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!