Ad Hoc Views and Data Exploration

This section describes functionality that can be restricted by the software license forJasperReports Server. If you don’t see some of the options described in this section, your license may prohibit you from using them. To find out what you're licensed to use, or to upgrade your license, contact Jaspersoft.

JasperReports Server’s Ad Hoc Editor is a browser-based, interactive tool for designing views and exploring your data:

As a designer, the Ad Hoc Editor lets you easily create and edit views and then use them to create reports. To create a view, select a Topic, Domain, or OLAP client connection, each of which defines a query and data source, and a view type. Then select the fields in your data source that should appear in your view. The Ad Hoc Editor’s interactive display of your results lets you evaluate your design without having to run the entire data set first. Finally, you can save the view, create one or more reports from it, and export it to several file formats.
As a data explorer, the Ad Hoc Editor provides analysis options (such as slice, pivot, and filter) to help you recognize trends and outliers in your data. You can drill into specific details or analyze your data at a very high level. For example, you might create a crosstab that shows the kinds of products a customer purchases together. Though your intention in creating the crosstab was to rank the popularity of certain items, the crosstab might also reveal correlation between customers’ purchases. These correlations, which you weren’t aware of before, may give you insight into how you can improve your business. For example, you might run a promotion to encourage the correlation, or change your store layout to expose customers to more options. Understanding your data can help you make better decisions.

The interesting trends and anomalies revealed by data exploration can lead you to create a view or report highlighting your findings. Conversely, while creating an Ad Hoc view, you may identify a trend that warrants further investigation. You can move seamlessly between the two activities—view creation and data exploration.