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Pentaho Reporting

Pentaho Reporting is Java class library for generating reports. It provides flexible reporting and printing functionality using data from multiple sources and supports output to display devices, printers, PDF, Excel, XHTML, PlainText, XML and CSV files.

The Pentaho Report Designer provides a graphical editor for report definitions and can also be used as standalone desktop reporting tool.

The library is optimized for performance and a small memory footprint and can run completely in memory without generating temporary files or requiring extra compilation steps. Pentaho Reporting gives the user a great degree of flexibility while designing reports.

This software is free and opensource software available under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) Version 2.1.

For an up to date list of changes in the releases of Pentaho Reporting, please visit the JIRA system at There you will find all releases along with the issues fixed for each release.

Pre-requisites for building the project:

  • Maven, version 3+
  • Java JDK 11
  • This settings.xml in your /.m2 directory

Building it

Build for nightly/release

All required profiles for the "with-osgi" or standard build are activated by the presence of a property named "release".

$ mvn clean install -Drelease

This will build, unit test, and package the whole project (all of the sub-modules). The artifact will be generated in: assemblies/prd-ce/target

Build witn no-osgi

All required profiles for the smaller "no-osgi" build are activated by the presence of two properties named "no-osgi" and "release".

$ mvn clean install -Dno-osgi -Drelease

This will build, unit test, and package the whole project (all of the sub-modules). The artifact will be generated in: assemblies/prd-ce/target

Build for CI/dev

The release builds will compile the source for production (meaning potential obfuscation and/or uglification). To build without that happening, just eliminate the release property.

$ mvn clean install

Running the tests

Unit tests

This will run all unit tests in the project (and sub-modules). To run integration tests as well, see Integration Tests below.

$ mvn test

If you want to remote debug a single java unit test (default port is 5005):

$ cd core
$ mvn test -Dtest=<<YourTest>> -Dmaven.surefire.debug

Integration tests In addition to the unit tests, there are integration tests in the core project.

$ mvn verify -DrunITs

To run a single integration test:

$ mvn verify -DrunITs -Dit.test=<<YourIT>>

To run a single integration test in debug mode (for remote debugging in an IDE) on the default port of 5005:

$ mvn verify -DrunITs -Dit.test=<<YourIT>> -Dmaven.failsafe.debug

Performance and "Golden" tests

If you feel paranoid you can also run performance tests. Expect to wait an hour while all tests run.

$ mvn test -Dtest.long=true -Dtest.performance=true

If you get OutOfMemoryErrors pointing to a JUnitTask, or if you get OutOfMemory “PermGen Space” errors, increase the memory of your Ant process to 1024m by setting the MAVEN_OPTS environment variable:

$ export MAVEN_OPTS="-Xmx1024m"


  • Don't use IntelliJ's built-in maven. Make it use the same one you use from the commandline.
    • Project Preferences -> Build, Execution, Deployment -> Build Tools -> Maven ==> Maven home directory

Available Distributions

Pentaho Reporting is a modular system and depending on the feature set you use, you may need a different set of applications or libraries.

Web-Based Reporting

If you intend to make reports available over the internet, we recommend to use the Pentaho BI-Server/BI-Platform to host your reports. The Pentaho BI-Platform is a J2EE-Web-Application that provides all services to run and manage reports in a Web-2.0 environment.

Standalone Reporting

The Pentaho Report-Designer can be used as a desktop reporting environment. The designer allows you to create and run reports manually and to create all supported document types (PDF, HTML, Text, RTF, Excel and CSV-files).

Embedded Reporting

The Pentaho Reporting Engine consists of a set of base libraries, the reporting engine core and several extension modules, which provide additional datasources as well as charting and barcode capabilities.

The Pentaho Reporting Engine ships with a Swing Print Preview dialog, which can be easily embedded into an existing Java/Swing application. The dialog offers access to all supported export file formats.

We created a SDK with four simple code examples and documents that walk you through the code to get you started more easily.

System Requirements

Pentaho Reporting requires a minimum of 192MB of allocated heap-space to process reports. Reports with more than 400 pages or about 50.000 rows of data may require additional memory and/or adjustments to the global configuration parameters of the reporting engine.

The Pentaho Reporting Engine requires Java 11 or higher. The Pentaho Report Designer and Pentaho Report Design Wizard also need at least Java 11 or higher.

Pentaho Reporting requires a Java Runtime environment that is fully
compatible to the Java Platform Specification 8.0 (JSR-337). It will
not run with the GNU GCJ suite of tools.


A. Windows

Download the ZIP distribution.

The Pentaho Report Designer can be extracted into any directory. We recommend that you place the report-designer into "C:\Program Files\report-designer" (or an equivalent) directory.

Start the application by executing (or double-clicking) either the "report-designer.bat" file or the launcher.jar file.

B. Linux/Solaris/Unix

Download either the ZIP or the TAR.GZ distribution.

The Pentaho Report Designer can be extracted into any directory. We recommend that you place the report-designer into "/opt/report-designer" (or an equivalent) directory.

Start the application by executing either

 cd /opt/report-designer


 java -jar /opt/report-designer/launcher.jar

C. MacOS

Download either the ZIP or the TAR.GZ distribution.

The Pentaho Report Designer can be extracted into any directory.

Start the application by double clicking on the

 report-designer.command file


 executing './' in a terminal window


The Javadoc HTML pages for the latest release of Pentaho Reporting are available at

You can also regenerate the Javadocs directly from the source code. There is a task "javadoc" in the Ant script (see below) that makes this relatively simple.

The reporting engine and thus most of the features of the report designer are well documented in Will Gorman's excellent book "Pentaho Reporting 3.5 for Java Developers".

Technical articles and general documentation can be found in our Wiki.

If you intend to embed Pentaho Reporting in your own applications, the SDK contains a thorough step-by-step guide to the enclosed examples.

Code organization

Our code is split into three groups of modules.

  • “/libraries” contains all shared libraries and code that provides infrastructure that is not necessarily reporting related.
  • “/engine” contains the runtime code for Pentaho Reporting. If you want to embed our reporting engine into your own Swing application or whether you want to deploy it as part of a J2EE application, this contains all your ever need.
  • “/designer” contains our design-time tools, like the report-designer and the report-design-wizard. It also contains all data source UIs that are used in both the Report Designer and Pentaho Report Wizard.

At Pentaho we use Scrum as our development process. We end up working on a set of features for about 3 weeks, called a Sprint. All work for that Sprint goes into a feature branch (sprint_XXX-4.0.0GA) and gets merged with the master at the end of the sprint.

If you want to keep an eye on our work while we are sprinting, check out the sprint branches. If you prefer is more stable, and are happy with updates every three weeks, stick to the master-branch.

Reporting Bugs

Free support is available via the Pentaho Reporting forum.

Please note that questions are answered by volunteers, so there is no guaranteed response time or level of service.

Please avoid e-mailing the developers directly for support questions. If you post a message in the forum, then everyone can see the question, and everyone can see the answer.

If you found a bug, please either discuss it in the forum or report it in our JIRA system. You will need to create a JIRA login before reporting the bug. Access to our JIRA system is free for everyone.

Commercial Support

Pentaho offers commercial support for Pentaho Reporting with guaranteed response times. Please see

for more details.