Book Review: Pentaho Reporting 3.5 for Java Developers

I have two customers that if they had access to Will Gormans book, Pentaho Reporting 3.5 for Java Developers, they would not have needed me for their project! That’s how good the book is for those who need to embed Pentaho Reporting into their Java application.

The book is certainly geared towards Java developers, and specifically, developers you are trying to simply use the Pentaho reporting library. I’d venture to say that MOST customers should be using Pentaho; in this case, the book is useful as a reference, but the HOWTO past Chapter 3 would probably be lost on many users; except for Chapter 11 (see below).

However, for people trying to embed Pentaho reporting, WOW: THIS IS THE DEFINITIVE RESOURCE. Buy it, RIGHT NOW! The information it contains was locked in just a few peoples minds (Thomas, Bunch of People sitting at the “citadel” in Orlando aka Pentaho Employees, a handful of consultants). Will has unlocked it and I’m glad he did.

Will taught me something new in this book. In fact, I hope this is “new” in 3.5 which was release just a few weeks back. If it’s been around longer than I’m a total dolt. Chapter 11 covers how to add your own custom Expressions/Formulas to Pentaho (including the PRD).

At customer engagements, or when I put on my Pentaho hat and teach their public courses, or custom onsite training, I’m asked all the time: Can I make my own Reporting Functions and plug them into Pentaho Report Designer? Up until WIll showed me how to do it on page 281, I thought this was only possible for Pentaho (the company). Will gives us a step by step guide to add our own “DoMyCustomThing” to the Pentaho Report Designer. Customers can now create their own corporate expressions/functions they can leverage across hundreds of reports.

I’ll keep several copies on my shelf, and give it away to any current/future “embedded Pentaho Reporting” customers. Thanks Will for such a great book!

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Pentaho Reporting 3.5 for Java Developers

  1. Thomas Morgner

    Implementing your own functions was part of the reporting engine since we have introduced functions back in version 0.8.3 (and as version numbers dont tell much: 2003). In the old report-designer 3.0 (and older), getting your functions in was not very obvious, but possible by adding a “function.txt” file into your classpath.

    I’m no fan of building proprietary solutions, so having functions in the user space was the obvious solution, and one of the few things that was even documented in the wiki early on. But with the book, life has become easier, as now we can just point to the book and say: Read and you will be enlightened!

  2. asdasd

    paying for a book to find out how to use an open source product – couldnt this be more useful posting in the wiki.

    love it.

  3. Nicholas Goodman


    It wouldn’t necessarily be intrinsically more useful; it would simply be available to more. Everything in the world can’t be free. You are more than welcome to research, write the content, and post the content without compensation to the Pentaho Wiki. I’m sure that Will Gorman wouldn’t fault you for putting in your time and giving it away.

    I for one, think it’s worth every dollar. US, or Australian.


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