The main objective of any reporting tool is to produce high-quality documents. Report filling process helps reporting tool to achieve this by manipulating sets of data.
The main inputs required for the report-filling process are –
• Report Template: Its actual JasperReport file.
• Report Parameters : These are basically named values that are passed at the report filling time to the engine.
• Data Source: User can fill a Jasper file from a range of data sources like an SQL query, an XML file, a CSV file, an HQL (Hibernate Query Language) query, a collection of Java Beans, etc.
The output generated by this process is a .jrprint document which is ready to be viewed, printed, or exported to other formats. The facade class net.sf.jasperreports.engine.JasperFillManager is usually used for filling a report template with data. This class has various fillReportXXX() methods that fill report templates.
There are two categories of fillReportXXX() methods in the façade class –
• The first type receives a java.sql.Connection object as the third parameter. Most of the times, reports are filled with data from a relational database. This is achieved by –
- Connect to the database through JDBC.
- Include an SQL query inside the report template.
- JasperReports engine uses the connection passed in and executes the SQL query.
- A report data source is thus produced for filling the report.
• The second type receives a net.sf.jasperreports.engine.JRDataSource object, when the data that need to be filled is available in other forms.
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