Always on the lookout for open source alternatives to pricey commercial offerings, we wondered if open source reporting tools could hold a candle to the established commercial products. For this review we selected the community/open source versions of three commonly used reporting tools, Eclipse BIRT, JasperReports and Pentaho. Our focus was on usability, data access, platform support, report creation and web publishing.
We found all three products to be very serviceable, even enterprise-grade when it came to designing reports. All three tools are cross-platform capable, which makes them suitable for most environments. The biggest difference was in the methodology used to published reports and the means by which end users access them.
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