I had the good fortune to be invited to the Jaspersoft pre-release seminars in San Francisco. There I was in the company of a few other partners and at least 40 Jaspersoft employees from all different departments (and countries) around the company.
So what’s new? Jaspersoft Version 5. Although I’m fairly new to the product, I got a good idea of where it’s going, and most importantly what concepts are driving development. Here’s a brief recap of all that I saw.
There are four major improvements to the Jaspersoft Data Server that the developers are working on that comprise the version 5 to be released.
- Data Visualization
- Reporting & Analysis Features
- Administration Improvements
- Improved Templates for Rapid Development
The interactive viewer will handle basic conditional formatting as well as handling dynamic on-the-fly chart type changes. Cross-tab sorting will be supported. Relative data input controls will be a new feature especially useful for date calculations.
Jasper is making a commitment to expand its use of the XMLA standard. Immediately, that means it will natively understand MS OLAP cubes in V5. The intention is to ultimately capture Essbase data in future releases.
The powerful concept of Data Domains that is central to the Jaspersoft model is being expanded to handle and combine multiple data sources. This will enable a unified data path across the product technologies that shows great promise. As part of enabling Jaspersoft to handle the explosion of Big Data, vastly improved memory management techniques and tools have been integrated into V5.
Great news for serious Jasper developers is that the company has developed a plugin that enables an Eclipse-based iReport. They’re calling it Jaspersoft Studio.
We’re excited about the fact that Jaspersoft is improving their installations with support for silent install. Under the new Administration regime for V5 we will see:
- System Monitors
- Persistent Settings
- Single Sign-on
- PHP Wrappers
- New Platforms
- MSSQL 12
I can tell you that Jasper says that improving their Ad Hoc Reporting is a priority, but what really impressed me was their Admin vision.
Essentially, there is going to be versioning of objects in a universal metadata context. As a developer, you’ve seen it before. A customer has a slowly changing dimension problem. But most data items in business have an inherent slowly changing nature. Wouldn’t it be great not only to reload prior data, but the prior metadata as well? Jaspersoft is enabling their entire BI service to be a sort of time machine. They will version the objects in development and production deployment so that you can rewind not only the data, but the reports and middle tier configurations as of a particular moment in history.
Jaspersoft & Big Data
What is Big Data? From Jaspersoft’s perspective it is connecting with Hive, Hadoop, Cassandra, or MongoDB}. I happened to also catch the subsequent webinar covering how Jaspersoft regards the Big Data market and their approach to capturing their rightful share. There’s quite a lot to that and this blog post would get way too big if I covered all of that.
BigData connections by Jasper version:
- 4.5 Hive Connector
- 4.7 MongoDB
- 5.0 Nothing new
JMX is the Java Management Extension of the J2SE 5.0 release. Jaspersoft’s JMX agent allows Attribute, Operations, Notification, and enables remote management.
Comes from TEIID which is owed by JBoss / Red Hat. TEIID federates mixed modes of data to create ‘tables’. TEIID competes with UnityJDBC etc. It can allow you to join a text file and a table in simple schemas of reasonable size.
JRS Ad Hoc Performance Improvements
JRS now incorporates the following deep improvements. - Groovy 2.0 - Cache Improvements (migrated to EHCache (http://ehcache.org/)) - Calculated fields in SQL
- XMLA providers must be multi-tenant aware.
- Mondrian servlet works currently
HighCharts Custom Components in JasperReports
- Requires multi-axis data source
- nonAdHoc Reports
- Adhoc Reports
Jaspersoft Data Concept
Data adapters are the future, but Jasper won’t think of the following data types as something for different tools. They will build ‘ETL’ internal to the product as the way up the path of data to present to users. Data is data; there are just more restrictions as the data is processed up the chain. The Intelligent cache is a non-persistent, in memory columnar store.
Mobile SDK & App
Jasper 5 has split IOS and Android support into two separate SDKs.
JRS – Enterprise Ready Reporting
Jasper has built an OLAP schema on top of their already existing audit facility, so now you can ask the server what it has been doing.
Jasper’s version uses
- JMX Statistics
- Event Monitoring
- Diagnostic Utility
- Jasper Server log file analysis
Work was also done on Report Usability Tuning:
- Frequently run Reports
- By User
- Report Phase Reports
Report Phases are:
- SQL Execution
- Page Rendering
So as you can see, the folks at Jaspersoft have been very busy. You should call your rep and arrange for a demo. Tell ‘em Bowen sent you and that you want a Full360 cloud implementation and service contract. That way, you’ll get the best of all worlds, guaranteed.