Geoffrey Wiseman asks: "I'm considering my options for reporting functionality in a web application. Part of the problem stems from the fact that I'm not aware of a good solution for reporting on any web platform. It may well exist, but I haven't seen one yet. So let's start with the general questions first: I need the ability to build reports from data. The formatting has to be pretty solid, including the ability to make use of appropriate fonts and page breaks. Further, I'll likely need to do some batch reporting, so it has to be able to generate, say, a few hundred pages of reports, with formatting, in a reasonable time frame. That makes HTML and browser printing a little ... underpowered."
"It's not vital that the reports be printed from the client machine (as opposed to the servers), but that would be preferable, for flexibility. At the very least, the person initiating the reporting should be able to choose an appropriate network printer on the server's network, but ideally a client network printer would be better.
Of course it would be nice if the reports were relatively easy to build; I would prefer not to have to write a ton of source to gather and format data. I'd prefer not to have to write any, really. The kind of drag-and-drop report builders you get with something like Microsoft Access would be nice, although it's not a requirement.
First of all, what are the thoughts and solutions on this general problem space? What tools can I make use of to really do this kind of thing well in a web application space.
Secondly, considering that I'd prefer to make use of J2EE for the project, what are some of my options for integration with J2EE. It would be nice if the reporting software could integrate with the object model rather than the database, so that I could re-use business logic. Not necessarily critical, but definitely a nice-to-have feature."