Over the last few weeks, in occasional spare moments, I have added report generation to Online Glom. It kind of works now, using the regular report definitions from the existing .glom files, and generating reports that look much like the reports in the desktop Glom version. I deployed this at onlineglom.openismus.com/OnlineGlom/ .
I used JasperReports for this, writing some code to map Glom’s report structure to the JasperReports structure. I chose JasperReports mostly based on its popularity. There are various tools and libraries that use it and the JasperSoft company seems to be very successful by supporting it.
However, I will probably replace JasperReports with some custom code instead, because:
- The JasperReports API is almost completely undocumented. I figured out what to do only by looking at various snippets of code from random places. The project seems to focus on the use of visual tools to build report designs, rather than the use of a generic API by such tools.
- JasperReports demands absolute positioning, with no automatic layout, and that will never make sense for HTML.
I will try the DynamicJasper wrapper/helper before abandoning JasperReports, but I don’t see how it can avoid the fundamental problem of absolute positioning.