A few weeks ago, Pentaho released the new version of its products (both CE and commercial). The latest version, currently 5.0, is accompanied by the latest developer tools. As it is usual, each new major release means new features. For example, the new version focus on better user interface and support for Big Data.
We have a new version of Pentaho Reporting as well. This tool helps to create professional reports with graphics, formulas, subreports, and so on.
If you want to master this tool you have several options: (1) mastering the tool yourself by trial and error (and / or searching information in forums), (2) training (through a certified partner or not) or (3) using a book.
That brings me to the topic I want to speak about in this post. Packt Publishing has given me the opportunity to review the new book for Pentaho Reporting which name is “Pentaho Reporting 5.0 by Example Beginner’s Guide”. This books provides a detailed overview of using Pentaho Report Designer by examples.
The book starts with the usual suspects: What is Pentaho Reporting and Pentaho Reporting Designer (PRD), which are the main components of PRD and the evolution of Pentaho Reporting since 2002. Nothing additional for a the daily Pentaho developer, but it is still interesting for a newcomer.
Why this book may be still interesting for you? If you are a Pentaho developer the initial chapters are not new. Chapter 2 is about the installation of PRD, Chapter 3 is about the user interface and Chapter 4 is about your first report. So probably you are going to skip them.
The interesting part starts with Chapter 5. Even if you are a regular developer, it is easy to forget some features or the proper way to do things. Following a step by step description process, the book provides numerous examples and helps to increase your skills. Among the topics, it is worth to highlight: how to connect to a database, how to create formulas, how to add a new JDBC driver, how to add a group, how to add parameters, how to add charts, how to add subreports, how to publish your reports to pentaho server,…
This is: The main things that a reporting developer should know and master to start working with Pentaho Reporting Designer.
It’s nice to say that is one of the earliest books about the newest version of Pentaho. And that means that the chapter that references to Pentaho Server (Chapter 11) is including the screenshots with the new interface.
What if I am a beginner developer: This is your book. No brainier.
What if you are an expert developer. It may be a nice addition to your library if you don’t have any book, but probably you already know almost everything that is explained (even hyperlinks, sparklines, stylesheets and crosstabs). So, just remember what the title says: it’s for beginners.