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Dynamic Report for Java and Grails

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DynamicJasper is an open source library that is based on Jasper Reports which has been around for several years and recently began integrating with Grails.  The core idea behind DynamicJasper is that it provides the ability to dynamically create reports and configure them at run time.  Some of the options that can be configured at run time include:

  • columns
  • groups
  • variables
  • functions
  • charts
  • sub-reports

The entire list of available features can be found on their website.   Juan Manuel Alvarez, team leader for DynamicJasper, told InfoQ that a plugin was created for Grails for several reasons,

  • It provides a convenient way to export data to known formats (pdf, xls, rtf, csv, html, etc.)
  • DynamicJasper's approach to reporting shares the same simplicity the way things are done in Grails, almost no configuration needed. You can makes reports directly from domain classes, the same way Grails gives you CRUD operation out of the box, we want to provide easy reporting.
  • In the near future, we dream of a default scaffold which includes reporting with DJ reducing significantly development time.
  • You can do dynamic reports straight from a URL

The plugin page provides a brief tutorial on how to get started, but there are plenty of tutorials and documentation available on the DynamicJasper site.

The DynamicJasper plugin works with Grails 1.0.3 and 1.0.4 and is actively being updated to work with the forthcoming release of Grails 1.1.  As for the future of DynamicJasper their goals are to make reporting as flexible and simple to use as possible.  The are also actively listenting to community feedback, via forums and issue tracking, and working on adding additional documentation and examples to ease the learning curve.

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