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Best way to create reports with FOP

 
Paul Duer
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Hello all,
I have been searching for a tool to allow me to use Apache FOP to create PDF reports on the fly from a website.
Basically what I can't find is a good report creation tool. I have seen some examples of XSL sheets that create some nice reports. But I want something would create reports with the precision of Oracle Reports or Crystal Reports on a page, but could use the FOP XSL:FO interface.
Any ideas?
 
Balaji Loganathan
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FOP can do what you want.
In can be integrated with servlets to create dynamic reports like in vb-crystal report.
Read the documentation and examples that comes with fop package.
The power of your reports depends on how well you can write XSLT.
Read fop docs.
 
Paul Duer
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Thanks for the response! I guess what I don't have is a good knowledge of XSLT too! It's like yeah I can layout columns and rows, and I know some font tags and stuff. But what about all the page layout and the breaking and all that?
Is FOP really suited to be a full scale report engine? Can it be expected to do complex pagination and headers and footers through XSLT alone?
OR is Oracle, Cyrstal, Business Objects still needed?
 
Lasse Koskela
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XSL-FO is not sufficient as a reporting engine. XSL-FO is perfect for rendering reports, though. The "reporting engine" is something you need to write, namely a combination of Java/SQL/XSL which produces the expected XML document conforming to the XSL-FO schema.
I wouldn't be surprised if Crystal Reports or the Oracle counterpart would actually use XSL-FO themselves to render their PDFs...
 
Sean Sullivan
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Open source: http://jasperreports.sourceforge.net/index.html
 
Sean Sullivan
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BTW, my company produces PDF documents using the iText library.
We have simple requirements and iText works quite well.
http://www.lowagie.com/iText/
iText is open source.
 
Balaji Loganathan
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I agree with Lasse..
Currenct apache fop release includes pagination, footer, index etc., You can also check the w3-xsl:fo complaince chart of apache fop in their site. Download fop package and check the examples, it has everything to start.
 
Shabbir Rahman
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FOP is a nice tool for reporting, I used it in my two vb project and one java project. As XSL is a rich programming language if data structure of XML is correct then I think every type of report can be generated by XSL-FO, SVG (Excel like, Graph ..). One problem FOP has, it doesn�t yet has support for all XSL-FO element. Instead of FOP I also used Antenna Formatter (not open source), good but less restrictive which causes portability problem.
 
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