Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Intelligence Inside: Jaspersoft 5

For more than three years, Jaspersoft has envisioned the capabilities we’ve just announced in our v5 platform. Because we’ve always intentionally constrained ourselves by exclusively delivering client (end-user) reporting and analysis functionality inside the web browser, our quest for v5 took longer than we would have wanted. But, we believe that the strengths and advantages of maintaining our simple, pure, web-server-based approach to advanced business intelligence is superior to relying on desktop-specific code or even browser plug-ins, which must be installed and maintained on every computer, preventing the scale and cost advantages Jaspersoft can offer.

So the interface techniques and features we deliver are constrained based on key web client technologies, especially HTML. The trade-offs we’ve lived with in the past, though, are now essentially eliminated, as a new generation of HTML5 ushers in the consistent, advanced visualization and interaction we’ve long-wanted, while allowing us to maintain our pure web-based client delivery model. Satisfaction. Jaspersoft 5 is more than a new pretty face. We have delivered a completely new HTML5 visualization engine that allows a new-level of rich graphics and interaction, but we’re also providing a host of new and more advanced back-end services that make Jaspersoft 5 more surely the intelligence inside apps and business processes. In total, Jaspersoft 5 includes six major new features.

1. Data Exploration 
To enable everyone to become a more capable analyst, the Jaspersoft 5 platform includes stunning HTML5 charts, a new dimensional zoom tool (for exploring data at more or less levels of detail), and the ability to simply change or customize charts and tables to suit a particular type of thought or analysis.

2. Data Virtualization 
Some reporting and analysis applications are best delivered without moving or aggregating data. Instead, the query engine should virtualize those data views and enable reports, dashboards and analytic views to include data from all necessary sources. Jaspersoft 5 includes an advanced data virtualization engine so that building advanced analysis using practically any data source is straightforward, including Big Data sources.

3. Columnar In-Memory Engine 
The JasperReports server has supported in-memory operations for several years. Jaspersoft 5 takes this to a new level with improved performance, features, and now with support for up to a full Terabyte of in-memory data. This means that billions of rows of data can be explored at memory speeds with our new Server.

4. Enhanced Analytics 
To give the power user analyst another reason to use Jaspersoft, we’re now including greater analytic performance, new analytic features (e.g., conditional formatting, relative date filtering, and cross-tab sorting), consistently rich visualization (see #1 above) and broadened access to multi-dimensional data sources. By supporting the latest XML/A standard, we gain certified access to Microsoft SQL Analysis Services (MSAS) data sources in addition to the traditional Mondrian. More power and greater choice equals greater usage.

5. Improved Administration and Monitoring 
To make the lives easier of those who administer and manage a JasperReports Server, we’re now using our own tool to make our Server smarter and simpler. We’ve designed a set of best-practice, interactive reports that display system health and report on the most important elements of usage. Then, we streamlined the installation and upgrade process, so that getting started and staying up-to-date has never been easier. Together, these improvements are good for our customers and our technical team who supports them.

6. PHP Support 
Scripting tools are now the most popular for web application development. The PHP community needs more advanced reporting and analysis tools to make their applications more data-driven. By extending the JasperReports Server API to now include PHP support (via RESTful web service wrappers), we’ve taken an important first step toward supporting this fast-growing world beyond Java. Welcome to Jaspersoft.

Jaspersoft 5 is poised to deliver self-service BI to help many more users answer their own questions, not just because of the beautiful new HTML5 graphing and interaction engine, but because it is designed to be highly embeddable (into apps and business processes) and, maybe most importantly, because it scales so powerfully and affordably. Putting reporting and analytics into the hands of far more users requires this fundamental reset of the BI formula. This is Jaspersoft 5.

I invite you to learn more about Jaspersoft 5 here. And, I look forward to your comments and questions. 

Brian Gentile 
Chief Executive Officer 


  1. Is there a book or online documentation about Dashboards and Ad Hoc Views? I want to read up on features it may have that I don't know about.

  2. Thanks for your question. You can download all of Jaspersoft's professional documentation (at no charge) from our Community web site at community.jaspersoft.com.

    The book/document you'll want to locate and download is called 'The Ultimate Guide to JasperReports Server'. I hope this helps.