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From Darrel Riekhof <>
Subject Cocoon as a web reporting engine
Date Wed, 27 Jun 2001 00:23:47 GMT

Background:  We've been looking for some tool to help us publish reports on
the web.  We have evaluted several Java reporting engines (Actuate, Crystal
Reports, Inetsoft StyleReport, JReport), but we can't find one we really
like.  We're currently using Inetsoft's StyleReport, but are frustrated from
several of its style limitations.  Differences in formatting between the
HTML  and PDF version of the same report are also a problem.

I was looking for an alternative, and someone suggested taking a look at
Cocoon.  I did, and have some questions:

1) Is Cocoon a viable solution for a reporting engine on a high volume site?

2) Our front end is all .jsp pages.  How do we set things up so that our
servlet engine first processes the .jsp page, then feeds the resulting file
to Cocoon?  We need to use Java calls from the JSP pages to pull the data
that will go on our reports.  Assuming we'd use an XML template in the JSP
page instead of an HTML one.  The server would need to first process the
Java in the JSP page to fill in the xml tags in the page.  Then, this page
would go through cocoon, get translated, marked-up, etc.  Is this the
correct way to do it, and how do we do this?

3) There are several minor details about the reports that are important to
us.  One is to put borders around the entire page, and any subsection of the
report.  We have several other minor reqs like this that our current
reporting engine can't do.  Is Cocoon flexible and powerful enough to any
kind of formatting, and to generate HTML or PDF or <other formats> with
custom formatting?

4)  We are going to need help.  Are there any good books on Cocoon?  Are
there any Cocoon consultants around that would come on site for a few weeks?


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