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Pentaho Documentation

Getting Started with Embedding and Extending Reporting

The Pentaho Reporting engine is a small set of open source Java classes that enables programmers to retrieve information from a data source, format and process it according to specified parameters, then generate user-readable output. This guide provides guidance and instructions for using the Pentaho Reporting SDK to embed the Pentaho Reporting engine into a new or existing Java application. There are four sample applications in this guide, all of which are included in the SDK as .java files. Each adds one level of complexity or shows a different kind of output.

Audience: This document is strictly for Java software developers. You must be familiar with importing JARs into a project, and be comfortable reading inline comments in code to figure out advanced functionality on your own. Proficiency in connecting to data sources is a helpful skill for developing your own application around the Pentaho Reporting engine, but is not required to follow the examples.

You should read this guide in order, from this point all the way to the end of the second example. The remaining articles contain extra information about the Pentaho Reporting engine's capabilities, licensing details, further examples, and information on where to get help and support.

Getting the Pentaho Reporting SDK

You can download the latest Pentaho Reporting software development kit (SDK) from

The SDK is available as both a .tar.gz and a .zip archive; both contain the same files, but the .zip file format is more Windows-friendly, and .tar.gz is more Mac-, Linux-, and Unix-friendly.

Once downloaded, unpack the Pentaho Reporting SDK archive to a convenient and accessible location. If you use the Eclipse or IntelliJ IDEA development environments, this directory will also serve as your workspace.

In an effort to reduce the size of the SDK, the source code of its constituent libraries is not included. If you need to see the source to any of the software distributed with the Pentaho Reporting SDK, see Source Code Links for instructions.

Using the Included Eclipse Project

If you use the Eclipse or IntelliJ IDEA development environments, you can use the Eclipse project included with the Pentaho Reporting SDK to work directly with the example source code. Simply select the unpacked Pentaho Reporting SDK directory as your workspace.

You can also launch the and example applications directly from the file browser in Eclipse.