browser. Pentaho can run on any compatible application servers with JEE architectures such as JBOSS, Tomcat, WebSphere, WebLogic, Oracle AS…

Chapter 12 – Making a Difference – Reports with Hyperlinks and Sparklines
In this chapter we will see how to create and configure Hyperlinks. Hyperlinks give us great flexibility in designing our reports, as they let us drill down. Using Hyperlinks, we can create a network of reports and also re-use reports. Here we will also see a very interesting object that we can add to our reports, which will present specific information graphically: the sparkline.


Chapter 13 –  Environment Variables, Stylesheets, and Crosstabs
This chapter is dedicated to environment variables, stylesheets, and crosstabs. We will treat each of them in detail, defining what they are about and how to implement them in Pentaho Report Designer (PRD). Using Environment Variables allows us to interact with the BA Server that is executing our reports. That is, we can obtain the username of the user who is currently logged in and his or her roles, among other information. With Style Sheets, we can configure our report so that its look and feel varies according to certain CSS Rules. These CSS Rules are easy to configure, save, and import. Finally, we will take a look at one of PRD’s new jewels, Crosstabs. Using Crosstabs, we can show OLAP-style analytic information in our reports.

Chapter 14 – PRD Reports Embedded in Web Applications
This chapter attempts at taking not only one step forward with PRD, but many. Once this chapter is finished and the concepts presented here are understood, we will be able to create a web portal that allows users to access PRD reports, send parameters to them, and select the final presentation format. We will also be able to perform every configuration needed to have the portal working as well as have it packaged so that we can transport it and deploy it in a different environment with little modification.